Daily Archives: April 3, 2008

Mad River, Boneshaker, Red Sugar

My favorite poet Jan Beatty just released her newest book Red Sugar last week, and I am so excited.  While the library’s copy of Red Sugar hasn’t hit our shelves yet, you can certainly tide yourself over with one of Beatty’s earlier collections of gritty, fierce Pittsburgh poetry.  Mad River (1995) includes the poem “My Father Teaches Me to Dream.” Boneshaker (2002) includes poems with titles like “After Therapy, I Dream of Keith Richards & the Failure of Language” and “The Waitress Angels Speak to Me in a Vision.”  Her poetry addresses topics like longing, class and sexuality through poems about waitressing, music, her steelworker father, or challenges of growing up female.  Poems in these collections witness a troubled veteran’s public outburst, recount a conversation between grocery store checkout girls and narrate an encounter with one of William Blake’s angels at a peepshow.  Whether the subject matter is difficult or the musings transcendent, the verse never strays far from exploring immediate, visceral experiences of the body.

If you enjoy these books, then mark your calendar to hear Jan Beatty read at the Main library for the Sunday Poetry & Reading Series, our free monthly reading series that occurs every third Sunday of the month from 2 to 3 pm.  It’s part of our Celebrate the Arts Sundays  program series, which showcases musicians, world artists, writers, films and visual artists every week.

Jan Beatty will read in the Sunday Poetry & Reading Series on October 19th with another terrific local writer and poet, Tess Barry.  Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when the date approaches.  Until then,  more academic, experimental and spoken-word Pittsburgh poets and writers will grace our microphone every month.  Come lend an ear! 

Sunday Poetry & Reading Series 

Sunday, April 20, 2008
Ed Steck and Brandon Som

Ed Steck is a human being and enjoys science fiction. He encourages the DIY ethics of printing one’s own writing.
Brandon Som works for a local bookseller and has taught writing at the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College, and NYU.

Sunday, May 18, 2008
Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes is the author of Hip Logic, Wind in a Box and Muscular Music and has been the recipient of many honors and awards. He teaches creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

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