Ars Poetica hosts noted Oregon poets Reyes and Axelrod

Ars Poetica hosts noted Oregon poets Reyes & Axelrod

Contact: David Axelrod | Ars Poetica Lecture Series
541-962-3633 | daxelrod@eou.edu

Carlos Reyes, author of “Pomegranate: Sister of the Heart."

October 12, 2012
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) - The Ars Poetica Lecture Series kicks off its 2012-13 season with Oregon poets Carlos Reyes and David Axelrod, professor of English at EOU.

Reyes and Axelrod will read at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17 in the Reference Room at EOU’s Pierce Library.  The event is free and open to the public and a book signing will follow.

Reyes will share selections from his collection, “Pomegranate: Sister of the Heart,” and Axelrod will read from his sixth collection, “What’s Next, Old Knife?”

The authors are currently on tour and will be reading at multiple locations following their appearance at EOU next week.

Readings are planned at the Pendleton Center for the Arts on Thursday and at the Coffin House in Enterprise on Friday.

“Pomegranate, Sister of the Heart” is Reyes’ fifth full-length collection and explores subjects ranging from political anti-war sentiment to environmental concerns.

Carolyn Kizer has said, “Carlos Reyes’ poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things, and his ability to capture a mood, a world, in a handful of lines.”

David Axelrod, author of "What Next, Old Knife?"

Reyes is also a noted translator from Spanish. He has been the poet-in-residence of Joshua Tree National Park, and is currently the publisher and editor of Trask House Books. He has been awarded the Heinrich Boll Fellowship and the Ethel Fortner Award.

“What’s Next, Old Knife?” is the most recent of Axelrod’s poetry collections. With settings ranging from the Iraq War to medieval Girona, Spain, the collection explores individual and societal recovery from moral catastrophe.

Inspired by an extended stay in an apartment near an old Nazi army base, the collection is described by Axelrod as “a fantasy about immigration, economic marginalization, the ghosts of history, and the desperate effort to try to hold on to one’s identity in a world where one is identified as an ‘other.’”

Henry Hughes, author of “Moist Meridian,” praises the collection, saying, “David Axelrod’s work is deeply informed by history, religion, and culture, and never loses the music and magic of true poetry.”

Axelrod has taught English and creative writing at EOU since 1988 and has won the Spokane Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the 2006 Oregon Book Award. He and his wife Jodi Varon are co-directors of the new, low residency master of fine arts in creative writing program at EOU.

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