David Dodd Lee
Reading Animalities is like inhaling and exhaling innumerable versions of life—and like life, these poems embrace “carnage and joy”: “the sun on the horizon bleeding…/ where the loons swim in it by moonlight still laughing.” The curious juxtaposition of the familiar with the surreal—“the flaming peonies,” “black lemons floating on white water. ”—contemplates the question, “Why is there something instead of nothing?”
From “GARLIC “:
“I like the suffering, knowing there will/come a time.”
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Nancy Botkin – poet, Senior Lecturer, and Director of First Year Writing – was recently interviewed by George Kalamaras, Indiana’s current Poet Laureate.
Here’s what Kalamaras has to say about Nancy’s poetry:
Nancy Botkin is a poet of quiet simplicity, though her poems are anything but simple. Based largely in the image, her poetics evoke complex interweavings of emotion and intellect. I’ve known her for many years, but it wasn’t until the last several that I became familiar with her work—which is imaginative, psychological, and emotive. There’s an elegance to her poems and a sparseness—both working together to strike deep chords of resonance. One senses a powerful consciousness at work, minutely observing the world—recording, locating, chronicling. But she doesn’t leave it there. Nancy transforms what she sees through the lens of her imagination.
She’s a poet for whom the past and present together are always present. Whether she writes about her father-in-law’s dementia, or a young boy misbehaving in a parking lot in June, or the memory of early days in Catholic school, everything comingles in her poems, giving further testament to her perception that, “Time and timing are the deep elements” (“Summer Solstice”). It is this timing of what to remember, and when, as well as how the imagination connects past and present, that often forms startling perceptions in her work. Even the cosmos, for her, is part of this remembering. As she tells us in “Not to Depart This Earth,” there is no timeline for what gets remembered, or when: “the stars . . . have taken their own / sweet time memorizing earth.”
Read the rest of the intro and interview here: http://www.wabashwatershed.com/2014/10/08/septemberoctober-2014-poetry-feature-nancy-botkin/
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Author Allegra Goodman Presents Bender Lecture:
Writing Fiction: What I’ve Learned So Far
Novelist Allegra Goodman will give the second annual Bender Scholar-in-Residence lecture at Indiana University South Bend. She is the author of many popular novels and short stories, including Intuition, Paradise Park, Kaaterskill Falls, The Family Markowitz, and Total Immersion. Her latest novel is The Cookbook Collector. Her lecture, “Writing Fiction: What I’ve Learned So Far,” will be held October 22 at 6 p.m. in the Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall in Northside Hall on campus. It is free and open to the public.
In her books, Goodman explores themes of family, religion, community, assimilation and immigration. Female scientists, rabbis, mothers, yentas, tree-huggers, professors, and CEOs people her fictive worlds. Her writing captures our modern, technologically driven society, while never forgetting the past and our indebtedness to it. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and Philosophy at Harvard University and received a Ph.D. in English Literature from Stanford University. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe institute for Advance Study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she is writing a new novel.
The Bender Scholar-in-Residence Lecture was established in the memory of Eileen and Harvey Bender. Dr. Eileen Bender, a professor of English at IU South Bend for 33 years, co-founded the statewide Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching at Indiana University and served as its first director. She received many awards for her work at IU South Bend as a teacher and campus leader. Dr. Harvey Bender, professor of Biology at the University of Notre Dame for 52 years, was the founding director of the Regional Genetics Center at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and an adjunct professor of Medical Genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Eileen and Harvey Bender were married in 1956. They had three children whose generous gift has made the Bender Scholar-in-Residence Lecture possible. The topic of the lecture alternates between the sciences and humanities. The Nobel Laureate Eric Wieschaus, who was Harvey’s student, delivered the inaugural lecture in 2013.
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