Three poets address memory, love and loss

Readings peel away layers of everyday wonder

Posted 5/28/19

By Tempo staffIf it is true that there is magic in a shared voice, then Friday (May 31), at 7 p.m., there is an intriguing evening planned when Carol Moldaw of Santa Fe; Madelyn Garner of Denver, …

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Three poets address memory, love and loss

Readings peel away layers of everyday wonder

Posted

By Tempo staff

If it is true that there is magic in a shared voice, then Friday (May 31), at 7 p.m., there is an intriguing evening planned when Carol Moldaw of Santa Fe; Madelyn Garner of Denver, Colorado; and Kate Northrup of Laramie, Wyoming, come together to read poems about memory, love and loss from their powerful points of view.

In Moldaw's sixth book of poetry, "Beauty Refracted" (Four Way Books, 2018), her poems touch on "life, time and mind" as they "river and loop," according to a reviewer. In this book and in her other new poems, Moldaw mines memory and change. With precision and honesty, the poet describes the grief of losing one who was close to her and at the same time holding the love of the living close. She plumbs the world of everyday happenings, transforming them into wonder.

Poet Garner, when asked to describe her new work, "Hum of Our Blood" (3: A Taos Press, 2017), finalist for the Colorado Book Award and the Julie Suk Award for the best book published by an independent press, she chose four words: confessional, indictment, devotional and revelation.

These words best represent her poems as she peels back time to explore the beginning days of the AIDS pandemic though the eyes of a mother, caretaker and activist. In the loss of her well-known artist and photographer son, Bradley, she uses vivid language to explore the best and worst of humanity in times of plague, "In the end, he sets the shutter speed on infinity/Let death come."

She also emphasizes that this particular period of time also offered moments of people performing heroic work. Garner writes of acts of compassion and love, "Your love conquers even the vultures/perched on the dresser in the corner of the room."

Poet Northrup, living in the West, explores the significance of landscape, externally and internally, especially through the theme of boundaries. Indeed, in her newest book, "cuntstruck" (C and R Press. 2017), things at the edge are the crux of her poetic interests: "the circle of foam around a storm drain," "the drive-in that now is only a field," "ghost decorations tied into trees" and "the neighbor's dog in the middle of the pond in the middle of the night." These intriguing images entice her reader to realize that the smallest moment can represent the universe.

The readings will be given at SOMOS, 108 Civic Plaza Drive. Admission is free. For more information, call (575) 758-0081.

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