Cary Waterman and Philip Bryant read from their titles Threshold and The Promised Land


About Threshold The stages in Cary Waterman's career as a poet and teacher have been mile posted by the publication of a succession of fine collections dating back to 1975. She has now gathered together the best individual poems from each of these books, along with a robust sampling of her most recent work, into one attractive book. We meet up with a tension between the wild and the domestic again and again, from a graphic scene of butchering pigs to, decades later, a lengthy poem sequence recounting Persephone's descent into the underworld.

There are moments to set the reader on edge--a marriage blender set on chip--and plenty of quiet moments, too, and spots of sheer silliness. Making elderberry jam becomes both a heroic and an erotic experience, an acupuncture treatment is transformed into a spiritual ordeal. Perhaps Robert Bly said it best: ''As an artist she insists that she will not let a descriptive line stand unless an inner concern of her own has broken through it...''


About The Promised Land

In Philip Bryant's new collection the urban hum of Chicago's South Side meets the pastoral beauty of small-town Minnesota life--and also its long, lonely winters. Sounds and smells from the Deep South permeate the snowbanks, and the dazzling riffs of Coltrane and Bird brighten the gray November skies.

Bryant describes the dark exhilaration of receiving, as an untested youth, his first switch-blade knife, and praises an ex-girlfriend who, in trashing his work with savage honesty, reminds him that what a poem says actually matters.

The rhythms are always musical and the playful street talk cannot disguise the fact that we're in the presence of an sober-eyed romantic who uses the cadences of the blues to summon the beauty at the core of this often harsh world we live in.



About Cary Waterman  is the author of six books of poems, including The Salamander Migration (University of Pittsburgh Press), When I Looked Back You Were Gone (Holy Cow! Press), and Book of Fire (Nodin Press). Her poems have been included in numerous anthologies and have been awarded prizes in the Federico Garcia Lorca Poetry Contest, the Rash Awards, the Common Ground Review Poetry Contest and So To Speak, the feminist journal from George Mason University. She has been awarded fellowships by several foundations and has also received the Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Poetry. She has taught at many colleges and universities, most recently in the MFA Program at Augsburg University. She lives in St. Paul.


About Phillip Bryant

a native of Chicago, is the author of three pervious collections of poetry--Blue Island, Sermon on a Perfect Spring Day, and Stompin' at the Grand Terrace: a jazz memoir in verse, with music by Carolyn Wilkins. His work has appeared in Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota; Good Poems, American Places, selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor; and Where One Voice Ends Another Begins: 150 Years of Minnesota Poetry. Sermon on a Perfect Spring Day was nominated for a Forward Prize and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. Selections from Stompin' at the Grand Terrace were chosen by Los Angeles Times Music Critic Ann Powers to appear in Best Music Writing, 2010. He was a fellow of the Minnesota State Arts Board in 1992 and 1998, and has served on the governing board of the Loft, the premier literary arts center in the Twin Cities. He has worked with the Givens Foundation as a mentor for emerging Minnesota African American writers. He was a radio-essayist for Minnesota Public Radio and is currently professor of English at Gustavus Adolphus College. He lives with his wife, Renée, in St Peter, Minnesota.


These authors are available for interviews.

Norton Stillman



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Event date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
38 S Snelling Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
The Promised Land: Poems Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781947237148
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Published: Nodin Press - October 10th, 2018

Threshold: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947237100
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Published: Nodin Press - September 10th, 2018