Lee Sharkey, Kathleen Jesme, and Sharon Chmielarz read from their new poetry
Three poets explore grief and loss.
Calendars of Fire by Lee Sharkey is an extended elegy whose grief is political as well as personal. Across barriers of tribe, history, and mortality, her poems carry us home with their music to a dwelling place in our own resonant bodies.
“When you are done reading Calendars of Fire, you will know what it means to ‘shiver from the we in tenderness.’” — Fady Joudah
Lee Sharkey’s books include A Darker Sweeter String and To A Vanished World , a poem sequence in response to Roman Vishniac’s photographs of Eastern European Jewry in the years just preceding the Nazi Holocaust. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, Field, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, The Pinch, Seattle Review, and other journals. She was the Maine Arts Commission's 2010 Fellow in Literary Arts and since 2003 has co-edited the Beloit Poetry Journal.
A meditation on the death of a mother, Kathleen Jesme’s Meridian measures the hours and reflects on how experience collapses and elongates time, creating a lens through which we can look at how we’re connected and separated. And the poet asks: Is music our best refusal to accede to the irrationality of death?
Meridian (2012, Winner of the Snowbound Prize from Tupelo Press) is Kathleen Jesme’s fourth volume of poetry. Her other books are The Plum-Stone Game (Ahsahta, 2009); Motherhouse, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize (LSU, 2005); and Fire Eater (Tampa, 2003). Jesme holds an MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She is the recipient of a 2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant.
Sharon Chmielarz has written seven books of poetry, including Calling, a finalist for the Indie Book Awards, 2011, and The Other Mozart. She’s had poems published in magazines like Notre Dame Review, The Iowa Review, Salmagundi, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, The Hudson Review. Her latest award is Water~Stone Review’s 2012 Jane Kenyon Prize. Her newest book Love from the Yellowstone Trail will be published in June.