Canyons

The final Yes! of the season is this Saturday, December 3 at 7pm with visiting poets Joe Hall and Cheryl Quimba, translator Carl Skoggard and friends reading Walter Benjamin sonnets, work from the co-curators’ (Matthew Klane and James Belflower) multimedia collaboration Canyons, and the books of Publication Studio.

This events will be take place at the Opalka Gallery, 140 New Scotland Avenue, Albany. There is a $5 suggested donation.

Joe Hall is a teacher, poet, and critic pursuing a PhD in Literature at SUNY Buffalo. He is researching waste, property, and commons in trans-Atlantic Restoration literature. His secondary research interest is Palestinian literature. He is the author of The Devotional Poems and Pigafetta Is My Wife (Black Ocean 2013 & 2010). With Chad Hardy, he co-authored The Container Store Vols I & II (SpringGun 2012). With Cheryl Quimba, he co-authored May I Softly Walk (Poetry Crush 2014). An article on figures of water and waste in Palestinian literature is forthcoming in The Journal of Post Colonial Studies. His book reviews appear in The Colorado Review.

Cheryl Quimba received an MFA in poetry from Purdue University. Her poems have appeared in Dusie, Phoebe, Tinfish, Everyday Genius, 1913, and Horseless Review. She is the author of the poetry collection Nobody Dancing (Publishing Genius) and the chapbook Scattered Trees Grow in Some Tundra (Sunnyoutside Press). With Joe Hall, she co-authored the digital chapbook May I Softly Walk: The Santa Fe Journals (Poetry Crush). Cheryl is the literary editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and she works for Prometheus Books in Amherst, NY.

Carl Skoggard was trained as a musicologist and for many years served as an editor for the music bibliography Repértoire International de la Littérature Musicale, New York, where he was responsible for German materials. More recently he was also the staff writer for Nest: A Quarterly of Interiors, an award-winning magazine created by his partner Joseph Holtzman. Over the last decade Skoggard has prepared translations with extensive commentary for the three major autobiographically-oriented writings of the German-Jewish philosopher and cultural theorist Walter Benjamin. His bilingual edition of Benjamin’s Sonnets has made this little-known but important body of poetry available to readers of English for the first time. Skoggard’s latest project, just completed, is a translation of Siegfried Kracauer’s Weimar novel Georg. This is a brilliantly cinematic, darkly comic evocation of that troubled era. Skoggard lives in Valatie, New York, with Holtzman and assorted animals.

On Canyons: Gorgeously wrought collages and visual poems; textured, and hortatory lyrics; visionary letters to nineteenth-century geologist and explorer John Wesley Powell—these are just some of the linguistic and pictorial strata that make up Canyons. Belfower and Klane have collaborated here to make an important genre-bending contribution to contemporary literature: This is a stunning work of geoaesthetics and a potent meditation on the history of the American west. —Michael Leong