The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This past Sunday, Leopold’s Books hosted a poetry reading organized by local poet and former Kresge fellow Rachael Harkai. The reading brought together three Portland-based poets — Drew Scott Swenhaugen, Marshall Walker Lee and Zachary Schomburg — along with the Bonn, Germany-based poet Rebecca Farivar.
Swenhaugen and Lee — who performed a collaborative poem — collectively form a small press called Poor Claudia that publishes an occasional poetry journal, as well as beautiful limited-edition, handmade books by both emerging and established poets. Recent titles include “That Which Just Gets Tired & Then Kind,” by Syracuse-based poet Jennifer H. Fortin, and “Don’t Let Me Forget to Feed the Sharks,” by Nebraska-based poet Jeff Alessandrelli.
Farivar read from her book, “Correct Animal,” which was published by Octopus Books, a small poetry press based out of Portland and Denver. Octopus Books is co-edited by Schomburg, along with the poet Mathias Svalina, who is the author of the recent novella, “I am a Very Productive Entrepreneur,” (Mud Luscious Press) and book of poems, “Destruction Myths” (Cleveland State University).
Schomburg is currently on tour promoting “Fjords,” a recently published book of poems that inspired the production of a shadow puppet show with a live orchestra score produced by Manual Cinema and Chicago Q Ensemble. The show will be performed at several upcoming venues on the East Coast, including next Sunday, the 11, at the McCormack Family Theater in Providence, R.I. (A current list of upcoming shows is available here). Schomburg is also the author of several other books of poems, including “The Man Suit” and “Scary, No Scary,” both by Black Ocean, and “The Book of Joshua,” which is forthcoming from McSweeney’s.