Morri Creech and Joseph Harrison present new poetry collections
Wednesday 5/6, 7 pm ***This event has been postponed. A new date will be posted soon.***
Morri Creech’s eagerly awaited fourth collection of poems, Blue Rooms, explores the uncertain terrain between conscious perception and the objective world. It includes powerful lyric sequences that examine Magritte’s surreal investigations of the elusive self, Cézanne’s attempts to limn the dynamic nature of reality, and Goya’s unflinching depictions of cosmic and historical horrors—all of this while balancing rich language with the exacting formal control we have come to expect from this poet, whose last collection was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
In his sixth book of poems, Joseph Harrison further refines his already agile art. His characteristic metrical and syntactic ingenuity are on display here again, as is the surprising capacity of his figurative imagination. Poems in a variety of forms, some elaborate and nonce, display a range of mood, mode, and matter: there are political poems, ekphrastic poems, poems on the metaphoric implications of scientific terms. At the heart of the book, though, is an astonishing advance in Harrison’s explorations of intertextuality: these poems risk a kind of poetic shamanism, a lyric ventriloquism that channels the voices of precursors American and English. The uncannily resonant music that results is both his and theirs, contemporary and traditional, idiosyncratic and familiar. Joseph Harrison has written a book that challenges our notions of poetic identity, a book where the present and the past sing to each other, and to the future.
Morri Creech is the author of four collections of poetry, Paper Cathedrals (Kent State U P, 2001), which received the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize; Field Knowledge (Waywiser, 2006), which received the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and was nominated for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Poet’s Prize; The Sleep of Reason (Waywiser, March 2013), a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize; and Blue Rooms (Waywiser, October 2018). A recipient of NEA and Ruth Lilly Fellowships, as well as grants from the North Carolina and Louisana Arts councils, he is the Writer in Residence at Queens University of Charlotte, where he teaches courses in both the undergraduate creative writing program and in the low residency M.F.A. program. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with the novelist Sarah Creech and their two children.
Joseph Harrison was born in Richmond, Virginia, grew up in Virginia and Alabama, and took degrees at Yale and Johns Hopkins. He is the author of five previous books of poetry, including Someone Else’s Name (2003), Identity Theft (2008), and Shakespeare’s Horse (2015). Someone Else’s Name was named one of five poetry books of the year by The Washington Post and was a finalist for the Poets’ Prize; Shakespeare’s Horse was also a finalist for the Poets’ Prize. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other honors. Mr. Harrison has directed the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize since its inception in 2006. He edited The Hecht Prize Anthology (2010) and, with Damiano Abeni, Un mondo che non può essere migliore (2008), a selection from the poetry of John Ashbery that won a Special Prize from the Premio Napoli. He lives in Baltimore, where he teaches privately and works as an editor.