Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reading at Spring Southeastern Literary Magazine & Independent Press Festival

Nina Riggs and I are doing a reading at UNC-Greensboro's 3rd Annual Spring Southeastern Literary Magazine & Independent Press Festival. And we'd both like to see you there.

Here's the official announcement:

Finishing Line Press, in conjunction with The Greensboro Review and PoetryGSO, will host a poetry reading by John Guzlowski and Nina Riggs on Friday, April 24th at 11:30 AM in the Kirkland Room Room of the Elliott University Center. A part of the 3rd Annual Spring Southeastern Literary Magazine & Independent Press Festival, the event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.

You all know me, but you may not know Nina Riggs, so let me tell you something about her.

She's a fine poet and her work has appeared in a lot of good places: Southern Review, Antioch Review, and Threepenny. Her first chapbook, Lucky, Lucky, was published by Finishing Line Press this year. She currently teaches creative writing the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and makes her home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

And here's one of her poems. I think you'll like it:


It's dusk here on the bedroom floor
where I've been reading the newspaper --

genocide in Guatemala, a blizzard
in Boston, and the death penalty in Texas.

It's the time of day when people inside
think it's dark out, time to turn on a light,

but people outside find themselves
bathed in a lightly fading sky.

Lying back, the light too dim to read by,
I see the sticker glow-stars on the ceiling

are beginning to come out, at first
a milky way of pale yellow blur,

then, as the shadows shift around,
a newly shining universe above me.

How unfamiliar: shoe level.
I am almost lost

in the sudden dark of my room, wondering
how I could have idled here for so long,

noticing how the world disguises
itself in darkness, as if to remind us

of everything that we can't see.
The ceiling stars become constellations.

An arching cluster over my bed is Lazia,
the goddess of sleeping in. The fat star

above me becomes Jack, my muse
of doing nothing. This mythology

comes naturally as breath, the surrounding
world dissolving as it might for a sailor

alone on deck, his tenth night at sea,
the reach of the dark around him.


If you want to see more of her poems, you can find them at Poetry 99.