Finishing Line Press Poetry Readings: a National Poetry Month Celebration
Finishing Line Press Poetry Readings
A National Poetry Month Celebration
Join us as an assortment of local poets who have all published books with Finishing Line Press will read selections from their work. They will also be available to talk about the writing and publishing process and answer questions from the audience.
About the poets:
Michele Herman is the author of Just Another Jack: The Private Lives of Nursery Rhymes.
In Just Another Jack Michele Herman slyly enters the territory of seemingly simple nursery rhymes and, with robust and gorgeous language, reimagines a complex and highly nuanced world. As in the transformations by Sexton and Broumas, Herman’s persona poems imagine the deeper losses, hungers, desires and desperations of characters like the lean-eating Jack Sprat and his fat-loving wife or a child of the old lady who lived in the shoe. The resilient voices that rise from these poems are startling; akin to a sudden reveal of the hidden lives and tragedies of close neighbors you thought you’d known.–Victoria Redel
Shifra Shaman Sky is the author of Touching the Nooksack.
The poems in this collection are both comforting and exacting – polished as pebbles of beach glass or bracing as a cup of tea brewed from Dragon Eyes and other Chinese herbs. Shaman Sky’s work is an exploration of mood tempered by the sheer joy of poetic form. She reminds us of what only poetry can do – its unique dance of word, idea, and sound. Whether accepting an “Invitation via Fortune Cookie” or preparing for “Lent in the Time of COVID” these poems operate through the technology of grace. It’s a beautiful book – playful in its style – but with so much heart and depth.
–Elaine Equi, author of The Intangibles (Coffee House Press)
Moriah Cohen is the author of Impossible Bottle.
Moriah Cohen’s poems in this collection, Impossible Bottle, come together in this grand and cool intersection between the blood-pumping heart and the dendrite smashing brain. They live in that space and in this domain, they constantly surprise. These poems are physically and mystically driven. When an ephemeral state and a solid body collide we get lines like, “At the far end of a dream, I slice a part down the center of my hair, sink a guthook into a lamb’s sternum.” That word ‘guthook’ is emblematic of all the sweet sharpness in this collection. They remind me of the big band music of Charles Mingus. In particular his tune, “Boogie Stop Shuffle.” Her poems do all three—they boogie, and they stop, and they shuffle. There is a music in this collection, Impossible Bottle, that is raw and dirty and tender and sweet. The title tells you immediately. Say it out loud. Sing it. Impossible Bottle. There is nothing out of reach here. Everything is possible.–Matthew Lippman
Luba Ostashevsky is the author of Where Things Start.
The title of this beautiful collection is so apt: in these poems, we indeed experience “the pleasure of not knowing what comes next”, which is one of the great pleasures poetry can give. In other words, we are constantly surprised by where these poems go: they will move from beautiful and close observation of the natural world; to a childhood memory of Soviet Russia; to meditations on scientific phenomena; to the experience of love, sexuality, parenthood, and day to day life in the city. This is Ostashevsky’s world: rich, delightful, analytical, deeply felt. The poet brings the entirety of her self into her work, the entirety of a life being lived. She transforms its complexities into surprising pleasures. Her implicit questions to us: should a poem be any less mysterious than life itself? Isn’t there great pleasure to be had in not knowing what comes next? –Geoffrey Nutter, author of Cities of Dawn
Kimberly Farrar is the author of The Brief Clear.
Whether she is memorializing a misunderstood planet, imagining a propulsive jig with a 5,000 year old statue or lovingly describing the urban landscape, “the giant necklace of red taillights,” from her cab window, Farrar’s journey of the familiar and the unfamiliar is alive with her conversational tone and provocative imagination. At once tender and feisty, the poems in The Brief Clear transcend their own circumstances of loss and love, inviting us to see our own with both pathos and humor. Don’t miss this beautiful ride.
— Kathleen Kraft