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Poets Offer Expressions of New York City in Season’s First Reading


The 2010-2011 season of Poets Out Loud opened with a pair of poetic luminaries who riffed on the sights, sounds and histories of New York City.

Bob Holman, who shared the bill on Sept. 13 with Rosanna Warren, is a longtime poetry advocate and pioneer of performance and multimedia poetry.

“As early as 1994, he announced, ‘Poems are being written with television cameras, composed in recording studios, downloaded via computer networks,'” said Heather Dubrow, Ph.D., the Rev. John Boyd, S.J., Chair in Poetic Imagination and director of the Poets Out Loud reading series.

“Bob Holman writes for the ear and the eye. His poems are energized by splendid sound effects, influenced by rap rhythms and many other rhythms,” she said. “His poems typically incorporate conversational phrases from everyday life in ways that make us rethink the cultural values behind such language.”

Rosanna Warren, the Emma MacLachlan Metcalf Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, is known for balancing intellect and heartfelt emotion in her work.

“Her poetry variously glides and see-saws between many different worlds—between geographical regions; between divergent literary sources; between intensely—often painfully—personal experience and meditation on events from literary texts,” Dubrow said.

Poets Out Loud is designed to promote poetry on the Fordham campuses and in New York City. It consists of two main activities—the organization of its annual reading series and the publication of a book series in conjunction with Fordham University Press.

“The reading branch of Poets Out Loud is 19 years old, now,” Dubrow said, “and we’ve always responded to the poetry wars not by fighting in them, but by fighting against them.

“We’re concerned to represent many different styles of poetry and represent both distinguished and emerging poets.”

Joseph McLaughlin


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