4.04.2009

went to a reading last night, Kim Calder and Cati Porter. about Cati's work and our conversation more later. So two readers, VERY accomplished, degrees, editorships, books, in or entering MFA programs.

Calder was a surprise; I had heard about her book but not heard her read. Anyway, the poem she read from the book was great; it was a lovely blend of confessionalisms in a new place (the desert, the res, drinking, relationship to dad).

She read from a longer work in progress called "Prison House" that was interesting; one could tell how it was getting assembled and disassembling -- the two overlapping rubrics: prison house (various things that could mean, including fate/destiny, family (although this is the ste of the least successful idea/line that returns: "death runs in my family" -- who does not have dead ancestors), a more theorized prison, consumerism, etc.) and alphabet animal flash cards -- the three than you never see in real life unless you go to a zoo: aardvark, TOKAPI, and another one. Or the other one might have been ordinary -- like a turtle, except in the desert one sees plenty of tortoises and no turtles. Anyway, it came up just enough that one could imagine that it had been more artifically there at one point, and the device didn't mkae its last stand as elegantly as I trust it eventually will, as elegantly as its earlier appearances in the poem. Good poem, nice structure, to hang together that well in a non-narrative way for a long period of time read aloud (ten pages, so about ten minutes).

She finished with a wonderful prose poem which seems to have been a pantoum at an interim stage; the lst line was a little cutsie, but the choice of repetition and variation -- about parking tickets you can't pay, mulitple meanings of pay, for example) -- was super.

During the q&a period, surprisingly, for a young, groovy individual, she had an all male roter of recs, no one writing anything like I'd heard: Richard Siken (unless he does -- haven't read any), Charles Wright I remember first.

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