Friday, April 29, 2011

Poem of the Day: "In a Beautiful Country" by Kevin Prufer

Today's Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets features the title poem from Kevin Prufer's newest collection, In a Beautiful Country.

See the Poem Flow and more at The Academy of American Poets.

In a Beautiful Country

by Kevin Prufer

A good way to fall in love
is to turn off the headlights
and drive very fast down dark roads.

Another way to fall in love
is to say they are only mints
and swallow them with a strong drink.

Then it is autumn in the body.
Your hands are cold.
Then it is winter and we are still at war.

The gold-haired girl is singing into your ear
about how we live in a beautiful country.
Snow sifts from the clouds

into your drink. It doesn't matter about the war.
A good way to fall in love
is to close up the garage and turn the engine on,

then down you'll fall through lovely mists
as a body might fall early one morning
from a high window into love. Love,

the broken glass. Love, the scissors
and the water basin. A good way to fall
is with a rope to catch you.

A good way is with something to drink
to help you march forward.
The gold-haired girl says, Don't worry

about the armies, says, We live in a time
full of love. You're thinking about this too much.
Slow down. Nothing bad will happen.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Today in Poetry Daily: Debra Allbery's Poetry Month Pick

132 ("Just lost, when I was saved!")
by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Selected by Debra Allbery

Just lost, when I was saved!
Just felt the world go by!
Just girt me for the onset with Eternity,
When breath blew back,
And on the other side
I heard recede the disappointed tide!

Therefore, as One returned, I feel
Odd secrets of the line to tell!
Some Sailor, skirting foreign shores –
Some pale Reporter, from the awful doors
Before the Seal!

Next time, to stay!
Next time, the things to see
By Ear unheard,
Unscrutinized by Eye –

Next time, to tarry,
While the Ages steal –
Slow tramp the Centuries,
And the Cycles wheel!


Debra Allbery Comments:
Dickinson dwelt in prolepsis. Her 1844 Webster’s defines the word as “anticipation”; our own describes it as “a figurative device by which a future event is presumed to have already occurred.” As in I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –; as in And Finished knowing – then –. From the beginning, her vision was trained on the other side.

Just lost—when I was saved is a glimpse of and a grasp at the proleptic. An early work, from 1860 (#132 in the Franklin numbering, which I’ll use throughout; #160 in Johnson’s) it anticipates—in its theme, its narrative, its lexicon, and its meter—the poetic terrain which Dickinson would fully stake out over the next couple of years. It conveys the calling, but doesn’t yet announce the election.

The reader can tarry a while in the old-hymn sway of those first lines, sussing out the figure/ground of lost and saved. It’s a near-death narrative: at the point of crossing over, within view of Eternity, breath blows her back. The poem is charged with almost, with this close; her vision of what is beyond infuses what is caught betwixt-and-between the Just Now and the Next Time. There are hints, too, of future poems here: those centuries will wheel again in #151, and there’s a hovering of #340 I felt a Funeral in my Brain in the tread of centuries, and in And Being, but an Ear.

If it’s a proleptic primer, it’s also a metrical sampler, stitched in dimeter, trimeter, tetrameter, and—that rarity for Dickinson—pentameter. The method is unique and deliberate: a metrical advancing, a kind of tacking leeward and then skirting—disappointing—the pentameter shore. Cynthia Griffin Wolff has provided a useful historical context, citing the tales of seamen who had “sailed the line,” whose instruments had suddenly became unreliable along the equator (238). Dickinson’s moored/ unmoored calibrations similarly shift. The first stanza of trimeter (I’ll count line 3 as trimeter twice; she wrote it as two lines in manuscript in fascicle 10) resolves into split and then full pentameter. The second stanza’s Therefore anchors us in hymn meter, ‘long meter’—tetrameter— for three lines before sailing once again into a five-beat line: Some pale Reporter, before the awful doors – ) and closing with emphatic dimeter: Before the Seal! The third and fourth continue again in split pentameter, couplets cleaved in twos and threes.

