Poet, teacher & critic
Hi Carrie,To anyone reading this blog, please don't miss the next Bath Spa Readings event if you live in the South West of England, even get a plane and fly over for this next event as it's sure to be a cracker of an event just like the one last month.Poets Deryn Rees Jones & Gabrielle Calvocoressi are the guest readers at the Bath Spa University Poetry Series at the venue:BATH ROYAL LITERARY & SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION(you will be able to see the room at street level through the well-lit window frontage)18 Queen Square, Bath, just off Quiet Street which is just off Milson Street, just a short direct walk from the bus and train stations.Deryn Rees-Jones: "Next Generation Poets"Poet Deryn Rees-Jones demonstrates the advantages of telling a story in verseGABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI's first collection of poems, The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, has received considerable acclaim. She was a Stegner Fellow and is now a Jones Lecturer at Stanford. Click here for a poemLifestyles article: Gabrielle CalvocoressiQUOTE:from Matthew Thorburn, whose first book Subject to Change was selected by Brenda Hillman for the New Issues Poetry Prize. His other honors include the Mississippi Review Prize and a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Matthew's website: www.mathewthorburn.com. He lives and works in New York City.He says about Gabrielle:"Gabrielle is a powerful reader, too -- emphatic in a way that really rachets up the emotions. Her crown of sonnets about an adult drive-in in Connecticut must be heard (or at least read) to be believed. It's great. And her book has, for my money, one of the most intriguing titles around: The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart."Mathew has since read with Gabrielle at the Quetzal Quill reading series.MICRO REVIEW:Joel Brouer's take on Gabrielle Calvocoressi's book:THE LAST TIME I SAW AMELIA EARHART: Poems. By Gabrielle Calvocoressi. (Persea, paper, $13.95.) Calvocoressi brings keen and sympathetic attention to the local disasters the larger world has often overlooked, from a 1944 circus fire to a small town poisoned by its factory to even less visible dramas of personal longing and loss. The political edge in a poem like ''The Death of Towns,'' which describes an industrial town of ''huddled and wheezing'' workers and a river so poisoned the fish ''wore their organs / on the outside,'' recalls the work of Muriel Rukeyser, but Eavan Boland is a more pervasive influence here; like her, Calvocoressi is more interested in archetypal history than in documentary particulars. In the book's long title poem, a succession of speakers project their own yearnings onto Earhart, gradually turning her into a metaphor for the American dream of escape. When a high school teacher who took her class to see Earhart fly says of one student, ''Camille's father lost an arm / to the canning factory. / She left us to take his place,'' the antecedent for ''she'' remains ambiguous. Just as the daughter left school for the cannery, Earhart left earth to provide us all with a dream of transcendence. Calvocoressi's ability to shape and control complex long poems is remarkable, but at times she keeps her subjects at arm's length. ''From the Adult Drive-In'' is the best of the four long poems that make up the bulk of this collection, largely because its narrator, an adolescent who watches the forbidden films from her hiding place in ''the darkening pines,'' doesn't just observe but implicates herself: ''What was it they wanted that I wanted too?''