In partnership with Villanova University’s English department, Falvey Memorial Library will host its annual Open Mic Poetry Reading. The reading also serves as the launch party for this year’s issue of Arthology, one of the University’s student-produced art and literary magazine.
The open mic event will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2011, in the library first floor lounge.
In addition to Arthology contributors, the reading will feature contestants for the Senior Class Poet award, given by the English department every spring. Students, faculty, administrators and staff are encouraged to arrive promptly to sign up for a spot on the reading list or just to get a good seat for listening to the readings.
The reading, which is free and open to the public, is timed to coincide with National Poetry Month, celebrated across the country every April. Light refreshments will be served, and copies of Arthology will be available.
Seniors entrants for the Senior Class Poet award have poems on view in the Library. Look for the posters on the first floor.
A display of Irish poetry with a Villanova connection is also available there for you to check out.
And, to get our readers in the poetry mood, here is a poem by Eleanor Wilner, who spoke at Villanova on March 24, 2011, as part of the Literary Festival. The title is a term meaning “The Art of Poetry,” and was first coined by Horace in a treatise on poetics published around 18 BCE.
“Ars Poetica” by Eleanor Wilner
They wanted from us
loud despairs, ear-
splitting syntactical tricks, our guts
hung up to the light, privacy
dusted off and displayed, in ways
elliptical and clever, or
in a froth of spleen—details
of the damages, musings on divorce,
ashtrays from motels: films shot
on location, life made almost real
by its private dislocations. This
they said, was the true
grit, the way it is, no lies, the heart
laid open as a pancake griddle to the awful
heat of rage, rage and desire, coiled beneath
and glowing, until even a drop of sweat
or ink, let fall in its vicinity,
would sizzle. And over all, the big I
swollen like a jellyfish, quivering
and venomous. These things were
our imperative: the poet
in his stained T-shirt, all gripes
and belly, and, well, so personable—
my god, so like ourselves!
Oh yes, the women poets too, so
unashamed, ripping off their masks
like nylon stockings.
And all the time, the shy and shapely
mind, like some Eurydice, wanders—
darkened by veils, a shade
with measured footsteps. So many things are gone
and the end of the world looms
like a shark’s fin on the flats of our horizon.
Fatigue sets in, and the wind rises.
The door is swinging on its hinges—the room
pried open, the one upstairs in Bluebeard’s castle.
They have been hanging there a long time
in their bridal dresses, from hooks,
by their own long hair.
The wind that makes them sway until
they seem almost alive
is like the rush of our compassion.
Yes, now we remember them all
and the sea with its unchanging heaving—a grief
as deep and as dactylic as the voice of Homer,
and, as we turn another way, we lay the past out
on Achilles’ shield, abandon it to earth,
our common ground—the bridal hope, its murder,
the old, old story, perpetual
as caring: the scant human store
that is so strangely self-restoring
and whose sufficiency
is our continual surprise.
From This Art: Poems About Poetry, edited by Michael Wiegers (Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press, 2003).
Senior Class Poet entrants and their posted poems are Kevin Speirs, “Homes”; Sarah Squires, “Sleeping Arrangements”; Erin Powell, “Ice Kills”; Elena Cucco,“I Have Wasted All the Riches”; Gloria Lim,“On Fire”; Derek Santos, “Writing and Thinking”; Emily Brady, “Sestina”; Jack Flamgo,“Flame in Deep”; Daniel Madden, “How I Would React”; Hasan Oswald,“Fixed Desolation”; Elizabeth Snyder,“I yearn to be a frozen soul…”; Jackie Coleman,“A History of Want, or (Paperweights)”; Kathleen Heneghan,“Exit 19”; and Alexander Lundy,“The Gamble.”