I got down to the Albany Center Gallery a little late, missed the early readers from the last issue of Fence, but caught the 2 features. The program was a joint effort with Yes! & with Fence Books, housed at the NYS Writers Institute at the University at Albany, Rebecca Wolff, Editor (who was in attendance).
Laura Sims read from her book My God Is This A Man (Fence Books, 2014) which she described as drawing from the language of murders, from such well-known serial killers as Ed Geins & Albert DeSlavo, as well as other more obscure figures. Listening to the words, without access to the printed text, the language was sometimes short, fragmentary, with other times longer pieces built up of repetition & accumulated fragments, with the poet turning lots of pages. Speaking of pages, the printed text is a poster child for the paper mills, with spare lines on largely empty pages. At the end she threw in some touching thoughts about her epistolary relationship with the novelist David Markson & read one excerpt from Fare Foreward: Letters from David Markson (PowerHouse Books).
Lee Ann Brown began with an extended reading from her 2013 Fence Book In the Laurels, Caught. She said it was based on the talk & culture of the Appalachian region of North Carolina, citing the poet Jonathan Williams as an elder, many in tiny poems, like notebook entries of found language, observations & anecdotes. She also read from her phone from an exercise/prompt writing about 2 words placed side-by-side, then finished with a piece, “like a mis-translation” she said, of Shakespeare’s sonnet #117.
This series is co-ordinated, hosted by, etc. James Belflower & Matthew Klane, & is held sporadically at the Albany Center Gallery, 39 Columbia Street, Albany, NY. The best way to find out about Yes! is through FaceBook.
This post originally appeared on Dan Wilcox’s blog on September 3, 2014.