Before the Seal: Faced with that barrier, confined to before, anticipation subsumes the poem. The bottom drops out in the simultaneous motion (steal, tramp, wheel) and suspension (to stay, to tarry) of that next-time. Present tense turns into infinitives; the glimpsed and lost become the vast and boundary-less Imagined—the interior universe she would continue to explore for the next 26 years.

Therefore, as One returned, I feel / Odd secrets of the line to tell. The haunt and freight, the so-cold-no-fire-will-ever-warm-me of those lines (the isolation of One, indeterminate agency of returned, inchoate inarticulate feel, the expansive echoing interior of the entire next line)—that’s what returns me to this poem. Here is where the poem’s spinning compass points true north; here is the plumb line. It feels burdened and ignited both, disoriented and exhilarated. “One has to imagine that Emily Dickinson was inhabited,” Charles Wright has said. “How else could she know those things (31)?”

Dickinson abhorred a boundary. Just as the seal as limit (closed door, barrier) will by poem #411 become the sign of her election (Mine – by the royal Seal! ), she rewrote the restrictions imposed by her time and her poetic inheritance, and anticipated something new. In crossing the line between lost and saved, earthly existence and death, traditional verse or “spasmodic gait,” obscurity or immortality, she inhabited and subverted it, told it from within. Sailor and Reporter, her line became circumference.
Works Cited:
Wolff, Cynthia Griffin. Emily Dickinson. NY: Knopf, 1993.
Wright, Charles. “Half-Life: A Commonplace Notebook.” Half-Life. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan, 1988. 20-39.

About Debra Allbery:
Debra Allbery's new poetry collection, Fimbul-Winter, winner of the 2010 Grub Street Prize in Poetry, was published by Four Way Books in October 2010. She lives near Asheville, North Carolina, and is the director of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sara London's The Tyranny of Milk in West Branch

Just Like Eve: Women Poets and the Writing of Trauma
by Rachel Mennies

In her 1991 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Nadine Gordimer speaks of the Word. For Gordimer the Word is neither fetishized gospel nor bland edict; it is a writer's everything: her birth, the materialization of her existence. Gordimer's words on words are prescient. "The word," she opens her lecture, "flies through space, it is bounced from satellites, now nearer than it has ever been to the heaven from which it was believed to have come." She continues,

But its most significant transformation occurred for me and my kind long ago, when it was first scratched on a stone tablet or traced on papyrus, when it materialized from sound to spectacle ... For this is the genesis story of the writer. It is the story that wrote her or him into being.

Gordimer combated apartheid, fought for AIDS victims, and wrote fourteen novels (and many more essays and short stories). She used the Word for activism, and she speaks to this challenge in her speech: the writer, she insists, "must take the right to explore, warts and all, both the enemy and the beloved comrade in arms," never shrinking from suppression or threats of censorship (or worse). For her, this has often meant writing about ugliness or strife, taking a reader deep into worlds as complicated as they are fraught with darkness.

Like Gordimer, the poets Mihaela Moscaliuc, Sara London, Molly Brodak, and Barbara Claire Freeman have created spaces of destruction in their art, gazing directly and powerfully at subjects that would be easier to avoid. Their speakers tell difficult stories of addiction and abuse, oppression and fear. Yet in each book, what lingers in the reader's mind is not darkness but ultimate triumph: two children in Brodak's poem "Roman Girls" noticing a world "small enough // to sing to in all directions"; the speaker in Freeman's "General Motors" imploring readers to "Walk with me to the end of the moment"; London imagining Holsteins feasting at her dinner table; and Moscaliuc's tiny yet complicated joy in bathing her newborn son.

