“Tonic” is a very interesting word. I think about things like this. As a noun, it doesn’t get much the same kind of love as other more exotic parts of speech: adjectives enjoy a spicy existence adding nuance; verbs employ a springboard for life living. But so often simple nouns like the quiet “tonic” are passed over for more titillating sentence options, leaving this slightly archaic, somewhat sinister word alone on the shelf. Despair not! Beleaguer no more! Because tonight, all we really need is the kind of effervescent pick-me-up that only such a noun can provide. Because tonight we all need is a good, old-fashioned poetry tonic.
It’s been a brutal time, friends, and you’re probably feeling a bit spent as the dog days of summer pick their final path through the valley. I know for sure I’ve got troubles that only hang heavier in the heat of a summer sun; it’s enough to make any tired soul reach for a third glass on sultry nights. But there’s no need to run up another tab tonight, cool cats in the know can count on the 21c Reading Series to provide the right medicine for what ails ya. Join Sarabande Books tonight, Monday, August 27th, at 21c Museum Hotel  for the poetic stylings of Mark Yakich and Andrea Cohen at 7:30pm.
Currently working as an associate professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, poet Mark Yakich is also the author of five collections of poetry, the titles Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross, The Making of Collateral Beauty, Green Zone New Orleans, The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine and Checking In/Checking Out. A 2012 Fulbright Fellow, Yakich uses his writing and research to further explore his diverse tastes in politics, experimental poetics and art. In addition to his stanza craft, Yakich is also devoting literary talent to the new media project Airplanereading.org, a venture co-founded and co-edited by Yakich that seeks to reinvent the lost art of airplane reading.
Also working the reading round-up tonight is fiction writer and fellow poet, Andrea Cohen. The author of three volumes of poetry, Kentucky Derby, Long Division and The Cartographer’s Vacation, Cohen has also been praised for her short fiction, with awards including a PEN Discovery Award and Glimmer Train’s Short Fiction Award. Both Cohen’s poems and stories have been picked for the pages of Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, The Hudson Review and Memorious, while her poetry has earned an Owl Creek Poetry Prize and several fellowships at The MacDowell Colony.
Sound like the right mixture for your cure? Press those poetry pants and step out into the sunset for a healthy literary tonic sure to revive your waning vitality. Hit up 21c Museum Hotel for free words, free art and freedom from summertime ennui.
21c Museum Hotel is located at 700 West Main Street.
Image: Courtesy of www.rebelbuddha.com