On Monday, 1/29, at 7pm, in Hodges Library Auditorium, the Creative Writing Program and Writers in the Library will present a poetry reading by Professor Marilyn Kallet in celebration of the release of her newest book, How Our Bodies Learned. Following the reading, a reception will be in the Mary Greer Room of Hodges Library.
How Our Bodies Learned (Black Widow Press 2018) is a collection of love poems and sensual blues that enfold more difficult poems of witness. Each of the three chapters takes a hard look at historical events: the 2015 terrorist attack in Paris; gun violence in Orlando and San Bernardino; the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. But Kallet is also a poet of dreams and humor, and she reassures her readers with songs of healing and resilience. The influence of poets such as Baudelaire, Eluard, and William Carlos Williams adds resonance. “What Power Has Love?” Kallet asks in section One, after witnessing the events in Paris. This power, love: to sing, survive, and to “love harder.”
Kallet is the author of 17 previous books, including The Love That Moves Me and Packing Light: New and Selected Poems, poetry from Black Widow Press. She has translated Paul Eluard’s Last Love Poems, Péret’s The Big Game, and co-translated Chantal Bizzini’s Disenchanted City. Dr. Kallet is Nancy Moore Goslee Professor of English at the University of Tennessee and leads poetry workshops every year for VCCA-France in Auvillar. She has performed her poems on campuses and in theaters across the United States as well as in France and Poland, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” program. The University of Tennessee has listed her as a specialist on poetry’s role in times of crisis, as well as on poetry and healing, poetry and humor, poetry and dreams, poetry and Jewish identity.
Prior to the reading on 1/29, a book launch for How Our Bodies Learned will be held on Sunday, 1/14, at 2pm, at Union Avenue Books. Union Avenue Books is located in downtown Knoxville, at 517 Union Avenue.
All these events are free and open to the public.