Monday, November 12, 2018

Poet Laureate Ron Koertge reading (Nov. 13)

Vromans Bookstore of Pasadena; Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
South Pasadena Poet Laureate Ron Koertge's Yellow Moving Van is a collection of relaxed and buoyant and sometimes very funny poems that address Desi and Lucy with the same courtesy as Walt Whitman.

The author celebrates his roots in the Mid-West and a few pages later stops off in Transylvania. These poems like to sometimes embrace and sometimes confound expectations, and they all stand together as enemies of the murky and pompous. There is apparently no subject -- Prometheus, a fifty foot woman, or Death himself -- that is unwilling to fall under his spell (University of Pittsburgh Press). 

Sidebend World (Webb)
Charles Harper Webb is celebrated for his use of humor; yet, even his funniest poems rise, as the best humor must, from serious concerns. Powered by an uncompromising but compassionate intelligence and an abiding wonder at the beautiful strangeness of the world, Sidebend World explores with clarity and vividness a wide range of emotions -- love to hate, tenderness to brutality; yet, above all, Webb is a poet of praise.

Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a distinctive voice at once provocative and endearing, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order. These poems go down easy, but pack a wallop. As Robert Frost said poetry should do, Sidebend World "begins in delight and ends in wisdom" (University of Pittsburgh Press).

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