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Poetry Foundation Hosts A Heavyweight Graywolf Press' 40th Anniversary Reading

By Carrie McGath in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 18, 2014 3:35PM

Photos of Claudia Rankine, Matthea Harvey, and Katie Ford via The Poetry Foundation's website

The Poetry Foundation will be hosting Claudia Rankine, Matthea Harvey, and Katie Ford reading from their works to celebrate Graywolf Press' 40th Anniversary.

Claudia Rankine has won numerous awards for her poetry including the Poetry Foundation's 2014 Bess Hokin Prize for an excerpt from her forthcoming book, Citizen. Her poems deliver a palpable power with a keen attention to line and form. Her subjects flow between musings of the banal as in "There is a button on the remote control called FAV ..." to the naturalistic and deeply emotive and often-confessional poems like the ones in her 1994 book, Nothing in Nature Is Private.

The uniqueness of Matthea Harvey's poetry is ethereal, the juicy origins of her poems coming from her acute alertness to the world surrounding her. She goes a step beyond experimentation, her poems acting like new inventions of meaning, language, action, and perception as in "Implications for Modern Life." Her book If the Tabloids Are True Who Are You, collection where artwork and poems occupy a shared space, was released last month. The poem, "Teletrofono," from this new collection was originally written for a soundpiece for "stillspotting nyc: staten island," a Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum project.

Poet Katie Ford's work feels classical while having a solid footing in modern life. Her forthcoming collection Blood Lyrics is a somber and lyrical foray into a mother's emotional space amid a world of compounding war and harsh daily dangers. Her 2008 collection, Colosseum, is also preoccupied with dangers and violence, themes that are softened in her enviable lyrical ability. She works language as one would a loom or a musical instrument, where rhythm and a resulting beauty comes of a compulsive action to create.

This promises to be an evening of diverse and wholly riveting work by three intense and significant contemporary poets.

This free event is on Thursday, Sept. 18 at the Poetry Foundation, 61 W. Superior St., 7 p.m., with a reception and book signing to follow.