Thursday, April 5, 2007

Poetry , J. Allyn Rosser

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.)


Queen Whackamole said...

Sounds like the poetry's thriving in Valdosta--thanks for the intro to a new poet... "Self Pith" was well worth the link!

Marty said...

She was fun. If anyone out there's looking for someone with a lot of positive energy, she's got it. Plus she won the New Criterion prize and will have a book out in the fall. You would have loved her mother-pissed-off-they-only-see-me-as-a mother poem.