A busy night of poetry, again, in Albany, but sacrifices have to be made & I opted for this reading at the Social Justice Center since Lori Anderson Moseman was one of the readers. Lori had been one of the regulars back in the early days of the Albany poetry scene & I always enjoyed her work (& her presence). In fact, in few days earlier I had found in my files an article from Metroland from 1992 in which she had been interviewed, with her picture on the cover. But first, the other writers on the program.
James Belflower, who was tag-teaming host duties with Matthew Klane, introduced Julianna Spallholz to read her “short & very-short fiction.” She read a couple pieces from her debut collection The State of Kansas (GenPop Books). “The World” was short, then the longer piece, with a beginning, middle & end, the somewhat self-deprecating (but ultimately a love-poem of sorts), “The White Cat.”
NF (Nancy) Huth began with summer poems from her chapbook 3 Words (Serif of Nottingham Editions) “When Space Is,” “When Dot Wonder,” & “When Gathered Out,” playing with repetition, elaboration & different rhythms, such as short declarative statements, or falling into what she described as her “mother’s rhythm.” Then on to winter poems from Radiator (Laughing/Ouch/Cube, an imprint of Leafe Press), more experiments with words & all with one-word titles: “Bit,” “Grain” (& it’s play on words), “Dark” (a prose section), “Curb” & “Clank.”
Matthew Klane took over to introduce Lori Anderson Moseman, since his flim forum press published her most recent book All Steel. So recent, that is, that when I bought a coy before the reading Matthew said I had bought the first copy! Her reading gave only a glimmer, of course, of the complexity of her textual experimentation, with layout, typography, even footnotes & 4 pages of end-notes. Each piece is titled as a diptych, for example, “Hoof Pick/Revelations” or “Labor Day Weekend/Communion,” & often the pieces are laid out in 2 (or more) columns, as in “Spurs/Porn.” There is frequent use of repeating lines or phrases, usually notated as symbols, such as “]”. But listening to Lori read the poems what is evident is the vivid images drawn from real-life/real-work, something that has been in her poetry since I first heard it in the early 1990 & read her chapbook, Walking the Dead (Heaven Bone Press, 1991). She experiments with words, but the images are about things, not heady, academic abstractions. She ended her reading with an improvised performance of her piece “Ongoing/Gong” with Deborah Poe.
In addition to these words there were projected images of the photography of Kim Dunham. You can track her work down at http://kimberlydunham.blogspot.com/ However, the photography was not the only multi-media aspect to the night, there was also a keg of homemade Pantoum Porter which in itself made a great party.
Watch for upcoming readings in this ongoing, sporadic series at the Social Justice Center.