We are so happy to welcome back Marilyn Nelson, Amy Nawrocki and Eric Lehman for the first of two evenings of poetry and readings in October. Please see the details of “Volume 1” below! Light refreshments will be served.
“Poetry & Readings Volume 1” is on Saturday October 8th at 5:00 p.m. and we will follow with “Poetry & Readings Volume 2” on October 21st at 7:00pm.
In The Meeting House, Marilyn Nelson has focused not only on the history of the First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut, but also on slavery and bigotry in a presumably enlightened part of the Union. Her dismay is leavened by generosity of spirit, the same qualities revealed in her earlier books, about which readers and critics have been enthusiastic. Concerning My Seneca Village (2015), Kirkus Reviews has this praise: “Artfully crafted, an engrossing and important collection of memories and moments from a pivotal time in American history.” And this from Booklist: “An American saga so well suited to Nelson’s poetic touch is a gift meant to be gently unwrapped to be read with an intellectually curious spirit ready for an awakening.” Concerning The Homeplace (1990), Christian Wiman has written, “The sheer range of [Nelson’s] voice is one of the book’s greatest strengths, varying not only from poem to poem, but within individual poems as well.” Suzanne Gardinier’s Parnassus review reads thus: “[Nelson’s poetry] reaches back through generations hemmed in on all sides by slavery and its antecedents; all along the way she finds sweetness, and humor, and more complicated truth than its disguises have revealed.” And Arthur Sze writes, “Marilyn Nelson’s poetry is remarkable for its sheer range of voice and style, for its historical roots, and for its lyrical narratives that, replete with luminous details, unfold with an emotional force that, ultimately, becomes praise . . . . She is a vital ambassador of poetry.”
About Marilyn Nelson:
Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of eighteen poetry books, including several verse-histories, a biography in poems, a verse memoir, and a novel in verse. Her collection The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems won the 1998 Poets’ Prize; Carver: A Life In Poems won the 2001 Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award; Fortune’s Bones was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and won the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Poetry Society’s Frost Medal for distinguished achievement in poetry. Currently a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets as well as Poet-in-Residence of the Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, she was the Poet Laureate of Connecticut from 2001-2006, and for ten years opened her home to young poets as “Soul Mountain Retreat.”
Eric’s latest books is, “Shadows of Paris”. About the book: “When William Byrnes takes a teaching job at a private school in the Marais, he thinks he’s escaping his sins. He sentences himself to winter afternoons under the vaulted ceilings of Notre Dame and to rice for dinner, while the City of Light goes unnoticed. Then the pretentious Monsieur Cygne gives him a list of French literature and the address of a bookstore, where he finds fellow expat Lucy Navarre, with the gray eyes of a goddess, a cheating husband, and a mysterious past. Can the two exiles find redemption in the shadows of Paris? Or will they miss their chance?”
About Eric Lehman:
Eric is a professor of creative writing at the University of Bridgeport. His fiction, travel stories, essays, and nonfiction have appeared in dozens of online and print journals and magazines. He is the author of several books, including The Insider s Guide to Connecticut and Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P.T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.”
“Reconnaissance” In her latest collection, Amy Nawrocki plays voyeur and thief, surveying canvases and investigating bookshelves, searching for creativity’s origins and exploring the nature of inspiration. The poems in Reconnaissance uncover muses between the frayed pages of Byron and Shelley, in Chagall’s stained glass, at Oscar Wilde’s grave, past the deep bogs of Glencoe, and in the far away snow caps of Mount Fuji. In these insightful and elegant poems, Nawrocki invites us to believe in “the authenticity of first sight.” Open the paint box and learn how to stare.
About Amy Nawrocki:
Amy Nawrocki teaches English and Creative Writing at University of Bridgeport. She earned her B.A. at Sarah Lawrence College, and her M.F.A. from University of Arkansas. Amy is the author of three chapbooks: Potato Eaters (Finishing Line Press, 2008), Nomad’s End (Finishing Line Press, 2010), and Lune de Miel (Finishing Line Press, 2012). She has also authored two poetry collections: Four Blue Eggs (Homebound Publications, 2014), and Reconnaissance (Homebound Publications, 2015). Dick Allen – former Poet Laureate of CT – referred to Reconnaissance as “a warm, rich, valuable and important collection. I most highly recommend it for … reading and rereading.”
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