"Humans," Gordimer writes, "the only self-regarding animals, blessed or cursed with this torturing higher faculty, have always wanted to know why." As women writers and scribes of struggle, these four poets transform wanting into an active search for knowing, making a thorough and at times traumatic study of what has made us us. They use their words to make the rest of us see.


In "The Front," from Sara London's The Tyranny of Milk, the speaker's sister gathers H.E.P.A. masks and syringes in preparation for an attack on the unnamed Israeli city in which she lives. Looking for an escape from this aura of war, the sister tells the speaker over the phone of her

to vacation in
the Sinai, shed
clothes, get an
all-over tan,
her favorite thing,
you know,
just like Eve
before the shit
went down.

Before violence, hints the speaker, comes fleeting calm. In this world, an attack can be tempered by shields and its results tended with medicine, but it can never be prevented.

The poems in The Tyranny of Milk play with our perception of time, using short, enjambed lines and moving at a brisk, fluid pace backward into memory and forward into a looming future. In "Sweet Salvage," the speaker's "great-uncles / can't put the video / cameras down," and the poem rewinds and fast-forwards along with the technology:

No more
"This is what happened,"
they say today,
and play it back.
"That's you, that's us ..."
if someone recalls
it happened otherwise,
they must be mad ...

For the great-uncles, danger lies in misremembering—or, worse, in never remembering at all. Without the cameras, states the speaker, you'd "never / know who did / what to whom, / or what to blame / when you wake." Like the speaker's sister in "The Front," the family in "Sweet Salvage" needs a clear delineation of "sides" in order to feel safe; they need to know, with the fixed assurance of film as an aide, who's guilty of family strife and who's innocent. As conflict enters the family unit, it threatens to rend it apart.

While London rarely examines severe trauma directly, that trauma is always present as a palpable possibility, especially for women. The poem "Tell Me" sets up a binary distinction, using the anaphora "in my country" to complicate understanding between the speaker and the poem's "you." "'In my country'," bemoans the speaker, "you say, 'there is / no word for it.'" We readers never learn what exactly "it" refers to, yet it is apparently a threat, and we learn that women have the most to fear from it. "It is always / the mother / in my country," the speaker says. "Tell me / it is different / in yours." While we cannot accept the speaker's challenge—we know "it" only as a dim, sinister presence—we can readily imagine what it might represent in other cultures, including our own. Vague but powerful, the force could be the same one that drives Moscaliuc's Mara to terminate her pregnancy; it could be the violence Brodak examines in A Little Middle of the Night, or the faceless stock-market panic of Freeman's Incivilities. Here, what is not said, the vast white space found on most of The Tyranny of Milk's pages, casts dark shadows over the written lines.

"What remains," asks the speaker of the poem "Prey," "after myth- // making?" Imbued with memory, The Tyranny of Milk examines the myth of the family—what it looks like, how it acts, what it chooses to preserve. The characters in this collection traverse generations and build traditions. In the wake of myth-making, then, after the video camera has been turned off and the sisters' phone call terminated, we find canonization, inscription, the setting-down through poetry of how it once was. We have fear—the preemptive purchase of the H.E.P.A. mask—to teach us, and heartwarming interconnection to strive for. We have questions to answer about how we've come to be, questions about our own personal geneses. "Mother, Father, / who's to blame for such / mixed-up blessings?" asks the speaker of the collection's eponymous poem, in which cows come to dinner and the child speaker must learn what to make of a tiny disaster. Because many of The Tyranny of Milk's inquiries go unanswered, we must use our own myths to investigate those questions for ourselves.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Upcoming Readings

Two more upcoming readings with Four Way Books authors:

Jennifer Denrow and Jen Tynes @ Small Animal Project
Monday, May 2, 8:00 PM

Horse Less Press co-editors Denrow (California) and Tynes (Heron/Girlfriend) travel from Denver to read at Outpost 186.

