Thursday 3/14, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (informal get-together next door at The Root Cellar, 6 p.m.)
Featured poet(s) will each read for approximately 20 minutes and, after a short break for the readers to sign books, there will be a poetry open mic. Please sign up to read no later than 6:45 p.m. Each open mic reader will be limited to no more than a page of poetry. There’s an informal get-together before the reading at 6 p.m. next door at Root Cellar. Hope to see you there!
Joan Barasovska grew up in Philadelphia and lives in a rural area of Orange County in North Carolina. She is an academic therapist in private practice. Joan co-hosts the Flyleaf Books Second Thursday Poetry Series at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. She serves on the Board of the North Carolina Poetry Society. Birthing Age, from Finishing Line Press (2018), is her first book of poetry.
Adrian Rice is from County Antrim, Northern Ireland. His first poetry sequence, Muck Island, a collaboration with leading Irish artist Ross Wilson, is housed in The Tate Gallery, and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His first full collection, The Mason’s Tongue, was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Literary Prize, and nominated for the Irish Times Prize for Poetry. His recent American publications, The Clock Flower and Hickory Station, have received critical acclaim. Adrian now lives with his family in Hickory, North Carolina. He is completing Doctoral studies at Appalachian State University, where he also teaches on the First Year Seminar program.
About Adrian Rice's latest book
The Strange Estate: New & Selected Poems 1986 - 2017 is a landmark collection from both sides of the Atlantic. From Adrian Rice's exploration of the creative constrictions and liberations of the northern Protestant tradition, to the musings of his American porch, Rice, in this startlingly rich and emotionally complex collection, fashions and recovers lores of place and belonging.
"Adrian Rice has a nice sense of what he is up to as a poet: I like and admire the way his district and his diction are so artfully tongue-in-cheek and hand-in-glove."
—Seamus Heaney, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature
“The Strange Estate is a rich cache of poetry, a rare word-horde if ever there was one. From the ‘breathless sounding/Of the worm’s earth-dark’ in Muck Island, through the finely-wrought music of The Moongate Sonnets, to a quiet voice, on “The Shadowed Path”, that makes the shadows real, Adrian Rice offers poetry that tunes the ear, and awakens mind and heart to share in his unflinching and compassionate attention to the weave of world and words in which we all live. You go back from these poems into your own life alert and alive to so much that you might otherwise have missed.”
—Malcolm Guite, author of Mariner: A voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Joan Barasovska's latest book
"In Birthing Age, Joan Barasovska writes from the hard-won perspective expressed in the last poem of the collection, “Birthing Age”: “I grow pregnant / in ripe years / ready for release.” The book examines the intimate connections between how we experience life and the wisdom we attain: “a woman walks / spinning a line of sight / jarred by her pace” (“Pine Street”). The “jarrings” of experience change what we see and know in ways we cannot control or predict. As the poet writes, “what I did right / was what I did wrong” (“What I Did Wrong”). The poet’s quest for a fully realized life is mediated by her understanding of others’ difficult lives—a shtetl dweller leaving for America, Robert Johnson at the crossroads, and a homeless woman blindly crossing a dark road in the glare of oncoming headlights. These poems teach us that achieving wisdom requires the bravery to be "all wrong / walking the world / like a flayed thing" (“Neat Trick")."
—J.S. Absher, author of Mouth Work, winner of the Lena M. Shull Book Contest
"The poems in Joan Barasovska’s Birthing Age tell the story of a woman from childhood to late age simply and beautifully—from the summer innocence and trust she knew as a child through a bleak emotional winter, and finally to the warmer seasons of her own “reawakened life” (“Summer’s Start”). Birthing Age is not simply about a woman’s coming to terms with the aging process, as the title might imply, but more profoundly, about bringing herself to full birth as she grows beyond expected female roles. The story of a hero’s journey into the underworld and his triumphant return is a familiar one. The story bears telling and retelling, particularly from a woman’s perspective, and in fresh voice and original idiom such as we find here. Most of us need to be reassured that we can realize the self we are capable of becoming. I admire Barasovska’s unflinching honesty; her lean poetic line, rich with monosyllables and earthy Saxon words; her extraordinarily apt and memorable images like “the shtetl of my heart” and “the village of my marriage” (“Divorce”). Brava, Joan Barasovska. These poems matter."
—Becky Gould Gibson, author of Heading Home and The Xanthippe Fragments