Poets Sharon Doubiago and Crystal Williams read and talk with Barbara LaMorticela Monday, March 16 90.7 FM

Monday March 16, KBOO, 90.7 FM Portland. 10-11 PM Pacific Time

Poets Sharon Doubiago and Crystal Williams read and talk with Barbara LaMorticela.

Sharon has come to roost for now in San Francisco, but has made the whole west coast her home, for many years living and traveling alone in her van Psyche and writing about it: the life, the land, the people, and the deep and hidden roots of them all. Her work is unique, the creation of an American epic through the eyes and body of a woman. She has published two books of short stories and three books of poetry. She is the recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and has twice been nominated for the National Book Award. About her newest poetry collection, Marge Piercy wrote: “Sharon Doubiago's Love on the Streets, her selected and new poems, brings together evidence of her power that feels raw but is carefully honed, her rootedness in the American land and experience, her strong female voice. These are poems with real bite. They will move you if you let them.”

Crystal Williams grew up in Detroit, Michigan and in Madrid. A theater major in college, she dropped out and moved to New York to build a professional acting career. She became serious about poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, when she found slamming to be a satisfying synthesis between writing and performance, and in 1995 she was a member of the Nuyorican Slam Team. She went on to win degrees in literature at NYU and Cornell University. She is currently Associate Professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and divides her time between Portland and Chicago. Her third and newest collection of poems, Troubled Tongues, was chosen by Marilyn Nelson for the 2009 Long Madgett Poetry Award and was short-listed for the Idaho Prize. The poems in Troubled Tongues grapple with American complexities of race and identity, love, beauty and cruelty. About it Alice Fulton wrote “Her poems rage against assumptions that restrict human possibilities and sing the necessities of imaginative space. They admit alienation even as they insist on generosity. Troubled Tongues is a gritty amalgam of passsion and compassion, surprising in its moves, alive with home truths, hard won wisdom.”

Also this month:

Verse in Person at the Northwest branch of the Multnomah County Library, 23rd and NW Thurman, brings poets to read at the NW neighborhood library every fourth Wednesday from 7-8 PM. This month's reading will be on Wednesday, March 26, hosted by Mike Ferrell.

KBOO, 90.7 FM Portland
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-after Miki, the Scottish Terrier

Birds feather their own nests, & so yes, you are reminded it is
in our nature to be self-fulfilling. You bend to her because the
universe demands it: what is asked is needed. Let us say on
days when you walk into the office she is often on her dark
back in aisle's middle, furry appendages sretched obscenely
skyward, bare belly soft & sloping & open to wounding. She is
undeniable, a pull: rub, here, now, like this. There is something
about trust, here, some lesson to do with openness &
submission, the stubborn nature converted. There is something
exquisite about asking for love so nakedly, so patiently,
everyday. Miki: a teacher, every office day, walking through
the world a vessel, a glutton. Let us mute. Let us bend or
stretch but say, yes-- this is the way we can hope it to be. This
world, this rub. Yes, let us say.

from Troubled Tongues by Crystal Williams,
Lotus Press, Detroit, 2009

Memory Is Pictures Inside You

rivering through before language
the way Moonlight whimpered as he watched
the movie in his sleep. Something
is happening, his four legs are following
the story line. One part of the brain works
as a camera, taking pictures, another part
puts it together. Edits. Which part
is the soul? O Towere of Babel, whoever it
the Self? We can't remember
everything, we can't forget anything.

I can't remember the first time we made love.
You said you'd tell me everything you knew
about the woman who was having the affar
wth my husband, your wife. But I remember your bathtub,
how you would let me escape there
and how then, after soaking, I'd say come in.

from Love in the Streets by Sharon Doubiago,
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008

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