February 26, 2006

Alan Halsey, Geraldine Monk & Martin Corless-Smith

Sunday, February 26th
7:30 pm

New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny Street

$5 suggested donation

Alan Halsey and Geraldine Monk launched the Spare Room series with a terrific reading to a packed house in March of 2002. We're thrilled to welcome them back, with their friend and collaborator Martin Corless-Smith. Don't wait another four years to hear them!

Alan Halsey, poet, visual artist, publisher, and bookseller, was born in London in 1949. He ran the legendary Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, Hereford, from 1979 to 1996. In 1994 he founded West House Books, dedicated to publishing contemporary poetry, which he and Geraldine Monk run from Sheffield. Among his many books, a few recent titles include: Marginalien, The Text of Shelley's Death, Wittgenstein's Devil, Dante's Barber Shop (text and graphics), Days of '49 (with Gavin Selerie), Fit to Print (with Karen Mac Cormack), and Memory Screens (interactive CD documenting an "impossible book"); for more information on these and other titles, see www.westhousebooks.co.uk.

Geraldine Monk was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, in the north of England. Noctivagations, her 2001 collection of poetry and other texts, was described as "wild, erotic and deeply strange. A poetry that reveals the unspeakable weirdness of the everyday." It has also been written that she "writes with a sense of fury that is almost drowned out by laughter." With composer Martin Archer she has brought out two CDs, Angel High Wires and Fluvium; they are currently working on their third. Her recent books include Selected Poems (Salt, 2003) and Escafeld Hangings (West House Books, 2005).

Martin Corless-Smith was born and raised in Worcestershire, England. His books include Swallows (forthcoming in March from Fence Books), Nota (Fence Books), Complete Travels (West House Books), and Of Piscator (University of Georgia). He teaches literature and creative writing at Boise State University.

Mercurialis the Younger, frag. LXVII

you'll find Mercurialis' house at the edge
of the city—protected by two stone dogs
either side of his front door—
everybody knows he's found his true lover
and they've planted their garden on a ledge
above the road with aconite, borage,
clematis and hellebore—
say they prefer to manage
a modest estate with a bog
they call a pond and a symposium of frogs

—Alan Halsey

Heat that Feb ice. Spell melt.
T'wild frozen waters in that
ittered sky pelt downd
sunless pitch
jagged—it pricks the
soft cheeky brains. Afeard minds.

—Geraldine Monk

Tumultuous versions
Quite put out
Really popular version
Of this quit spirit
You'd not even recognize
The face of God or Love
If she peeked through the hedge
Offering herself
Anima climax
Mismanaged outfit
No legs in those trousers
Get home stay there

—Martin Corless-Smith