Monday, January 16, 2012

Spring Reading Series Kicks Off

Our first reading of the semester—this Wednesday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m. in 130 Colson—will feature two alumni authors: Katie Fallon (MFA) and Ida Stewart (BA). Here's a little something to tide you over until then...

From Katie's Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird:

My legs could barely carry me up a steep logging road, but this tiny bird had just completed a 3,000-mile trip despite tremendous odds—perhaps dodging storms, evading predators, and dealing with shrinking habitat the entire way. Since this bird was more than two years old, he'd made that journey at least six times. I admired our little cerulean a great deal. He was much stronger than I was. A bird equivalent of me would have dropped into the Gulf after only a few feet.
Greg asked if I wanted to hold the cerulean warbler. This was a silly question, of course...

The warbler cocked his head and looked at me with a clear black eye. A month earlier, he may have stared at scarlet macaws and other tropical birds during migration. He could have looked down at oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. And now, he peered at me. I swallowed, tried not to cry, and instead focused on memorizing all of his intricate markings and colors.

And from Ida's Gloss:


A mountain of song and dance.
Everybody's leading who's got feet
and not got time enough to listen.
J's on the banjo asking who knows
the words, if you do sing along,
if you don't, pick it up quick.
Red's learning the old song, a new
old way. Thinking it's too far away
from home, too fancy, everybody's got
a different notion of fancy.
The old ways, the right ways, the shortcut
up around and down
and up again. Everybody says
I got a plan, I got a plan,
then waits to see what summer says,
but she just comes and goes,
another gust of dance. This mountain,
this is me and you. All of you. This place
we're in all talk. All follow
and sidestep. All call and response.
All of you, there is no middle ground,
it's all middling, and there is no higher road.
There is no more, no more than this
song and dance has a climax,
has a peak or an end.

Hope to see you at Wednesday's reading. WV cookies provided, of course.

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