186 1/2 Hampshire Street
Inman Square, Cambridge, MA


Rebecca Stallings Poetry Series: Debra Allbery
May 12, 2011
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

@ The Cathedral of All Souls
9 Swan Street
Biltmore Village
Asheville, NC 28803

Monday, April 18, 2011

An Interview with Kevin Prufer in Devil's Lake


While reading
In a Beautiful Country, I’ve noticed quite a few sonnets, rhyme patterns, and a distinctive visual form that has characterized many of your poems. My question is: how do you approach form, both the received forms and the invented ones? Do you begin with certain limitations and restrictions when you start out to write or do they emerge later in the drafting process?

Well, most broadly, I sometimes imagine that my free verse poems are like little minds working away at big problems. What, they sometimes ask, happens when we die? What are our responsibilities to each other as citizens? As human beings? Where are our nation’s borders, and are they more fluid than they seem? I like to think that these questions aren’t really answerable, but that the form of the poem might, in some way, reflect the poem’s struggle with them. With this in mind, I’ll offer an indented line and white space where I imagine the poem pausing, rethinking the problem, changing gears. Or a larger break and more white space might suggest that the mind has abandoned one approach for another. A tight rhyme implies comfort and (often false) conclusiveness; slant rhyme suggests things not quite coming together as they might. I think this even applies to the more narrative poems—poems like “On Mercy” or “The Ambassador”—where I imagine the speaker of the poem inventing the story, making narrative choices that reveal as much about himself as they do about the events he relates.

I suppose this is less true of the poems in closed forms—the sonnets and traditionally rhyming poems. These poems contain, coded in their forms, a sense of their own inevitability. The sonnet, after all, will always end on the conclusion of that final rhyming couplet. For others, there’s always that next rhyme five (or four, or whatever) beats away. For myself, it helps to think of these poems as more declamatory, as public expressions. Often—in “The Twentieth Century,” for instance—I imagine the speaker to be something of a collective mind, perhaps the all-encompassing mind of our nation. And that mind has something public to say, something it has worked out in advance. I know that sounds grandiose…

I’m interested in your use of segmentation throughout In a Beautiful Country. Many of your poems in this collection are spliced by section breaks and string together several different voices and characters. I’m thinking in particular of your poems “On Mercy” and “Night Watch,” although many others also unfold in this way. I’m curious of your process with these poems—whether they came together in this form or whether there was the act of collapsing and connecting these various parts together?

Well, poems like this never come out whole. I work at them pretty hard, cutting, moving bits around, cutting some more, rethinking. Always, though, I try to keep the momentum of the narrative in mind and, to that end, I always ask myself what happens next, what this speaker is likely to fixate on, what he’s likely to elide.

I think my generation of poets has come to a sometimes counter-productive suspicion of narrative in poetry. So many of us want to undercut it, refute it, “interrogate” it. I suppose that’s OK if it yields good results. But I came to poetry through writing fiction and remain fascinated by the power of narrative and stories. What happens when the same story is told simultaneously from two points of view? What if God tells the story? Or an inanimate object? Or one speaker tells it in his present while the other remembers it as her past? Or, in “Night Watch,” what happens when the speaker realizes, suddenly, toward the end of the poem, that the entire narrative is his own invention, that none of it happened except that he needed it to happen to help him through his current difficulties? I think that we can communicate a great deal of human truth through stories—that our stories and how we tell them reveal a lot about who we are.

In a Beautiful Country is broken into twelve sections. While I was reading it, I was reminded of something Dean Young said about how poets are so drawn to brevity because we love beginnings and endings. With so many section openings and closings, there’s a lot of opportunity for poems to be highlighted in interesting ways. What was the process of constructing the order of the poems in In a Beautiful Country, and what was your method in organizing it?

The book went through many restructurings. For me, the so-called “arc” of a book is almost always an afterthought, a strange imposition on poems that were constructed one by one as individual objects. But the fact is, they do begin to bounce off each other in interesting ways when they’re asked to live between the same covers.

