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Monday, May 4, 2009

The Poetry Buzz

Posted by Matthew Vollono on Mon, May 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Three cheers to The Portland Review for sponsoring a poetry reading at a local venue with booze, instead of the usual bookstore or library, where there isn't any booze, and people tend to get sleepy. Tonight, in the interest of something completely different, three young poets of international renown, Valzhyna Mort, Brian Turner, and Matthew Dickman, will read onstage at The Someday Lounge, and you should really go.

According to the press release:

“There will be no formal Q&A to kill the poetry buzz and no organized booksigning. Someday Lounge is as far from the quiet bookstore or library reading as one can get and the audience is encouraged to respond and participate in the experience. Buying books and getting them signed is encouraged, though it may require buying a drink for the poet.”

Here is a video of Iraq veteran Brian Turner, whom I would gladly buy a drink, reading from his magnificent collection, Here, Bullet:


Details and bios after the jump:

video via Ed Herter for fishhousepoems.org

Monday, May 4, Portland Review, The International Journal of Art and Literature (est. 1956) presents three heavy-hitting emergent poets at Someday Lounge (125 NW 5th. 7pm. 21+. $5 General. Free to students w/ID).

Biographical info:

Valzhyna Mort: There is an urgency and vitality to her poems; the narrative moves within universal themes—lust, loneliness, the strangeness of god, and familial love—while many poems question what language is and challenge the authority that delegates who has the right to speak and how. The New Yorker writes, “Mort strives to be an envoy for her native country, writing with almost alarming vociferousness about the struggle to establish a clear identity for Belarus and its language.”

Brian Turner is a soldier-poet whose debut book of poems, Here, Bullet, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor's Choice” selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others. Turner served seven years in the US Army, to include one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

Matthew Dickman: A remarkable young writer, Matthew Dickman won the APR/Honnickman First Book Prize for All-American Poem (2008), chosen by Tony Hoagland and published by Copper Canyon Press. A book of great hopefulness, gratitude, and praise, it plumbs the ecstatic nature of daily life, where pop culture and sacred longing go hand in hand.

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