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The Ar­ranged Mar­riage by Je­hanne Dubrow and a po­etry read­ing at Teatro Paraguas

The Ar­ranged Mar­riage (Univer­sity of New Mexico Press, 2015), Je­hanne Dubrow’s fifth book of po­etry, is a “pro­ject book” in which all the po­ems are inspired by and set around a spe­cific un­der­tak­ing. Dubrow in­ter­viewed her mother about her child­hood and early adult­hood in Honduras, El Salvador, and Florida to get an adult per­spec­tive on the sto­ries she had heard many times grow­ing up, and then cre­ated scenes based on the anec­dotes. Us­ing prose blocks, Dubrow em­ploys poetic phras­ing and dis­til­la­tion as well as the free­dom of tra­di­tional nar­ra­tive to in­ter­pret her mother’s life, but the strik­ing work res­onates far be­yond the specifics of her pro­ject, ex­tend­ing into the com­mon ex­pe­ri­ences of fear and trauma. The dan­ger of a mo­ment re­places graphic speci­ficity. In “A Ground­ing for the Meta­physics of Mo­rals,” ini­tial con­fu­sion over how a story should be told echoes the frac­tur­ing that hap­pens with a sud­den, vi­o­lent act: “Or per­haps the story starts with/books on her ta­ble. When the man/breaks in, she’s sleep­ing./To­mor­row: an exam. To­mor­row: a/pa­per due. She’s half-asleep, the/sound of some­one in the room soft/as turn­ing pages.”

On Fri­day, July 17, Glenna Luschei, Mar­sha de la O, and Kendall McCook read from their po­etry at 7 p.m. at Teatro Paraguas Stu­dio (3205 Calle Marie). Luschei’s most re­cent book, The Sky Is Shoot­ing Blue Ar­rows, was pub­lished by the Univer­sity of New Mexico Press in 2014. De la O’s new­est book, An­ti­dote for Night, was pub­lished by BOA Edi­tions. McCook is a poet, sto­ry­teller, and for­mer teacher orig­i­nally from Clay­ton, New Mexico. All three writ­ers con­cen­trate on hu­man­ity’s re­la­tion­ship with and con­nec­tion to the nat­u­ral world. For in­for­ma­tion call 505-424-1601. — Jen­nifer Levin

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