Columbus: Phillis Levin on "Mr. Memory & Other Poems" with Connie Roberts
Join us on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm for a reading and talk with Phillis Levin on her new collection of poetry, Mr. Memory & Other Poems. She will be joined by Connie Roberts, author of Little Witness.
Synopsis: Phillis Levin's fifth collection of poems encompasses a wide array of styles and voices while staying true to a visionary impulse sparked as much by the smallest detail as the most sublime landscape. From expansive meditation to haiku, in ode and epistle, dream sequence and elegy, Levin's new poems explore motifs deeply social and historical, personal and metaphysical. Their various strategies deploy the sonic powers of lyric, the montage techniques of cinema, and the atavistic energies of the oral tradition. Throughout this volume, the singularity of person, place, and thing--and the plurality of our experience--assert their uncanny presence: an ash on a crackling log, a character from Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," a burgundy scarf, an x-ray of Bruegel's "Massacre of the Innocents," and a demitasse cup from Dresden are all woven into a collection by turns rhapsodic and ironic, caustic and incantatory. The pre-Socratic mathematician Zeno facing the riddle of an ordinary day; a cloudbank of silence; a pair of second-hand shoes bought for Anne Frank; two crows at play above the peak of a mountain; a dot flickering on the horizon: intimate and philosophical, these poems unveil the metamorphic properties of mind and nature.
Phillis Levin is the author of four previous books of poetry, including Mercury and May Day, and is the editor of The Penguin Book of the Sonnet. Her many honors include the Norma Farber First Book Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is a professor of English and poet-in-residence at Hofstra University.
Connie Roberts, a County Offaly native, emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1983. Her poetry has been published in journals in the U.S. and Europe. In 2010 she received the Patrick Kavanagh Award for her manuscript Not the Delft School, was awarded first prize in the Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Competition and was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series.