Events featuring David Hernandez, Camille Dungy, Erika Meitner, Geffrey Davis, Keetje Kuipers, Leila Chatti, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Sierra Nelson, Supritha Rajan, Troy Jollimore, Sierra Nelson, Kary Wayson, Wendy Willis, David Biespiel, Heather Altfeld, Laura Read, Zach Savich, and more
By Elizabeth Cooperman and Matthew Kelsey On July 10, 2014, Patricia Lockwood read at Seattle’s Elliot Bay Book Company from her most recent book of poems, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals. The room–a book-lined basement annex with a small raised stage and podium–was full. Over the next few months, editors Elizabeth Cooperman and Matthew Kelsey exchanged a series of emails, sharing their thoughts about the event. This conversation results from that exchange. 1: Meme-Numbed MK: First impressions first: that reading was absolutely feral. The energy that Lockwood exuded seemed barely containable by the typical reading format. This was apparent from the get-go, when the woman introducing Tricia struggled to stay composed or even objective. She was effusive, probably to a fault. But between that anterior energy and the tone of Lockwood’s poems (and that voice!—those are hard poems to read aloud, I think, and she did herself a service), it’s hard to believe we were all seated, quiet and well-mannered, in the basement of Elliott Bay Bookstore, no? I know we’ll have to discuss how Lockwood became …
While most of us can afford to align ourselves with the meek, going about our private lives, rarely—if ever—making life and death decisions, the President does not enjoy those luxuries.
“Who can find a virtuous wife?” is the opening line of Proverbs 31:10 and begins an acrostic poem—each line starting with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, undoubtedly creating an easy way for the virtuous wife to recall that she must consider a field and buy it and plant a vineyard and strengthen her arms and clothe her household with scarlet. As for this poem, I wanted it to wonder about virtue, to occupy two minds, to scratch what itched, to listen for the birdcalls, inside and out. A virtuous wife does not eat the bread of idleness. (Wendy Willis)