Pittsburgh: Disparate Soundings: Poetics of the Speaking Female Body

POETRY ((PRO)(FANA)), a poetry series created by Dawn Lundy Martin and Juliette Lee of the University of Pittsburgh, featured three poets Thursday in an event entitled “Disparate Soundings: Poetics of the Speaking Female Body” at 720 Records in Lawrenceville. The readers were Evie Shockley, Yona Harvey, and Lauren Russell.

From her work the new black (Wesleyan UP, 2011), Shockley read with a clear pace that broke into vehemence when appropriating Rihanna’s fake Patois in a tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks entitled “Poem from the Back Yard.”

Harvey performed pieces like “All The Worlds Wars Commence in the Head” with a soft and careful placement of syllables, including melodic moments evocative of nursery rhyme and devastating childhood lessons. She mentioned her daughter was born in New Orleans as preface to a poem entitled “Hurricane.”

Host Juliette Lee introduced Lauren Russell as the “love child between Michel Foucault and an Tortoiseshell cat.” Her work investigated social topics filtered through personal detail. The readings were followed by a brief Q&A, wherein the poets talked about preparation for the event, consonants, and how their previous lives as lawyers, archivists and volunteers influenced their writing.

POETRY ((PRO)(FANA)) is a monthly event held at 720 Records. The series blog can be found here.

–Peter Webb