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.



Patricia Smith: West Chester: 2/26/09

Thursday, February 26: Poet Patricia Smith will give a craft lecture at 4:15 PM at West Chester University, followed by a reading at 7 PM in the Sykes Ballrooms B & C.

For more information, please contact coordinator Jamie Smith at 610-436-3235 or e-mail at poetry@wcupa.edu.

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.
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____

K.A. Hays & Erinn Batykefer: Bloomsburg: 2/16/09

Poets K.A. Hays and Erinn Batykefer will both read from their work at Bloomsburg University on Monday, February 16, at 7 PM in Monty's Assembly Room on the Upper Campus. This reading is free and open to the public. For more information on Hays and Batykefer, click here.

Elizabeth Bodien & Fern Hill: Bethlehem: 2/13/09

Friday, February 13th at 8PM: The Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group presents Elizabeth Bodien reading new poetry and Fern Hill reading from her novel. These local writers share and discuss, field questions, and mingle in Touchstone’s adjoining cafĂ© space. Open mike to follow.

Firehouse Friday Writer’s Soiree. Ticket price: $5
Box office opens at 7 pm; no call ahead reservations.

Touchstone Theatre, 321 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem PA 18015 [610-867-1689]. touchstone@touchstone.org

Porochista Khakpour: Bucknell: 2/10/09

Tuesday, February 10, 7 PM: Visiting Assistant Professsor Porochista Khakpour will give a fiction reading at Bucknell Hall on the campus of Bucknell University.

Born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles, Khakpour is the author of Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove/Atlantic). The debut novel received much acclaim in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. Her writing has appeared widely in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, and elsewhere. Khakpour received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA from The Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars.

This event is free and open to the public.

from Sons and Other Flammable Objects:

"None of it was news to him, that these bad things happen—that’s not the part that got him at all. After all, it first occurred to him on one of the days of his early childhood, when America was still new for them all—at one of the moments when he had spied his mother sobbing in the kitchen to no one but a running sink, while on TV Lucy bawled into Ethel’s armpit to the laughter of some invisible audience—that the new world, while a very demanding place for all of its inhabitants, held a functional almost laughable misery for its own and a possibly unconquerable one for the others. Here, the older your world, Xerxes-the-child contemplated, trying to make some rules out of it all, rules that even Xerxes-the-adult could not fully argue with, the sadder and badder your days."

Open Poetry Reading: Tunkhannock: 2/8/09

Poetry of Love:

Sunday, February 8, 2-5 PM

The Endless Mountains Council of the Arts is holding an Open Poetry Reading at the EMCA Gallery, 302 West Tioga Street, Tunkhannock. All are welcome. Read your own work or read from your favorite poet. For more information, call 836-3622 or 945-7621.

Sponsored by the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts.

Rick Kearns: Harrisburg: 2/5/09

Thursday, February 5, 8 PM:

Award-winning poet, freelance writer and musician Rick Kearns will be Poetry Thursdays' featured reader at the Midtown Cinema's Reel Cafe, 250 Reily Street, Harrisburg.

Kearns' poetry has been published in three chapbooks and two full collections, including Street of Knives (Warm Springs Press, 1993), Boricua In Between (1997), Jazz Poems (1997) and Endtime Poems (1998, Pacobooks). Red Pagoda Press has published five of his poems in brochure form since 2000. His latest collection of verse, The Body of My Isla, was published in 2007. As a journalist, Kearns has written for daily, weekly and monthly news publications since 1986. In the last decade his work has focused on Latino and Native American issues. Kearns' poems have appeared in numerous anthologies: El Coro/A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1997); Voices from the Nuyorican Cafe (Henry Holt & Co., NY, 1994 [Winner of the American Book Award]), and in literary reviews such as The Massachusetts Review, Chicago Review, Drum Voices Revue (So. Illinois University Edwardsville), Painted Bride Quarterly, The Patterson Review, HEART Quarterly, Big Hammer, Palabra: A Journal of Chicano and Literary Art, Yellow Medicine Review, and Fledgling Rag

Kearns' feature begins at 8 PM, following a 7 PM open mic. Poetry Thursdays, celebrating its tenth year as a weekly poetry series, is sponsored by the Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel. Marty Esworthy and Julia Tilley host. For more information: (717) 909-6566.

Cherise Pollard & Alexander Long: West Chester: 2/4/09

Wednesday, February 4, 7 PM: Poets Cherise Pollard and Alex Long will give a reading at the West Chester Poetry Center. The WCU Poetry House is located at 823 S. High Street, West Chester, PA.

For more information, please contact coordinator Jamie Smith at 610-436-3235, or e-mail poetry@wcupa.edu.