Sarah Boyer, Julie Carr, Zachary Schomburg, Mathias Svalina, July 11, 2014

10464008_10154266283950237_8958258142296220188_nOn Friday, July 11, at 7 p.m., Counterpath hosted a a reading by Sarah Boyer, Julie Carr, Zachary Schomburg, and Mathias Svalina.

Zachary Schomburg is the author of four books of poems including, most recently, The Book of Joshua (Black Ocean), He is the co-editor of Octopus Books and co-curator of the Bad Blood Reading Series. He lives in Portland, OR. On Schomburg’s The Book of Joshua: “Zachary Schomburg has delivered his latest work from a dark place, where little machines repeat in a hollow voice, ‘this is only further proof of your badness.’ Presented in a single narrative, The Book of Joshua is a sorry heart begged out of dreams, death & a horse’s eye. It is an epic journey not only affirming that ‘there is a difference between sadness and suffering;’ but that Schomburg is one of the most unusual poets writing today, pushing his work beyond our familiarity. These poems have a thirst for blood, but they don’t yet know exactly what to do with their hands. The Book of Joshua calls out in hunger and loneliness, ‘I didn’t feel like living in anything not shaped like me anymore.'”

Julie Carr is the author of six books of poetry, most recently 100 Notes on Violence, RAG, and the forthcoming Think Tank. She is also the author of Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry (Dalkey Archive, 2013). A former NEA fellow, and the recipient of numerous awards for poetry, she teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder and helps to run Counterpath. On Carr’s Rag: The question of civic lyric—the possibility of a politics of mourning—runs through this book-length aria-errancy-eros. All the vectors of “rag” are at work: polemical political journal, syncopated turn-of-the-century pop song, menstrual blood, burial shroud, complaint or insult, a cloth to wipe materials with, the barest semblance of clothes, the slang word for woman. The currents of energy running beneath this rag are equally human violence and a sexual force that erupts through fragments of films, fairy tales, real-life news, novels, and memory: a father on fire, a stranger in tears, a prisoner who believes he’s a dog, women in dresses made of food or women refusing to eat, a hit-and-run, a body with no face, or a face with no skin to hang it on, girls in water, women underground. Rag spirals relentlessly forward, picking up bits of recurrent language as it goes, its narratives troubled by stutter, broken by what can’t be told.

Sarah Boyer is originally from South Dakota.

Mathias Svalina is the author of three books, most recently The Explosions from Subito Press. Big Lucks will publish his book Wastoid this fall. He is a co-editor for Octopus books & does writing stuff in Denver.