Sunday, April 30, 2006

Killer SOON reading last night, with a record number in attendance—more than seventy people crammed every corner of the State of the Art Gallery to hear Dan Beachy-Quick and Matthea Harvey read. (Publicity works.) The two readers made for a nice contrast: Dan's work has an affect of reverence and a kind of scholarly intensity, while Matthea's peoms tends to be jaunty up front and melancholy behind. Dan read from his forthcoming book Mulberry and also from a work-in-progress. I don't know why I never noticed this before, but his writing has many affinities with the work of Donald Revell (who's a friend of Dan's and who offers a blurb to Mulberry): they're both practioners of an astringent nearly Puritan pastoral (I always think of New England when I read their work, even though Revell lives in the Southwest and has for many years). It turns out that Dan's father lives in Ithaca and he summered here when he was a kid, so for him this is very much his childhood landscape of inspiration. Matthea read three poems from Sad Little Breathing Machine and then work from a new manuscript, which included prose poems on the adventures of RoboBoy and some darker lyrics all bearing the title "Terror of the Future" (an inversion of a phrase that stuck in her mind, "the future of terror"). Aaron produced beautiful broadsides, as usual (though he himself was unfortunately laid up by a bad back and couldn't attend), and afterward we all went to Ithaca's new fake Irish bar and had $2 pints of Bass. Another evening for the books.

Next month: Aaron Kunin and John Coletti. ADDENDUM: On Saturday, May 20.


Jessica Smith said...

When's the Kunin reading? I think I'll be in Ithaca next month... & would love to make it in time for that. Kunin is awesome.

Stuart Greenhouse said...

Sounds electric . . . I wish I could've been there.

Unknown said...

Jessica, if you make it, be sure to say hi!

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