Poetry Event Review

Anne Gorrick and J. J. Blickstein at R&F Handmade Paints, Kingston, Feb. 17, 2007

[From Bob Wright]

Anne Gorrick is the host of a relatively new poetry series at R&F Handmade Paints, a large, older building at 84 Ten Broeck Avenue in Kingston, just off Albany Avenue near Broadway, where they manufacture what seem to me to be wonderful encaustic paints and pigment sticks (go to http://www.rfpaints.com/ for more details). I managed to get there pretty much on time for the 2 o’clock readings by Gorrick herself and J. J. Blickstein, the poet and well-thought-of publisher of Hunger magazine, now defunct. Gorrick often writes experimental poetry, and today, for example, she read three “erasure” poems, where the writer takes a piece of text and erases parts of it to come up with a poem, as well as a poem she derived by translating a piece of text (from The Pillow Book, the famous Japanese classic) back and forth between English and several other languages, arriving ultimately at an English text that she crafted as the final version. She also read what she called a “quarter” cento, where “cento” (meaning “patchwork” in Latin) is a text created by excising lines from the works of other literary works (in this case some of her favorite women writers). All in all, I thought she managed to write some quite interesting poems using these techniques. Blickstein read from his newly published book barefoot on a drawing of the sun, in which several of those poems are deconstructions of certain painters’ works that he has taken to several poetic levels. He read, for example, poems for Edward Hopper, Max Beckman, and Frida Kahlo, each of them quite powerful. A good two hours, spent in an attractive space with several interesting people. I plan to go back. Go to http://www.cadmiumtextseries.blogspot.com/ for more information about the series, the people, and future events.