“Consistent with psychological waves of grief—shock, sorrow, and acceptance—Christina Cook’s A Strange Insomnia extracts wakefulness into three sections bearing the themes of threat, shadow and communion. These highly empathic poems quietly walk through the world with a subdued grace, yet bear a vigilance culminating as if in mythopoeic conversations on momentary grit.” Read more.
READING WEEK: October 10-15
Parisian poet and translator Fiona Sze-Lorrain joins me for three readings around Philadelphia. Fiona will be reading from her latest book of original poetry, The Ruined Elegance, and I’ll be reading from A Strange Insomnia.
7:00 PM, Saturday, October 15
Poetry Reading: Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Darla Himeles, Deborah Fries, & Christina Cook
Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia(West Mt. Airy)
Philly poets Darla Himeles and Deborah Fries will be reading with us.
6:30 PM, Wednesday, October 12
Poetry Reading: Julia Bloch, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, & Christina Cook
Penn Book Center, Philadelphia (University City)
UPenn poet Julia Bloch, whose latest book is Letters to Kelly Clarkson, will be reading with us this evening.
7:30 PM, Monday, October 10
Poetry Reading: Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Jaime Fontaine, p.e. garcia, & Christina Cook
Painted Bride Quarterly Reading Series
Black Sheep Pub , Philadelphia (Center City)
Sea Summit, the first book-length English translation of Chinese poet Yi Lu’s work, challenges readers to think about the cultural attitudes and imbalances of power that have brought our global ecosystem to the brink of breakdown. Read my review of it here.
A STRANGE INSOMNIA
A full-length collection of poems by Christina Cook, published by Aldrich Press.
A new chapbook of poems by Christina Cook, published by Casa de Cinco Hermanas Press. Purchase via email request to editor, Kyle Laws, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jars, beakers, bottles; matte leather and glossy dark wood.
Either cayenne gin or vodka steeped in saffron and cardamom
bitters. Never mind how he looked sort of sad when he drank:
he felt a flowering push up through the fine chainmail
he wore under his purple checked Prada shirt. Never mind
what woman had bought it for him twenty years before:
juniper bloomed like tattoos from his chest and the fever
from loving her dropped to a low hum that steadied his pulse;
or was that the cayenne in the gin; right then he decided
to forge a flight of nickel steps to heaven for her, which she
no doubt would pronounce a gimmick: she’d see right through
his “final offer,” not bothering to look up from the silent film
with German subtitles she was watching in bed. At night he’d dream
she wore only lipstick and feathers while the wind reached
through him his whole way home from the bar. His mantra
was metal, and his shadow clinked with the weight of the human
predicament he found himself in, again and again and again.
Hot off the Press:
Poet Showcase: An Anthology of New Hampshire Poets, Edited by Alice B. Fogel and Sidney Hall Jr.
My work is included in this wonderful new anthology of New Hampshire
poets. . . makes me a bit nostalgic for the long snowy winters and pine-
scented summers that inspired my writing for over a decade.
AN AFTERNOON OF POETRY AND ART
Saturday, November 21, 4 – 6 pm
Gross McCleaf Gallery, 127 S 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
A joint reading of seven Philadelphia-area poets will be followed by nibbles, wine, and book signings, all surrounded by the exquisite work of painter and University of Pennsylvania fine arts faculty member Deirdre Murphy.
The poets include: former Montgomery County Laureate Kristina Moriconi, Temple creative writing faculty Pattie McCarthy and Kevin Varrone, UPenn creative writing faculty Michelle Taransky, Philadelphia poets Mara Adamitz Scupe and Christina Cook, & Cherry Hill poet Dave Worrell.
I won’t make it up north to read, but other contributing poets will, and it promises to be a terrific evening of poetry by New Hampshire’s finest.
Mad to Live: Erasures
In 2008, Flume Press published the flash fiction prose collection Mad to Live. In 2015, eighteen poets erased it.