Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sarah Arvio: The Nightlife

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

With four collections of poetry, a Rome Prize in 2003, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005, and a Bogliasco Fellowship in 2012, what else is there to add to Sarah Arvio’s impressive resume?

A lot and including: publication in The Best American Poetry 1998, Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets Writing in English, Ariadne’s Thread: A Collection of Contemporary Women’s Journals, and, forthcoming and perhaps on a lighter note, Eating Our Words: Poets Share Their Favorite Recipes.

Arvio’s poetry has been set to the music of serious contemporary composers. She’s been a translator of others’ work. Today, she lives in Maryland, but on April 17th, she’ll be in Memphis to read from her latest book, night thoughts: 70 dream poems & notes from an analysis (Knopf).

That’s right, no caps in that title. And there’s no punctuation in the book’s 70 set pieces, which are all 14 lines each. This poetic record of Arvio’s dream life has added notes by the author, but nothing dispels the disquiet.

Arvio’s use of the ampersand throughout? A sign, perhaps, that in night thoughts, analyst and analysand are one and the same: the poet herself. First-person, singular, the lone word capitalized throughout is I.

Read some samples from night thoughts here. Be at Burke’s Book Store on Thursday, April 17th, to hear Sarah Arvio read from and sign her work. The event is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with the reading at 6 p.m. •

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