reading series

October 29, 2004: Rusty Morrison and Mary Burger

Just two days after the Red Sox took the World Series crown, and a few days before the election -- what would prove to be the last hours of hope for those on the side of Goodness & Light -- Rusty Morrison sat in the poet's chair to read from new works. I enjoyed the supple music of the poems she read towards the beginning and end of the reading, although a series of new poems seemed a little more raw than the others -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but I liked the crafted feeling of the others better. Rusty just won the Colorado Prize for Poetry for her new book Whethering, and although she didn't read from that work, I look forward to seeing it come out in the next year or so.

Mary Burger closed out the reading with a wonderful long narrative about insomnia, funny and smart and very smoothly written, like one of those endless Coltrane riffs (or maybe Jackie McLean is a better analogy) that spins out endless variations. A pleasure to pair these two, as the mix of reading styles and audience was a perfect fit for a splendid fall evening. As Mary is from Boston, I asked my good friend Johnny Damon to come out and thank her for her fine reading.

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