19 April 2012

Traci Brimhall, Sandra Beasley, and Dorianne Laux are Woman-Stirred

Traci Brimhall
This week's interviews kick off a few minutes earlier, to accommodate three separate interviews. At 4:10 with Traci Brimhall, and we'll talk about Our Lady of the Ruins, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her first collection,Rookery, was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award.

Exploring war, plagues, and the search for a new god in exile, Our Lady of the Ruins follows a group of women on their pilgrimage through a mid-apocalyptic world.

The poems are haunting, profound, and mesmerising, Carolyn Forche describes them as "awake to the world... and radiant with lyric intelligence."

Here is an excerpt from "To Poison the Lion":

It is the most vulnerable part of the trinity,
and the most abiding. When a cyclone touched

                                                the earth and offered paradise to those
                                                who would enter, I sought the lion's den.

Sandra Beasley
Sandra Beasley joins us next for a conversation about her wonderful collection, I Am the Jukebox, recently re-released in paperback.

I Am the Jukebox is crisp, with attitude and passion. Beasley "eschews the poet-as-speaker convention and unleashes [poems] teeming with the inanimate, the anachronistic, and the animal kingdom.... [approaching] the world ...with clarity, humour, and compassion.

Here's an excerpt from "Another Failed Poem about Music,"

I love the small tyranny of it,
the musician standing with his arm raise
through measure upon measure,
waiting for a moment to strike his wand---

the ding that pierces a twelve-part din.
Technical name: struck idiophone.

Dorianne Laux
Last but not least, Dorianne Laux is up next in an interview recorded earlier this week. We talk about her newest collection, The Book of Men, which Tony Hoagland describes as "a songbook--- ruthless, damaged, and full of fierce athletic compassion." Nick Flynn, author of (The Ticking Is the Bomb, says "Each poem... makes us aware of a distant music we never paid attention to before, of our own bodies, as we hold the book... the stuff of the world in our hands."

From the cultural icons of Cher and Superman, to the point blank truths of our mortality, The Book of Men is terrific--- funny, quirky, weird and imaginative... connecting icons and idiosyncracies, the Fourth of July to getting Lost in Costco. It's a wild and fun book from a wild and brilliant shaper of language.

Join us Thursday, April 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. Want to join the conversations? Call 802.454.7762 or email your questions and comments to merrygangemi@gmail.com.

Woman-Stirred Radio is underwritten by Sinister Wisdom, celebrating 35 years of  lesbian-feminist arts and letters. Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDH 91.7 fm, Goddard College's community radio station located in Plainfield, Vermont.