I know constructing the book in twelve sections of four poems each is a little eccentric—most poetry books are in three sections these days—but, beginning with the poem “Four Artes Poeticae,” these poems seemed to talk to each other most interestingly in smaller groups. Earlier versions, in which the poems came all at once in two or three large sections, were too intense. The softer voices, or the weirder voices in the rhymed poems, got lost in all the competing stories. And, once I’d committed to the idea that the poems might exist in the book as twelve intimate, mini-conversations about war, history, or death, I became more and more drawn to it. It seemed to me that all kinds of questions and little twists emerged where the poems disagreed with each other, where they played with the same image in vastly different ways.

I love how certain images echo throughout In a Beautiful Country (the horse on fire is one that strikes me the most). In reading your other books, I’ve noticed that certain images and even poem sequences (I’m thinking of the “For the Dead” sequence in particular) have spanned across several books. And yet, despite the way your books are interconnected by motifs and sequences, each new book feels very unique and different in its own right. Could you talk for a bit about what restrictions you place on yourself when starting a new project and how these interconnected poems or images change for you as you continue writing them?

I like to think of all my poems as part of one big project. Perhaps that project is my own trying to figure out what a poem can be, how it might make sense of a very complicated world. Given that, I’m OK with returning to themes worked on in other books, continuing sequences of poems over several books. That’s all productive and part of my sense of a larger, ongoing education in poetry.

At the same time, I worry about hitting the same note too incessantly—not just because it might bore readers, but because after a while a certain poem becomes easy to write. When that happens, it’s important to stop writing that poem and try something else.

Truly, though, much of the apparent theme of a poetry collection reflects not a set of plans made at the outset but the accident of certain obsessions that sustained me in writing over the years of the book’s production. When I was writing Fallen from a Chariot, for instance, I was completely consumed by Roman history, politics, and drama. I couldn’t stop reading or thinking about it, and this naturally influenced poems that ended up trying to understand our current political/historical moment through the lens of classical history. The same occurred in National Anthem, though in that case I’d become fascinated by apocalyptic literature, science fiction, cinematic destruction.

But, of course, these are all just ways of trying to understand the world, screens through which we make sense of it. They are useful.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on longer narratives grounded in worlds that seem, at least superficially, more like our own. Of course, things go wrong, narrators invent stories for duplicitous reasons. Uncanny, harrowing, or supernatural things happen. But the stories are, for the moment, unfolding in the domestic sphere, a terrain that is less historical and more personal.

April 15, 2011

RATTLE Reviews In a Beautiful Country

Review by Nick DePascal

Kevin Prufer’s fifth poetry collection, In a Beautiful Country, is a fitting follow up to 2008’s National Anthem in terms of a continuation of themes and content. Like his previous collection, In a Beautiful Country is an engaging and lengthy meditation on the loss of one’s country, one’s faith and one’s friends and family. The collection, in its willingness to take risks with imagery and sounds, is an absolute mesmerizing pleasure to read [...] The book is rich with images at turns beautiful, disturbing, vivid and voluptuous. Prufer’s love and mastery of the striking image is evident in his ability to make the reader reconsider a seemingly concrete image from another angle. Consider the painstakingly rendered, almost perversely loving description of a weapon of destruction in “Patriot Missile,” which begins:

I loved the half-constructed hulk of it,
the firing condenser that, bared,
caught the light
and made of it a copper flare—
nose and husk, electrolyte.
And I, tweezing a clot of oil, a metal shaving from its stilled heart,
might smile, as if to tell it Live

Here, the image of the missile is given the florid details of a living thing, so that it comes to sound like the speaker is describing a flower, or the features of a beloved. Likewise, another exciting trait of much of Prufer’s poetry is at work in this poem: his seemingly unabashed love of rhythm, rhyme, and just generally sound. Here, the rhymes of “bared” and “flare,” and “oil” and “smile,” have a soft, open-mouthed quality to them, as if the speaker is cooing to a lover, which incidentally, later in the poem he does, when he discloses “I told it Darling and Love.”

