Calliope’s February Meeting Features Poets James Arthur, Greg Hischak, and Margaret Young
Calliope—Poetry Readings at West Falmouth Library will feature James Arthur, Greg Hischak, and Margaret Young at its next meeting on Sunday, February 10, from 3 to 5 PM. Open Mike sign-up is at 2:45 PM. A $5 donation is suggested to fund the poets’ stipend.
James Arthur’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, and The American Poetry Review. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, and a residency at the Amy Clampitt House. He is currently a Hodder Fellow at the Lewis Center for the Arts in Princeton. His first book, “Charms Against Lightning,” is available through Copper Canyon Press.
"That feeling of becoming a new person in a different place, even if it's an illusion, is intoxicating to me, and always has been,” Arthur has written. “I love writing about places, but only places where I don't belong."
Arthur brings a strong sense of rhyme, rhythm, and meter to his poetry, but is not bound by it. He is more interested, he says, in expressing “disorder and the uncontainable. I create rhythmical patterns mainly for the sake of disrupting them.”
The title poem in “Charms Against Lightning” provides evidence of this driving force, rich with varied imagery. It begins:
“Against meningitis and poisoned milk,
flash floods and heartwreck, against daydreams.
Against losing your fingers, drinking detergent,
earthquakes, baldness, divorce, against
falling in love with a child.”
Gregory Hischak’s book, “Parts & Labour,” was published in 2012. It contains poetry, a play, and an interview the author. His poetry has been published in Atlantic Review, Bellingham Revue, Green Mountain Review, Mid-America Poetry Review, Third Coast, and other journals. He has toured and performed with spoken word troupes and has written several plays which had been performed by regional theaters across the country.
His play, “Center of Gravity” was the 2010 winner of the Clauder Prize for New England Playwrights, and he was a finalist and regional runner-up in the National Poetry Competition in 2012. Hischak co-hosts, with Christine Ernst, Salon of Shorts, a new monthly open mike for poets and musicians at Cotuit Center for the Arts.
Hischak’s poem, “The Imperfect Stone,” reflects on the fate of pieces of stone carved away from a block of marble to make a sculpture.
“What if you had been that last shard
a fixture till the end
the last sliver of Carrara
chiseled from the tip of that nose
that perfect nose
freed from its stone
by your absence”
Margaret Young grew up in Oberlin, Ohio and studied at Yale and University of California, Davis. She has worked as an artist in residence in Pennsylvania and Ohio, earned an Individual Artist Grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 2005, and published two poetry collections, “Willow from the Willow” (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2002) and “Almond Town” (Bright Hill Press, 2011). She teaches at Endicott College and lives in Beverly, Massachusetts.
A meticulous observer and engaging writer, Young reflects on community in “Penguin, Iceplex, South Point,” noting the “condo clusters, swellings of bad architecture,” that scar the land “where apples fell, cows grazed just five years back.”
That bucolic scene has been replaced with “a tableful of birthday party:/wish on fire from a square cake/flat and white as ice but blossoming/with bluegreen curls of sugared fat.”
A book-signing reception follows the poetry readings. Refreshments are provided.
The March poetry reading is Sunday, March 10, from 3 to 5 PM, and features poets Gary Duehr, Nicole Terez Dutton, and Margaret Phillips.
In addition to its monthly poetry readings, Calliope offers a series of Poetry Craft Workshops on Saturdays from 11 AM to 2 PM at West Falmouth Library. The next workshop is “Selecting the Euphonious and the Cacophonous: A Workshop on Sound,” led by Sheila Whitehouse. The final workshop in this series is March 23. Pre-registration is required.
West Falmouth Library is at 575 West Falmouth Highway in West Falmouth.
For more information on Calliope’s readings, workshops, and other events, visit www.calliopepoetryseries.com or contact Alice Kociemba, director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-566-1090.