Saturday, March 26th: Poetry. Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney read from their collaborative chapbook Radio Silence, joined by Rachel Mindell, reading new works of poetry. 5 pm.
Through vivid and sometimes startling image and music, Radio Silence turns absence into sound. The poems in this new collaborative collection come up against death and pursue its mysteries: its arrival, its damages, and its meaning for those on the periphery. This is a world where "orange trees rise / from the pockets of the dead, / where we burn / hornet nests and keep / watermelons in the well, / where ghosts have a way / of making themselves / found." This is a world that hinges on transitions—young boys crawling in the attic become old men opening wrinkled palms; a sky of magpies becomes a sky of crows. The result is a collection of stripped-down, urgent poems that make no clear boundary between the authors' identities. From this liminal space emerges a third voice that is both and neither and something in-between. "In the forgetting / dark, we take off our names. We become / something like lightning, cracked bone."
Early praise for Radio Silence:
Philip Schaefer and Jeff Whitney have closed their eyes and listened: weathers, dance halls, bright-and-darkening towns…the blaze of certain silences, “flaring ghosts.” Radio Silence is an exquisite dream of transport.
—Joanna Klink, author of Excerpts from a Secret Prophecy and Raptus
Jeff Whitney is the author of The Tree With Lights In It (Thrush Press, 2015) as well as two other chapbooks. His poems have appeared in journals such as Beloit, Blackbird, Cream City Review, Narrative, Poetry Northwest, Salt Hill, and Verse Daily. He lives in Portland, where he teaches English.
Philip Schaefer is the author of three chapbooks. [Hideous] Miraculous is available from BOAAT Press, while Radio Silence (2015 Black Lawrence Black River Competition Winner) and Smokes Tones (Phantom Books) were co-written with poet Jeff Whitney. Individual work is out or due out in Thrush, Guernica, The Cincinnati Review, Birdfeast, Forklift Ohio, DIAGRAM, Sonora Review, Adroit, and Hayden’s Ferry among others. He tends bar at a craft distillery in Missoula, where he received his MFA from the University of Montana.
Rachel Mindell is a writer and teacher from Tucson, Arizona. She directs the Montana Book Festival and teaches for the Missoula Writing Collaborative. Individual poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Diagram, Bombay Gin, Pool, BOAAT, Horse Less Review, DESTROYER, Yemassee, Anti-, Cream City Review, inter|rupture, and elsewhere.