It seems rare and refreshing these days to find a poet so willing to pose a clear and traceable rhyme scheme in his poetry, and yet Prufer does so quite effortlessly. Take for example the ABBA rhyme structure of “What I Gave the 20th Century,” which begins “I gave it thirty years. It wanted more. / I loved its mad perambulations / through the outlet malls, its runs / of horror movies and its discount stores.” Prufer manages to successfully carry this rhyme scheme throughout the four stanzas of the poem by using a mix of perfect and slant rhyme. He never forces an exact rhyme on the lines if they don’t call for it, instead allowing rhymes to fall where they may within the line, all of which contributes to wonderful sound and rhythm without sacrificing the surprise of interesting line breaks. Ultimately, it’s this sort of attention to sonic detail and general command of image that make one want to go back and read the poems again and again.

Click here to read the review in its entirety.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rigoberto González Wins 2011 Shelley Memorial Award!

Rigoberto González, whose new collection, Black Blossoms, is forthcoming this October from Four Way Books, is one of two poets to receive this year's Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America.

Four Way Books in the Village Voice

Poetry Reading: Joni Wallace

Thu., May 5, 6:30pm

Acclaimed authors Joni Wallace (author of Redshift and Blinking Ephemeral Valentine), Kevin Prufer (author of National Anthem and In a Beautiful Country), Tom Healy (author of What the Right Hand Knows) and Deborah Landau (author of Orchidelirium and The Last Usable Hour) read their works.

C. Dale Young Reads TONIGHT at Colorado College

Reading: Poet and editor C. Dale Young

Poet and editor C. Dale Young’s collections include "Day Underneath the Day," "The Second Person," and "Torn."

Location: Gates Common Room, third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave. (east of Tutt Library) (map)

Tickets: free

This event is open to the general public.

Flavorwire Calls Tina Chang a Poet You Should Know!

Flavorwire's 10 Contemporary Poets You Should Know

Tina Chang is the current Poet Laureate of Brooklyn (as decreed by the irascible Marty Markowitz) and is the author of Half-Lit Houses and Of Gods & Strangers (our note: both from Four Way Books!), which will be out this October.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meg Kearney in New Episode of Write Now

The episode of Write Now featuring Meg Kearney and her collection, Home By Now, and will air on the following channels/times:

North Andover Community Access & Media, in N. Andover, MA,
from 4/12 - 5/6/11 on Comcast Channel 22 & Verizon Channel 24.
Tuesdays and Fridays @ 8 pm and 10:30 pm,
and Fridays @ 10:30 am

In Andover, MA, on Comcast Channel 8 & Verizon Channel 8
on Tuesdays @ 8 pm and Thursdays @ 10 am from 4/12/11 -5/5.

And in Methuen, MA on Comcast Channel 22 @ Verizon Channel 33
on Tuesdays @ 8:30 pm and Wed. @ 9:30 am from 4/12 - 4/4.

Joni Wallace On Why She Reads Poetry

Gearing up for her Austin, TX feature at BookPeople on April 15th, Joni Wallace talks about why she reads, and writes, poetry.

"Poetry – at least good poetry – uses language to create a reality that rises to the reality of experience. Think phenomenology. We perceive the world in ever-accelerating image streams. Poetry uses the language of perception and finds the ruptures, the cracks where associations and imaginative leaps shine through. Here we live the harder truths and find glimpses of our shared humanity."

Read the rest here.

And check out the reading!

