Po­etry el­e­vated

Pasatiempo - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Red Moun­tain Press, lo­cated in Santa Fe, has for 10 years put out books of po­etry as well as po­etic and artis­tic me­moirs — works of high cre­ative and lit­er­ary qual­ity that are un­suited for main­stream com­mer­cial pub­lish­ers. In cel­e­bra­tion of its first decade, two Red Moun­tain au­thors with books out in Oc­to­ber, Su­san Gard­ner and Jef­frey Thom­son, read at Teatro Paraguas (3504 Calle Marie) on Sun­day, Oct. 25, at 6 p.m. Gard­ner, the found­ing editor of Red Moun­tain Press, reads from Lifted to the Wind: Po­ems 19742015, a col­lec­tion of po­ems in English and Span­ish, along with Ja­panese cal­lig­ra­phy. The book is di­vided into sec­tions, in­clud­ing the four sea­sons. Some­times Gard­ner is po­lit­i­cal, and some­times she wants to talk about na­ture, but all of her po­ems are taut and min­i­mal­ist, with the short­est, im­age-based po­ems among the strong­est: “overnight/vir­gin pinks shrivel to brown/ moon­lit frost//fer­til­ity lost/to cold April,” she writes in “Frozen Bloom.” Thom­son, a pro­fes­sor of cre­ative writ­ing at the Univer­sity of Maine at Farm­ing­ton, is the author of frag­ile: a mem­oir. Us­ing po­etic and philo­soph­i­cal lan­guage, Thom­son traces var­i­ous out­door ad­ven­tures he has had and ex­plores the lim­its of phys­i­cal en­durance and a very hu­man con­nec­tion to the vast­ness of na­ture. “There is a place in the body — a place of plea­sure above pain, where both blend to­gether so per­fectly that it is im­pos­si­ble to tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two — and af­ter seven hours I find it,” he writes of his as­cent on a bi­cy­cle through the moun­tains of Costa Rica. “De­spite what that vi­sion of Christ on his cross might say, it is not a place of spirit … It is very phys­i­cal, not some­thing su­per­nat­u­ral, and has every­thing to do with the body, with our con­crete en­gage­ment with the world. It is not holy, though it feels that way.” For more in­for­ma­tion about the read­ing, call 505-986-9774. — Jen­nifer Levin

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