A Poetry Reading for Your Valentine's Day Pleasure

Categories: Books

image via
Wright and Gander badly Photoshopped together.
​We don't know how you can possibly not know this, but here's a gentle reminder, dear readers: Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. So why not celebrate with what is arguably the most romantic of the arts: poetry! (Argument may come from those who support cooking)

C.D. Wright and Forrest Gander, who also happen to be married, will be giving a joint poetry reading tomorrow afternoon at Saint Louis University as part of the English department's Sheila Nolan Whelan Reading Series. They'll be appearing at 2 p.m. in the Pere Marquette gallery, on the second floor of Douberg Hall, at 221 North Grand.

Wright hails from the Arkansas Ozarks and currently teaches at Brown University. Her work has been described as "experimental" and "elliptical." Her latest book, One With Others, was a nominee for the 2010 National Book Award and a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. For their 2003 book, One Big Self: An Investigation, she and photographer Deborah Luster interviewed and photographed inmates in a Louisiana women's prison.

Though he was raised in Virginia, Gander, too, has a connection to Arkansas -- he lived in Eureka Springs between a stint writing and translating in Mexico and his current teaching gig, which is also at Brown. Many of his poems are about landscapes, informed by his knowledge of geology, which he studied as an undergraduate. Last year, he was awarded the Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. He's also published many translations of Mexican and South American poets.

Here are some poems by Wright and Gander:

image via
C.D. Wright
Everything Good between Men and Women
by C.D. Wright

has been written in mud and butter
and barbecue sauce. The walls and
the floors used to be gorgeous.
The socks off-white and a near match.
The quince with fire blight
but we get two pints of jelly
in the end. Long walks strengthen
the back. You with a fever blister
and myself with a sty. Eyes
have we and we are forever prey
to each other's teeth. The torrents
go over us. Thunder has not harmed
anyone we know. The river coursing
through us is dirty and deep. The left
hand protects the rhythm. Watch
your head. No fires should be
unattended. Especially when wind. Each
receives a free swiss army knife.
The first few tongues are clearly
preparatory. The impression
made by yours I carry to my grave. It is
just so sad so creepy so beautiful.
Bless it. We have so little time
to learn, so much... The river
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.

(from Steal Away: New and Selected Poems)

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