Friday, April 15th, 8pm
603 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 11, 2011

4 Four Way Books Titles Make Library Journal's "What Else Is Hot?" List

The Library Journal names Sydney Lea's Young of the Year, Joni Wallace's Blinking Ephemeral Valentine, C. Dale Young's Torn, and Kevin Prufer's In a Beautiful Country in its list of "What Else Is Hot? Current Poetry for National Poetry Month."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sydney Lea in Numéro Cinq

Sydney Lea's poem, "Forever," and a lovely introduction to it, can be found at Numéro Cinq today:

An Evening of Brooklyn Poets @ Greenlight Bookstore

An Evening of Brooklyn Poets

Featuring Priscilla Becker, author of Stories that Listen
Matvei Yankelevich, author of Boris By The Sea
Christian Hawkey, author of Citizen Of

Wednesday, April 20, 7:30 PM
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton Street (at S. Portland)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Priscilla Becker won The Paris Review Prize for her first book of poems, Internal West, and writes poetry, essays, and music reviews as well as teaching poetry at Pratt Institute and Columbia University. Her most recent collection, Stories That Listen (Four Way Books, 2010), has been praised by Thurston Moore for its “beguiling sensuality” and “distinct meditation.”

Matvei Yankelevich is the author of Boris by the Sea and several chapbooks; his translations of the Russian writer Daniil Kharms were collected in Today I Wrote Nothing. He teaches at Columbia University and Bard College and is on the editorial staff at Ugly Duckling Presse and 6x6 magazine.

Christian Hawkey is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Citizen Of. He has received a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award and awards from the Poetry Fund and the Academy of American Poets, and he teaches at Pratt Institute.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Review of IGNATZ from Rob Mclennan

"Seeing that Youn, an attourney in her daily life, write poems from a more unusual and underrepresented source, and an old standard, George Herriman's infamous Krazy Kat strip (1913-1944) is a most welcome and refreshing breath...A daily note, repeating. An endless, simple cycle. But with twists. Writing out of a love of language, and a pure love. A shifting landscape, a myriad of linguistic play."

Read the entire review, plus a few poems, here:

TODAY and Tomorrow! Monica You @ USF Emerging Writers Festival

Emerging Writers Festival

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 06, 2011 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM



On April 6 and 7th, the University of San Francisco English Department will present the annual Emerging Writers Festival, a showcase of up-and-coming authors currently establishing themselves in the literary scene. The two-day festival will feature readings by Ashley Butler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bradley Paul, Josh Weil and Monica Youn, reading from their most recent publications of fiction, poetry and essay.

Readings will begin promptly at 7:30 in the Maraschi Room of Fromm Hall on the University of San Francisco campus and will be free and open to the public. A panel discussion with all five writers will also be held on Thursday, April 7th from 12 to 2 pm, in McLaren 250. All events are sponsored by the USF English Department. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Upcoming Readings with Kevin Prufer

Santa Fe! Houston! St. Louis! NYC! Come hear Kevin Prufer read from his new collection of poetry, In a Beautiful Country:


Collected Works Bookstore
202 Galisteo Street
Santa Fe, NM

May 2nd, 7:30pm-9:30pm @ River Styx Presents Arts and Literary Feast

Duff's Restaurant
392 N. Euclid Ave.
St Louis, MO 63108

w/ poets Joni Wallace, Tom Healy, and Deborah Landau
726 Broadway
Poison Girl Bar
1641 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

Information on more reading in June and July coming soon...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sydney Lea Reads at Holy Cross on April 7th

Award-winning poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer Sydney Lea will read from his poetry as part of the Visiting Writers Series at the College of the Holy Cross on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library. The event, sponsored by the College’s Creative Writing Program, is free and open to the public.

Lea has published nine volumes of poetry, including his most recent book, The Young of the Year, which came out from Four Way Books this spring. One of his earlier volumes, To the Bone: New and Selected Poems (1996), was co-winner of the Poets’ Prize. Another book of poems, Pursuit of a Wound (2000), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to his masterful narrative poems and lyrical descriptions of nature, Lea is the author of a novel, A Place in Mind (1989), and two books of nonfiction nature writing, Hunting the Whole Way Home (1994) and A Little Wildness: Some Notes on Rambling (2006).

