Words Wanting to be Said: John Burnside and Phillis Levin (2017)
The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series presented Words Wanting to be Said: John Burnside and Phillis Levin on October 23, 2017 at 7:30pm in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre. In their first reading together, John Burnside and Phillis Levin have in common a quiet, formidable strength to their verse.
Phillis Levin is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Mr. Memory & Other Poems, a finalist for the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her honors include the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award and a Fulbright Scholar Award to Slovenia. She is a professor of English and poet-in-residence at Hofstra University.
Levin has read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry series previously, in 2007
John Burnside, a Scottish author, has published ten books of poetry, including his most recent and first American publication, Black Cat Bone, winner of both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. Other awards include the Geoffrey Faber Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Prize. His memoir A Lie About My Father was named the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year.
Burnside has read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry series previously, on March 1, 2010.
Reviews and excerpts
Loved and Lost
Give me a childhood again and I will live
as owls do, in the moss and curvature
but never really seen,
tracking the lane
to a house I have known from birth
at the far edge of the day,
a pintailed duck
is calling to itself
across a lake,
- the answer it receives
no more or less remote than we become
to one another,
then set aside till we admit
that love divulged is barely love at all:
only the slow decay of a second skin
concocted from the tinnitus of longing.
Excerpt from “Loved and Lost” from Black Cat Bone by John Burnside © 2011 by John Burnside, published by Graywolf Press. Used with permission.