Monday, April 20th: Poetry. Melissa Kwasny reads from her newest collection of poems from Milkweed Editions Pictograph. 7 pm.
"If you would learn the earth as it really is," N. Scott Momaday writes,”learn it through its sacred places." With this quote as her guiding light, Melissa Kwasny traveled to the ancient indigenous pictograph and petroglyph sites around her rural Montana home. These landmarks are places of sacred knowledge that connect us not just to our world, but to thousands of years before us. The prose poems in Kwasny’s fifth collection both emerge from these visits and serve as pictographs themselves, capturing the world she encounters around them, and filling it with new, personal meaning: brief glimpses of starlight through the trees become a reminder of the impermanence of life, the controlled burn of a forest a sign of the changes associated with aging. Unlike traditional nature poets, however, Kwasny acknowledges the active spirit of each place, agreeing that,”we make a sign and we receive." Not only do we give meaning to nature, Kwasny suggests, but nature gives meaning to us. As the collection closes, the poems begin to coalesce into a singular pictograph, creating”a fading language that might be a bridge to our existence here."