The founding editor of the New England Review, Lea has edited several anthologies of poems, stories, and essays. He is also active in nature conservation and has been described as “a man in the woods with his head full of books, and a man in books with his head full of woods.”

Lea has taught at universities throughout New England, as well as in Europe, and his writing has been recognized with grants from the Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Rockefeller foundations. He is now completing his 10th volume of poetry, I Was Thinking of Beauty.

The 2011 Visiting Writers Series will conclude on Thursday, May 5 with a reading by Robert Cording, poet and professor of English and creative writing at Holy Cross, at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library.

For additional information, please contact Kristine Maloney at 508-793-2419.

Collier Nogues April Book Launch & Readings in L.A.

APRIL 11th, 7:30pm

A launch party for Collier Nogues and her new poetry collection On the Other Side, Blue!

Collier Nogues has been a MacDowell Fellow and a Ucross Foundation Resident, and was recently the Fishtrap Writer-in-Residence for two years in Enterprise, Oregon. Her poems were a special feature of the Spring 2010 issue ofPleiades, and other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Jubilat, The Massachusetts Review, Blackbird, and The Pinch, among other journals. She's a graduate of UC Irvine's MFA Program in Poetry, and lives in Long Beach.

* * *

Can't attend the book launch? See Collier read at these other venues in April:

APRIL 12th, 8:10pm

Redondo Poets reading series @ Coffee Cartel

1820 South Catalina Avenue
Hollywood Riviera
Redondo Beach
Cross Street: Elena Avenue

The Redondo Poets host a poetry reading every Tuesday at 8:10 PM at Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, CA (address/directions/map). There is always an open mic reading and usually a feature (invited, noteworthy, acclaimed poet). Sign-up for the open mic reading begins at 7:50 PM. Please see the calendar for the schedule of featured poets. The reading is free.

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APRIL 17th, 7:30pm

Rhapsodomancy Announces the Writers Reading on Sunday, April 17, 201





Doors open at 7:00pm - Reading begins at 7:30pm

The Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, 90027 (east Hollywood/Silver Lake: corner of Hollywood & Hillhurst)

21 and over only.

RSVP at rhapsodomancyla at gmail dot com (RSVP not required, but appreciated)

$3 suggested donation at door. There will be a cash bar.

River Styx Festival Featuring Kevin Prufer

River Styx Presents The Arts & Literary Feast Featuring Kevin Prufer and Jane O. Wayne
Monday, May 2 6:30p to 9:30p
at Duff's Restaurant, St Louis, MO
Price: $45 per person
Phone: (314) 533-4541

River Styx Magazine's annual Arts & Literary Feast will be held May 2nd at 6:30 PM. This year's fund-raising dinner and a reading features fine cuisine by Duff's Restaurant in the Central West End and readings by poets Kevin Prufer and Jane O. Wayne as well as live music by Phil Dunlap of Jazz St. Louis. Tickets are $45 per person. Reservations can by made until April 22 by contacting River Styx Some tickets may be available at the door.

TCU Humanities Symposium with Kevin Prufer

More than 600 people had requested tickets to attend a poetry reading featuring former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Curt Rode, TCU English instructor and event coordinator said..."It's going to be quite a huge event…Which is pretty substantial for a poetry reading," Rode said.
The event also features the editor of Poetry Magazine, Christian Wiman, three current or former Texas Poet Laureates, Alan Birkelbach, Paul Ruffin and Karla Morton, and award winning poets Kevin Prufer, Sandra Beasley, Arthur Smith and Ada Limon.

At the symposium, the professional poets would read their work and talk about the contemporary state of poetry. Rode said he hoped those who attend the event would see the human face behind the poets and their work.

"We're trying to show people that poetry is alive and well, it's not something that should just be left in the classroom," he said. "Real people talk about their real experiences in accessible ways through poetry."