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February 1, 2024 48 mins

On the 2/1/24 edition of Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour:

Dr. Andy is joined by the two featured readers of this week’s Poetry Night, Alan Williamson and Jeanne Foster. Williamson first discusses how lockdown impacted his creative perspective and his life in Italy. He shares his writing process and the restless endeavor of writing literary criticism. He then reads a poem before providing a vignette of life in his 150-year-old Italian home and the musicality of life and community in Italy. Jeanne Foster joins the episode and begins with a preface of her newest book, Your Form Became My Own, which is centered around her own relationship and the “ubiquitous you.” Foster explains her hesitations when writing the book due to its vulnerability, as well as that the writing process lasted many years. She then reads a poem from her book, and her self-perception as a personal poet rather than confessional poet. Foster imparts some final though about poetry as passivity and activity, writing as an equestrial relationship,  and that real emotion in writing must exist between relaxation and intensity.

Alan Williamson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis, who teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. He is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Pattern More Complicated: New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and Franciscan Notes (Tupelo, 2019). He has also published a number of books of criticism, most recently Dante and the Night Journey (Anthem First Hill Books, 2023). He is the co-translator, with Jeanne Foster, of The Living Theatre: Selected Poems of Bianca Tarozzi (BOA, 2017).

A student of Robert Lowell’s and a favorite interpreter of 20th century American poetry, Professor Williamson was the director of Dr. Andy’s doctoral dissertation.

Jeanne Foster grew up in New Orleans. She is Professor Emerita at Saint Mary’s College of California and former minister of the Modesto Unitarian Universalist church. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals: the most recent, Literary Matters 16.1. Others include Hudson Review, The Southern Review, APR, Narrative Magazine, Paris Review. Her first poetry book, A Blessing of Safe Travel, won the Quarterly Review of Literature Poetry Award. Among her other books are Goodbye, Silver Sister, poetry, Northwestern University Press: Appetite: Food as Metaphor (BOA), an anthology of poems by women; and a critical work, A Music of Grace: the Sacred in Contemporary American Poetry (Lang). She is co-translator of The Living Theatre: Selected Poems of Bianca Tarozzi (BOA), which won the Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. Her latest book of poetry is Your Form Became My Own (Kelsay Books, 2023). A selection of her poems translated into Italian are scheduled to be published in 2024. Her passion is ballroom dancing and, in particular, ballroom dancing in Tuscany.

Dear Friends of Poetry,

The Poetry Night Reading Series is excited to feature poets Alan Williamson and Jeanne Foster at 7 PM on Thursday, February 1st, 2024, on the first floor of the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st Street in Davis.

Find out more about Dr. Andy's Poetry Night Reading Series in Davis, California by visiting http://www.poetryindavis.com. Invite your friends to sign up for the mailing list. To learn more about Dr. Andy’s tiny media fiefdom, visit his weekly newsletter at https://andyjones.substack.com and follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andyojones.

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