J. Allyn Rosser read her poetry here last night. She read over the squeaking chairs in the upstairs auditorium of the science building. Since the building is fairly new, one supposes the squeaks were included as part of the purchase price, perhaps to keep the students awake, perhaps to keep the professor awake.
She was a pleasure to host, magnanimous with her energy, and she engaged students here with openness and appreciation. We talked at length about poets we knew, poetry we liked, and, since I was only distantly familiar with her work, it was a pleasure both to get to know her poetry and her ideas about it. I liked her very much, in short. At the reading, her poems ranged from portentous and ambitious ("The World's Brain") to observant and witty and true ("Self Pith"). I only wish I hadn't been getting over a virus, since it limited my own energies for the visit. Several of us--Andrea, Kaleb, Andy, Joel, and Amy--went out to dinner and drinks after at the Cafe Bleu (2 for 1 vino), and Jill (as she prefers to be called; Allyn honors a poet for whom she was named who died to young) talked with us about poetry and music and admired Kaleb's new tattoo to cap off a delightful evening. I wish her safe journeys as she makes a pilgrimage to Savannah to visit the grave of Johnny Mercer.
Congratulations also to my dear friend Christopher Buckley (the poet, not the novelist) for his Guggenheim fellowship.
(Oh, and click Andrea's link to hear her band and her lovely voice, recently voted one of Myspace's top 25 band's by Rolling Stone.)