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(Cover illustration: Melissa Herrington)  
February 26, 2002
Watson Forum,
7:30 p.m.
Poet
Robin Behn

author of
Horizon Note


(picture by Theresa Pappas)

"The speaker in Robin Behn's poems is caught between two radically different relations to language.  She loves a child who is just entering the realms of words, and a father who, through the erasure of Alzheimer's, is leaving that world.  Horizon Note turns speech into music, even as it resists and questions the slippery, beloved, difficult stuff it's mad of.  Behn makes live, breathing art out of language's terrible limitations, the paradoxical ways it both enables and betrays us.  Her fierce and compelling poems sound, as she says, 'sometimes/like music and sometimes like a burning/scraped from the bottom of song.'" --Mark Doty, Judge, Citation for the 2001 Brittingham Prize in Poetry.

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February 27, 2002
Meharry Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Fiction writer 
Susan Minot
author of
RAPTURE 

 

 

Four years after her critically acclaimed novel Evening ("Stunning"--Michiko Kakutani, New York Times;  "Powerful . . . Evocative . . . A Marvel"--Philadelphia Inquirer), Susan Minot gives us a streamlined work of startling intimacy and precision.
Rapture showcases the skills for which Minot is best know:  her ability to reveal the interior lives of men and women, and to strike at powerful emotional truths, in sharp, telegraphic images and in language that mesmerizes.  Using a single interlude--a brief encounter of former lovers, two bodies entwined on a bed at midday--Minot defines the distance that erupts at what seems to be the height of connection, as well as the extent to which the senses deceive and the intensely private eroticism of fantasy and the imagination.  Minot's lovers are hypnotic in their individual journeys--one moving toward a kind of holy consummation, the other toward abnegation and despair.  This is the wayward history of their efforts to make contact with each other while deluding themselves about the nature of the contact they're making.  Sex here is many things:  a devotional, almost religious offering; an act of bravery, surrender, denial and hope, and ultimately, one of profound loneliness.  Provocative and unsettling, Rapture is a meditation on romantic love, sex, and their reflections in the life of the mind.

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(Photo by André Darlington)

 

Tenaya Darlington GLCA Award Winning 
Poet
Winner of the National Poetry Series
Thursday, April 11, 2002
7:30 p.m.
Kerr Theatre 


(Book cover and design by Kelly N. Kofron)

MADAME DELUXE is all things loud and leopard-print.  Inspired by years of watching drag shows, Darlington evokes a persona who wanders the periphery of femininity, catcalling paradigms from Venus to Victoria's Secret.  Striking out against artifice, staging her own myth, Madame Deluxe is a she-male Vesuvius.  Expect scat, expect 350-lb. poems, expect a guide to the pleasures of leather and a manual for modern marriage.  
In this raucous debut collection, Darlington shocks, seduces, and intrigues us--spurring us to rethink our ideas about women and femininity.

Tenaya Darlington's work has appeared in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops 1998 and In Brief:  Short Takes on the Personal, as well as in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Southern Poetry Review.  She is the features editor for Isthmus in Madison, Wisconsin, and the former managing editor for Beloit Fiction Journal.

 

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(Photo by Pam Spaulding)
Thursday, April 18, 2002
Meharry Hall, 7:30
Q & A, Watson Forum, 4:15

author 
Bobbie Ann Mason


(photo: Macduff Everton/ Image Bank)
(Jacket design: Gail Belenson/Krista Vossen)

Bobbie Ann Mason is the author of Shiloh and Other Stories, which won the PEN/ Hemingway Award, Feather Crowns, which won the Southern Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the best-selling novel In Country.  Her memoir, Clear Springs, was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.  Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Double Take, Harper's, The Paris Review,  and elsewhere, and has received two O. Henry Awards and two Pushcart Prizes.