Wow. James Hoch and Patricia Smith rocked the house last night in an all-poets reading that touched serious subjects and and really showcased what you can do with language. Moriah Cohen, a second-year poetry student, introduced Hoch and cited his poetry as a major influence; after hearing both of them I think I understand now. James Hoch began the reading with poetry that sent us from Eastern Washington to Vilnius, making unexpected connections but in the end all locking tightly around his subject matter. Saeed Jones then went on to introduce Patricia Smith, and his introduction was a performance in itself. Patricia Smith’s poetic voice collapses the distance between herself and the people who her poetry seeks to understand, and she brings the audience with her. She ended the night with a crown of sonnets that explored the complexities of a childhood framed by the lyrics of motown.
I only caught the end of it, but the open house was very successful as well, and if you missed it you should still try and stop by the program or drop a note on the blog with any questions. We are happy to answer them.–Moira