Lyric Essentials (at Sundress)

William Taylor Sr reads “The Heart” by David Lerner

“When I read David Lerner I don’t feel that he was writing a poem, but rather channeling some ancient truth that burned inside him that he felt we needed to hear.”

Connie Post reads “Two Countries” by Naomi Shihab Nye

“Nye has a way of noticing the smallest of details in the most perfect way. She also has a way of viewing the world from afar and then also up close at the same time. She links ideas and images together that I never would have thought of before. She selects words and language that that are both exquisite and musical. She gives remarkable beauty to the voice of suffering and her specific use of culture helps a reader step through many unopened doors.”

Stevie Edwards reads “Long Lines to Stave Off Suicide” by Rachel Zucker

“I love how wild Zucker’s form is—how she’s chucking objects all over the place. There is nothing dainty about this poem’s form or style, and I love her for doing that. I think Zucker’s writing is beautiful but not pretty. Perhaps, to some extent, it would be a lie to put this poem in pretty little couplets with a bunch of highly ornate language. For awhile, I operated under and idea that if I was going to write about something as controversial as suicide, I had to do it in the prettiest lines to get away with it—as if I might trick editors who’d ordinarily scoff at the topic with some really enticing assonance.”

Tim Peeler reads “On the Eve of Becoming a Father” and “Shadows” by Leo Connellan

“There’s always some distance between an author and his or her autobiographical self, because no one can be totally self-aware or have completely accurate memories. Yet even in Connellan’s most ambitious work, the trilogy entitled The Clear Blue Lobster-Water Country, the persona, Boppledock faces dilemmas similar to those that Connellan experienced: loss of mother in childhood, addiction and rehab, and a father’s non-acceptance. But the beauty of the work is that you don’t have to know Connellan’s personal story to experience the power of his work.”

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