February 12, 2012

The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest

February 11-12
3-8 p.m. each day
in the kitchen at YU
800 SE 10th Ave., Portland
On Saturday and Sunday, February 11-12, YU and Spare Room will present a two-part marathon reading of The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest (Wesleyan, 2008). 
Barbara Guest (1920-2006) was a poet, art critic, novelist and biographer often associated with the New York School(s) in poetry and painting. Her work reflects a lifelong engagement with modernism in visual art and music as well as in literature, and is marked by a unique combination of audacious abstraction, vivid synesthesia and comic energy. Her posthumous Collected Poems brings together over twenty books published between 1960 and 2005. Readers from Portland's poetry community will read the book aloud from beginning to end over two afternoon sessions, each beginning at 3 p.m. and continuing till about 8, at YU's spacious kitchen table. Listeners are encouraged to come and go as they please, stopping by for a few pages or a few hours.
Saturday's readers are: David Weinberg, Rodney Koeneke, Jac Nelson, Morgan Ritter, Donald Dunbar, Emily Kendal Frey, Leo Daedalus, David Abel, Laura Feldman, Nim Wunnan, Gale Czerski, and James Yeary.

Sunday's readers are: Endi Bogue Hartigan, Sam Lohmann, Christopher Luna, Maryrose Larkin, Paul G. Maziar, John Hall, Susan Rankin, Michael Weaver, Sarah Bartlett, Allison Cobb, Chris Ashby, and Jen Coleman.

              understanding what it means
              to understand music
cloudless movement       beyond the neck's reach
an hypnotic lull in porcelain          water break          mimics
tonality       crunch of sand under waddling
               a small seizure               
               from monumentality
               does not come or go with understanding

Barbara Guest, from "Dissonance Royal Traveler"

Guest's language does not merely describe, it presents the reader with the means to see in an entirely new way. 
Erica Kaufman, Poetry Project Newsletter