Sep 222017
 

Key West Poet Laureate Kirby Congdon (Photo by Richard Watherwax)

by Kirby Congdon…….

Our dependency on such a trivial concern as the spread of pollen has, with our industrial and technological forces, become one more anxiety in civilized society. Maya Catherine Popa’s collection of poems opens with the title prose-poem, “The Bees Have Been Canceled.” The ambiguity of the factual business jargon and the poet’s own language is clever and full of concern at the same time. The narrator comments in a discursive tone that recollects what the activity of bees used to be like as the reader winces at the probability of their extinction. The last line of this prose-poem ends a list of probabiities to beware of:

“The lull as each integer walked its body over a blossom, then flew away with its instructions.” That last word encompasses the reality that was there over eons of time.

This poet’s stance in its examination of truth and probability is extraordinary.

Her talent advances the history of contemporary poetry.

Tucson, AZ, New Michigan Press, 2017
paperback, 37p. $9.00
New Michigan Press
Department of English
P.O. Box 210067
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721 – 0067
http://newmihiganpress.com
Orders and queries to nmp@the diagram.com
ISBN 978-1-934832-59-2 First Printing

 

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Kirby Congdon
Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action.

Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.
 September 22, 2017  Posted by at 10:20 pm Issue #235, Kirby Congdon  Add comments