On Thursday, February 6, at 7 p.m. Counterpath hosted poet, scholar, and editor Peter O’Leary for a talk and reading from the new edition of Ronald Johnson’s ARK (Flood Editions, 2013).
Recording of the group reading of ARK selections: (in order) Nick Gulig, Alexis Almeida, Graham Foust, Sam Knights, HR Hegnauer, Robert Snyderman, Oren Silverman, Serena Chopra, Peter O’Leary, Ronald Johnson.
“ARK is a metaphysical poem that could only have been written in our time, of which it displays a new vision. It is a late harvest of seeds sown by Blake, L. Frank Baum, the Bible, and Zukofsky, all in a new architecture, a wholly new voice, and even a new chemistry of words and images. It is for those who can see visions, and for those who know how to look well and be taught that they can see them.”—Guy Davenport
Peter O’Leary’s recent books of poetry include The Phosphorescence of Thought (2012), Luminous Epinoia (2010), Depth Theology (2006), and Watchfulness (2001). He is the author of the critical study Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan & the Poetry of Illness (2002). As Ronald Johnson’s literary executor, he has edited several collections of Johnson’s work, including The Shrubberies (2001) and Radi Os (2005). He lives in Berwyn, Illinois and teaches at the School of the Art Institute and for the Committee on Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.
Ronald Johnson (1935-1998) was an American poet. From A Line of Poetry, A Row of Trees (1964) through his long poem entitled “ARK” (1996) and beyond, he wrote visionary poetry of minute observation and striking formal invention.