Friday, July 13, 2007

Updates on Oates, McGrath, Prose

Joyce Carol Oates read on the last days of Hemingway Wednesday night. She's JCO. What can one say?

And tonight, Thursday, remarkable Ecco Press poet Campbell McGrath read 30 haiku focused on the New Jersey coast in summer, a series of poems surrounding Miami, including one on Lincoln Avenue; and another mentioning Books and Books, the fine Coral Gables bookstore; and another reflecting Hurricane Wilma; and yet another on a toad in a garden fountain. His delightful reflection on all American poets being the children of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickenson took the subject literally, and looked at a house from the standpoint of children now fumbling through the leavings of now absent parents. McGrath is a true talent.

In the split reading, our old friend Francine Prose returned and read a nonfiction piece about a bus station that involved fiction techniques and a fiction piece, a supposedly lost letter from Felice to Kafka, written long after Kafka's death, written at the time that Kafka's letters to Felice were sold for publication. The piece, strange and funny and wondrous, was a tour de force.