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Library Book Club

Friday, January 24th, 12:30 PM

Poetry Foundation
61 West Superior Street
Registration Required

All experience levels are welcome to a monthly book group moderated by library staff. Space is limited to 15 participants. Please register in advance by emailing library@poetryfoundation.org.

For this special session of the Library Book Club, Dorothea Lasky has selected Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey, for the following reasons:

"As Mary Ruefle begins Madness, Rack, and Honey (Wave Books, 2012), she "never set out to write this book," but began the writing it out of necessity as she had to give a series of lectures to poetry students in the mid-1990’s.  This necessity made a book in a long lineage of timeless collections of lectures by poets, like the famous Stein, Spicer or Stevens’ lectures, which seek out real conversations with real audiences. The book sets forth lectures from one of the great poets of our time, writing about a series of themes, most of them related closely to issues surrounding poetry and poetics, and many of them exploring Ruefle’s particular interests and obsessions. They all present Ruefle’s sharp thinking in her hallmark, clear prose and are a delight to read, ponder, and discuss. As Ruefle writes in her “Short Lecture on Poetry by Van Morrison,” when considering poetry, “It’s quite simple: all you have to do is rave. Rave on. Pass dead bodies over your head; you are, after all, in the pit of life.” We will all enjoy being in the pit of life in our book club, raving about who, what, and where this collection takes us."

Lasky will join us for a Library Book Club conversation about Ruefle's collection of lectures on January 24. Lasky's own lecture, “What Is Color in Poetry or Is It the Wild Wind in the Space of the Word?”, is free and open to the public on January 23.

Dorothea Lasky, a poet known for her colloquial style and dramatic readings, is the inaugural Bagley Wright Lecturer on Poetry, the co-editor of Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry, the author of three poetry collections, including Thunderbird (2012), and an assistant professor at Columbia University.


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