Prose is not the sole vessel for good storytelling. Often relegated to mingle with the likes of singsong love letters or convoluted imagery, Poetry (with a capital P!) is the often long-forgotten unsung hero of The Story. The chosen medium for Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, as well as Beowulf, poetry combines narrative, verse and description in ways that move, captivate (and perhaps sometimes befuddle) our minds as readers. Kentucky poets Frederick Smock and Richard Taylor have made this long-held craft their own and will share their work in true form this Saturday, October 8th at Carmichael’s Bookstore.
Currently an associate professor of English at Bellarmine University, Frederick Smock is the author of several books and four previous volumes of poetry from Larkspur Press. Titles in his poetic repertoire include Blue Hour and Sonnets, as well as his most recent collection, Deer at Gethsemani: Eclogues (Accents Publishing). With poems appearing in The Antioch Review, The Hudson Review, The Louisville Review, The Merton Journal (UK), Poetry East, Trajectory and other journals, Smock seeks to push the form with clear observation and silent, underlying significance. Smock’s Deer at Gethsemani delves into the clean and powerful depth of lyrical reality using the eclogue, sets of pastoral poems made famous by Virgil’s the Aeneid. At face value simple and short, Smock’s poems reach deep into an undercurrent of hidden meanings to reveal a strong voice.
Smock’s co-star for the afternoon, Richard Taylor, is a professor of English and presently serves as Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University. A former Poet Laureate of Kentucky, Taylor is the author of six collections of poetry and several other books, including Rail Splitter: Sonnets on the Life of Abraham Lincoln and the novel, Sue Mundy. His latest book of poetry, Fading Into Bolivia, uses minimal language to weave a poetic narrative of whimsical journeys and vigorous tone. Taylor is a recipient of two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and an Al Smith Creative Writing Award from the Kentucky Arts Council; he currently owns Poor Richard’s Books in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Starting at 4pm, Carmichael’s Frankfort Avenue location will host readings from Smock and Taylor’s latest respective collections, Deer at Gethsemani and Fading Into Bolivia. Both volumes – hot off the press of Lexington’s Accents Publishing – convey a sense of place and story, restoring The Poem to its rightful place as King of the Narrative.
Carmichael’s Bookstore has two area locations: 1295 Bardstown Road and 2720 Frankfort Avenue
For more information on this event, visit Carmichael’s website or call the Frankfort Avenue store at 896-6950
Photo: Courtesy of Ars Interpres Publications www.arsint.com