Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sasha Weiss on Henri Cole

Sasha Weiss of the New Yorker's Culture Desk gave a boost last summer to poet Henri Cole (who shares the stage tonight with Jamaica Kincaid in Saratoga).

In the "What We're Reading" feature she talked about Cole's 2011 book, Touch:

His latest book... is a collection of poems (mostly sonnets) that take up a mother’s slow death and a son’s mourning her, a cruel relationship with an addict and his subsequent overdose, sexual longing and degradation, family dysfunction, the killing of soldiers, loneliness, and the desire to escape from one’s life. Yet these are poems of inveterate gentleness (the word “soft” is repeated again and again) and “Touch” is a book one reads with dream-like urgency, as if “drinking water right out of the tap … lips on the faucet” as Cole writes in the poem “Shrike.” Why do we want to linger here, in Cole’s unsettled world? From what source do these poems draw their magnetic power?

More:  http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/06/what-were-reading-henri-cole.html

Full schedule of readings:  http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/webpages4/archives/sumread.html