Just past dusk I passed Christiansburg, cluster of lights sharpening as the violet backdrop of the Blue Ridge darkened. Not stars but blue-black mountains rose before me, rose like sleep after hours of driving, hundreds of miles blurred behind me. My eyelids were so heavy but I could see far ahead a summer
In 1963, Virginia established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Henry Hart, who was appointed to a two-year term in 2018. Hart is the author of several books of poetry and criticism, including Background Radition (Salt, 2007).
In 2016, Katherine E. Young was named poet laureate of Arlington County, Virginia. Young will serve a two-year term.
Apr 19 2019
Join us for the next installment of the Charlottesville Reading Series, featuring Valencia Robin, who will be reading poetry, and Debra Nystrom, who will be reading prose. Refreshments will be provided. This event will be free and open to the public.
Valencia Robin is the winner of Persea Books’ 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry; her collection, Ridiculous Light, will be published in April 2019. A visual artist as well as poet, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, The St. Petersburg Review, Black Renaissance Noire, Foundry, Kweli, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and the 2014 winner of the Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry Competition. She holds an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia.
Debra Nystrom teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her books include A Quarter Turn, Torn Sky, Bad River Road, and most recently Night Sky Frequencies: New and Selected Poems. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, Slate, The American Poetry Review, VQR, Harvard Review, Narrative, Conjunctions, and Yale Review, and have received awards from The Virginia Quarterly Review, Five Points, Shenandoah, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, and The Library of Virginia. She is currently at work on a memoir.
404 E Main St22901 Charlottesville, Virginia
Mar 07 2019
Please join us for a reading in French and English with poet Alexander Dickow, who will read from his new book, Appetites. A signing will follow. This event is cosponsored by Alliance Française Charlottesville and will be free and open to the public.
In François Rabelais’s Quart Livre, the giant Pantagruel descends to an island ruled by Master Gaster: the gut, gaster. Pantagruel remarks that our appetites include not only our instincts, but also our virtues. Appetites follows that arc from devour to divine, from impulse to aspiration.
Between high and low lurks everything else: maps of the imaginary, antiquated wallpaper, galaxies, piles of dry leaves. As if speaking of food, or love, or God, were not already a way to speak of everything else; such subjects have something of the smokescreen.
Appetites reclaims language as errancy beyond usage and convention. Desire demands a disobedient language, broken open, prone to misfiring. Our passions are violent, but also misleading: at once slippery and self-evident. Like language, desire thrives in the confusion of plenitude and privation. Polarities like these—loud and soft, absent and present, too much and too little—lend order to Appetites.
Appetites is published in English, though the author has translated many of the poems into French as well.
Alexander Dickow was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1979, and grew up in Moscow, Idaho. He now teaches French culture, language, and literature as an associate professor at Virginia Tech. As a poet, Dickow has published works in French and English: Appetites (MadHat Press, 2018), Caramboles (Argol Editions, 2008), Trial Balloons (Corrupt Press, 2012), and Rhapsodie curieuse (Louise Bottu, 2017). As a scholar, Dickow focuses especially on literature of the Belle Epoque and World War I on the one hand, and on contemporary literature on the other; he has published many articles in French and English, along with two scholarly works: Le Poète innombrable: Blaise Cendrars, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob (Hermann, 2015), and Jacob et le cinéma(Nouvelles Editions Jean-Michel Place, 2017). Translations from French include works by Gustave Roud (Air of Solitude followed by Requiem, Seagull Books, forthcoming), Henri Droguet (Clatters, Rain Taxi/Ohm Press, 2015), and Sylvie Kandé (PEN/Heim Translation fund grant project, 2018). Dickow maintains a professional website at alexdickow.net.
404 E Main St22902 Charlottesville, Virginia
recent & featured listings
|Festival||Fall for the Book Festival||Virginia|
|Festival||Virginia Festival of the Book||Virginia|
|Festival||The Annual Literary Festival at Old Dominion University||Virginia|
|Reading Series||Virginia Commonwealth University's Visiting Writer Series||Virginia|
|Reading Series||University of Richmond Writers Series||Virginia|
|Colony||Virginia Center for the Creative Arts||Virginia|
|Writing Program||George Mason University||Virginia|
|Writing Program||Hollins College||Virginia|
|Writing Program||The University of Virginia||Virginia|
|Writing Program||Virginia Commonwealth University||Virginia|
America, Every explorer names his island Formosa, beautiful.
For being first, he alone, Walker Percy tells us, has access to it
and can see it for what it is. And doesn’tevery child call
its imagined pony by its secret name? A word to summon a large
I’m older than my father when he turned bright gold and left his body with its used-up liver in the Faulkner Hospital, Jamaica Plain. I don’t believe in the afterlife, don’t know where he is now his flesh has finished rotting from his long bones in the Jewish Cemetery—he could be the only convert under