Poetry Reading: Ruth Thompson and Jayne Benjulian
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 - 7:30pm
This Event is at Pegasus Books Downtown
Pegasus Books presents a reading with poets Ruth Thompson (Crazing) and Jayne Benjulian (Five Sextillion Atoms)
About Ruth Thompson's Crazing: Beginning where "The White Queen" (Woman With Crows) ends, in the loss of “memory, cleverness, concentration” and the hope of “light through the cracks,” this new book by poet Ruth Thompson explores aging, loss, and the “delamination” of the earth whose body she shares. “We are blown here out of sight of ourselves,” she writes, “staggering and dismayed.” Yet dissolution resolves in expansion, laughter, joy – “seeing, in this dire wind, what there is to worship.”
About Jayne Benjulian's Five Sextillion Atoms: In poems of formal compression, tautness, acuity of imagery and epigrammatic exactitude, we encounter loving mother, father who betrays, cruel stepmother, followed by motherhood peeled of its idyllic fantasies. Nuanced and gripping, Five Sextillion Atoms is the debut of a skilled portraitist and satirist.
Notable for the way in which it combines stories of family history with larger matters of public history, Five Sextillion Atoms encapsulates the inner world of the child and the adult who carries an icy wound.
Ruth Thompson grew up in California and received a BA from Stanford and a PhD from Indiana University. She has been an English professor, librarian, college dean, and yoga teacher in Los Angeles. She now lives in Hilo, Hawai’i, where she teaches writing, meditation, and yoga. Her poems have won the New Millennium Writings Poetry Award and the Harpur Palate Milton Kessler Memorial Prize, among others. Woman with Crows is her second book of poetry, and was a finalist for the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s To The Lighthouse Prize in 2010. Her chapbook, Here Along Cazenovia Creek, was the basis for a collaborative performance of poetry and dance with Japanese dancer Shizuno Nasu. Her most recent book is Crazing.
Jayne Benjulian’s work appears in Agni, Barrow Street, Women’s Review of Books, Poet Lore, Nimrod International, Ms., Poetry Daily and elsewhere. She has been an Ossabaw Island Project Fellow; a teaching fellow at Emory University, where she earned an MA; a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Theater at San Francisco State University; and a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Lyon, France. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Jayne grew up near Jones Beach and in Westchester, NY. As a child, she left letters to herself under her mattress, intending to read them years later and see who she had been. She served as chief speechwriter at Apple, investigator for the public defender in King County, Washington, and director of new play development at Magic Theater. She now lives in the Berkshires. Five Sextillion Atoms is her first collection.