extended hiatus

Due to expanded commitments to my small press, I've been forced to cut down on some other projects. I would be delighted if someone else came forward to carry on this blog. Meanwhile, I hope some of the links and contacts herein are of some use.



K. A. Hays & Erinn Batykefer: Bucknell: 2/24/09

Tuesday, February 24, 7 PM:

Two poets on staff at the Stadler Center for Poetry will read together in Bucknell Hall.

K. A. Hays, the 2008-09 Stadler Emerging Writer, earned an M.F.A. in the Literary Arts at Brown University and studied as an undergraduate at Bucknell and Oxford Universities. Poems from her first book, Dear Apocalypse (Carnegie Mellon), have appeared in such venues as Missouri Review, Southern Review, and the anthology Best New Poets 2007. Her verse translations and fiction have appeared in GulfCoast, Hudson Review, Fugue, and elsewhere. She is a native of southeast Pennsylvania.

Erinn Batykefer, the 2008-09 Stadler Fellow, earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Art History from the University of Delaware and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Martha Meier Renk Distinguished Poetry Fellow. Batykefer’s debut collection of poetry, Allegheny, Monongahela, won the 2008 Benjamin Saltman Prize and will appear from Red Hen Press this year. Her poetry and nonfiction have recently appeared in Prairie Schooner, American Literary Review, The Journal, and Agenda (UK). She is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact the Stadler Center for Poetry at 570-577-1853.

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Outside the Basilica di San Petronio

A girl is after pigeons, tracking them.
She bows her head. She holds up her palms.
Her hand goes out and the things gust off.

Meanwhile the nuns in the basilica clutch beads
beneath their habits. And the priest
cleans the chalice, making it shine.

She is eager for the next step: to hold the flurry
of beak and breast, to draw it close.
She is stepping, pausing, tensed
and watchful as the underside of prayer.

When the birds rise, the white in their breasts
flashes before the basilica. The girl’s arms fall.
It is as easy as wine to blood, how they lift
into the ether. They are as good to her

as the miraculous saints. Dear saints,
keeping always and perfectly away.
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

In O’Keeffe’s From the Lake, No. 3,

I see a lace of algae as a map—here, a waterway,
gritty houses dotting Troy Hill as it rises from the river,

ochre silt like sandstone sheared by highways.
It is summer. We pull the seashells from the garden

and press each one to our ears; we listen through dirt
for their coiled echolalia,

the way they endlessly whisper back the wishes
we tied to stones and dropped in the rivers.

The way they relay the secrets of our younger selves back
in the semaphores of the sea: furling,

unfurling. This is our city from above, the way
we remember it—suspended in a haze of morning;

we see through the weight of air blued by water
to the shapes we know, the way we can see our faces

welling up through a breath-fogged mirror:
Allegheny, Monongahela.
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

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