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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday, January 12 - Christopher Buckley & J. Mark Smith

Christopher Buckley

J. Mark Smith

Wow! Two shows again this week. First, a conversation with readings by California poet and essayist Christopher Buckley. Noon. Then, another poetry reading taped by the good folks at Casa Romantica, this by poet J. Mark Smith at 12:30. Christopher Buckley California poet Christopher Buckley has two recent books out, and today he’ll read from and talk about both: Sleepwalk, a collection of essays, and Modern History, twenty years of Buckley’s collected prose poetry. About Sleepwalk, subtitled California Dreamin’ and a last dance with the Sixties, D.J. Waldie writes “It’s the world we’ve just come from re-imagined and reconsidered.” Lauded as a “pioneer of the prose poem” Buckley’s work in assembles a personal cosmology, celebrating, struggling with what Killarney Clary calls his “wonder at the miracle of what happens in the world and how experience lodges under the skin, serves as a way home and a way forward.” Both books pursue Buckley’s themes of history as autobiography --- of narrator, people and place. Christopher Buckley is author of thirteen collections of poetry and prose, too many titles to mention, but most recently Modern HistoryAnd the Sea and Flying Backbone: The Georgia O’Keefe Poems. He has written nonfiction including the seminal Cruising State: Growing Up in Southern California, and been an editor as well as coeditor of poetry collections and the critical anthology A Condition of the Spirit: The Life and Work of Larry Levis. He is also a teacher of creative writing at UC Riverside. J. Mark Smith - 12:30
Poet J. Mark Smith spent time living in Southern California, and shares poems from his time here and elsewhere, including the Sierras, in work read at a recent evening at Casa Romantica’s terrific poetry series in San Clemente. Smith was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1965, and moved with his family to western Canada when he was ten months old. He has published one book of poems — Notes for a Rescue Narrative, “which reveals everyday experience in sharply perceptive, profound ways, and contrasts the complex technology of urban life with the harsh demands of survival in the wilderness.” Smith writes an elegy for a mountain climber who, like his own father, was killed in an avalanche. J. Mark Smith teaches in the English department at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta.

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