Reading by Dorianne Laux


The Georgia Review, the renowned literary quarterly published from the University of Georgia since 1947, and the Georgia Poetry Circuit, a consortium of colleges and universities across the state that cooperates in bringing nationally-recognized poets to Athens and elsewhere three times a year, are pleased to announce the first of this year’s events: a reading by acclaimed poet Dorianne Laux. The reading will begin at 7pm on Friday, November 13 at CinĂ©, 234 West Hancock Avenue in downtown Athens. The event is free and open to the public. UGA instructor and poet Heather Cousins will be the opening reader.

Dorianne Laux was born in Augusta, Maine, in 1952. She worked as a sanatorium cook, a gas station manager, a maid, and a donut holer before receiving a B.A. in English from Mills College in 1988. She is the author of Facts About the Moon (W. W. Norton 2005), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other collections include Smoke (BOA Editions, 2000); What We Carry (1994), also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Awake (1990), which was nominated for the San Francisco Bay Area Book Critics Award for Poetry.

Of Laux's work, poet Tony Hoagland has said, "Her poems are those of a grown American woman, one who looks clearly, passionately, and affectionately at rites of passage, motherhood, the life of work, sisterhood, and especially sexual love, in a celebratory fashion." Among her awards are a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She now lives, with her husband, poet Joseph Millar, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she serves among the faculty at North Carolina State University's MFA Program.

Heather Cousins lives in Monroe, Georgia. She holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia's creative writing program. Her first book, Something in the Potato Room, won the 2009 Kore Press First Book Competition. She has poems published or forthcoming in The Yalobusha Review, Alehouse, and The Country Dog Review. One of her poems has recently been nominated for a 2010 Pushcart prize.


By Dorianne Laux

Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor--
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn't elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That's how it is sometimes--
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you're just too tired to open it.

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