The Two Yvonnes, a new collection of poems by upstreet Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum, has been released by Princeton University Press as part of the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. This series, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon, publishes the best work of today’s emerging and established poets.
Jessica Greenbaum’s narrative poems, in which objects and metaphor share highest honors, achieve revelation through close observation of the everyday. Riding on Kenneth Koch’s instruction to “find one true feeling and hang on,” The Two Yvonnes overtakes the present with candor, meditation, and the classic aspiration to shape lyric into a lasting force. Moving from 1960s Long Island, to 1980s Houston, to today’s Brooklyn, the poems range in subject from the pages of the Talmud to a squirrel trapped in a kitchen.
One poem looks into the past at the boy next door dribbling a basketball as “forty years later, hearing a basketball tock / on the sidewalk below my window, I am returned / to my first room,” while another observes that “the white truck traveling the span of the Williamsburg Bridge / could be the white fastener traveling the top of a ziplock bag.” Another poem defines the speaker via a “Packing Slip” of her personal characteristics—“Raynaud’s disease causes numbness in digits / when cold, often followed by sense of homesickness for some place as yet / unnamed;” the title poem, in which the speaker and two friends navigate their way through a series of flawed memories about one another, reflects the human frailties that shape so much of the collection.
Jessica Greenbaum is the author of the award-winning poetry collection Inventing Difficulty (Silverfish, 2000). Her poems and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, The Nation, Poetry, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, Salamander, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, and has been upstreet’s Poetry Editor since 2006.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
On Sunday, September 23, from 10am to 6pm, upstreet will join more than 280 top national and international authors and participants at Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza (209 Joralemon Street) for the seventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival. All Festival events on Sunday, September 23, are free. The literary-themed “bookend” events will expand the Festival to a full week of more than 50 happenings at venues that include clubs, bookstores, theaters and libraries across the borough from September 17-23. Most bookend events are free; a few charge a modest admission.
This gathering attracts thousands of book lovers for the Festival’s lively literary marketplace, and presents a dazzling array of national and international literary stars, emerging authors and programming. Festival headliners will include Paul Auster, Carol Higgins Clark, Tony Danza, Edwidge Danticat, Pete Hamill, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Dennis Lehane, Billy Collins, Judith Viorst, and many more.
Go to the Brooklyn Book Festival website for a complete schedule of events, and come visit upstreet Sunday at Booth #131, facing Court Street on the Borough Hall Plaza.
Friday, September 14, 2012
upstreet will be one of the sponsors of the second Berkshire WordFest, a biennial celebration of words and ideas that will take place September 14-16 at The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts, the historic home and gardens of Edith Wharton. This literary festival will bring together a varied collection of contemporary authors in an exciting array of events that will include talks, readings, panel discussions, interviews, and book signings. Featured authors will be John Berendt, Francine du Plessix Gray, Mary Jo Salter, Roxana Robinson, and many others, including upstreet author Dani Shapiro (interview, upstreet number seven).
The festival will also feature free readings on the Terrace by poets and writers with ties to the Berkshire region and to upstreet, including Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum and poets Karen Chase, Michelle Gillett, Lisken Van Pelt Dus and Irene Willis.
Another WordFest sponsor, Vermont College of Fine Arts, will hold an offsite get-together for alumni/ae, faculty, prospective students, and friends of the College from 5-8 on Friday evening, September 14, at the Firefly Bistro, 71 Church Street, Lenox.
For further information about the WordFest schedule, and to reserve tickets and day passes, call 413-551-5113 or visit the festival website.