We are so close. Hour by hour and day by unbearable day, the march towards Fall and respite from this swampish, sun-laden drudgery of Summer has a tangible end. The heavy, timberwolf skies of Autumn cast a cool, gray light at the end of this long, blazing tunnel, and my languishing winter-driven constitution sizzles with the promise of solace on the horizon. Eventually. Thick like butter, Summer still reigns supreme on the immediate radar; blinding light and salt-sticky skin still has the valley in the vice of the season’s hardy paw. So what’s a warmth-weary soul to do in the roast of this weather? Seek the golden phallus, my friends.
No, my brain has not completely boiled, dear readers – not yet at least. It is time for yet another round of poetic penguin revelry, as the this month’s 21c Reading Series sounds its merry chime tonight at 7:30pm – and what better beacon for the faithful than David’s shimmering, sun-drenched manhood?
Presented every month by Louisville’s own Sarabande Books, an independent publishing home for poetry and short fiction, the 21c Reading Series hosts both regional and national contemporary literary talents in a free public reading at world-renowned 21c Museum Hotel. As a modern art rendition of the statue of David bedazzles the front façade, poets James Allen Hall and Ada Limon will light up the night with some equally hot literary flair.
While currently working as a teacher of both creative writing and literature at the State University of New York – Potsdam, James Allen Hall is also making literary waves with his personal poetic achievements, garnering both praise and awards for his first release, Now You’re the Enemy. With honors from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters and the Fellowship of Southern Writers now under his belt following the release of this first collection, Hall has also collected several literary fellowships, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Hall’s most recent work has been published in the pages of American Poetry Review, Bloom Magazine, New England Review and Ninth Letter.
Fellow poet, Ada Limon will also heat up tonight’s stage as she shares work from her rapidly-expanding literary repertoire. Operating at wind-whipped pace, Ada Limon is currently at work on her first novel, a book of essays and a new collection of poems to add to her previous collections. Limon’s first three releases, Lucky Wreck, This Big Fake World and Sharks in the Rivers have earned her fellowships from both the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Works Center, as well as the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry.
While it won’t be too long before the winds shift and the sun sinks, stave off humid nights and mind-numbing temps with a twinkle in your eye and a poem in your throat. Tip your hat to David and enjoy a dose of cool tonight with the hip cats of Louisville’s best poetic balm at 21c.
21c Museum Hotel is located at 700 W Main Street.
Photos: Courtesy of Sarabande Books website www.sarabandebooks.org