Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


 I sometimes write authors to tell them I like what they wrote. Then it occurred to me that it might be nice to share those complimentary remarks with the rest of the world (after all, I've already bought the book, and who knows maybe you will, too). Is that gauche? OK.

So, to inaugurate this questionable practice, here is what I wrote Christian Hawkey about his book Ventrakl (Ugly Duckling 2010):

"I love the rhythm it establishes between the dialogic, ekphrastic, and lyric. Translation, yes, but also a certain amount of mediumship or necromancy - anyway, it gives the sense of bringing Trakl present (and maybe projecting Hawkey back). I love the way the materiality (and playfulness) of the poems intersperses the documentary passages"

I should give some back story. The premise of the book (on UDP's amazingly wonderful Dossier series, ed. by Anna Moschovakis) is that Hawkey is having a conversation with the German expressionist poet Georg Trakl. This project presents some difficulties, as (a.) Trakl is dead, and (b.) there's about 100 years between the two poets. The ventricle is the back-and-forth between these - via homophonic translations and staged dialogues between the two (both of these quite funny - sometimes the deeply sincere German of Trakl becomes brand names or pop culture references in 21st c. American English), was well as some relatively straightforward biographical speculating (which is rather more somber).  Also lots of photos accompanied by writing that sometimes takes a parallax relation towards them. And lists. And a mix of verse and prose. In short, the sort of book a Joe Harrington would be a sucker for. You might, too.