Dear Unnameable Friends,
I would like to introduce you to two poets, Jessica Laser and Rob Schlegel.
Jessica Laser has written a book (Letter Machine Editions, Seattle 2019). The book is called Sergei Kuzimich from All Sides. It is named after a line from Tolstoy, a piece of War and Peace, a funny story told by Prince Vassily. Everyone laughed a lot. “He that feareth every grass,” says Laser, “must not piss in a meadow.” and “What if I’m wrong / You’re not wrong / What if there’s something I didn’t think of”
Don’t think of a white bear. Think, instead, of Rob Schlegel, who has also written a book (University of Iowa Press, Iowa City 2019). His book is called In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps. “There’s wood enough within,” blurbs Caliban. Like you, Rob Schlegel thinks a lot about trees, bugs, gender, poetry, parenting. “I can hear the hiss of dazed insects / pressed between the pages of Spiritual Experience.” “I touch my face performing language the children freeze.”
Think, now, of this performance: Jessica Laser and Rob Schlegel, your new friends from out of town, are visiting Amherst this Friday evening, July 12, at 7:00 pm, here, Unnameable, in the basement of 48 N Pleasant St.. They will read their books aloud. I think you will enjoy it.
JESSICA LASER grew up in Chicago. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has taught at Brown University, The University of Iowa, Manhattanville College, Parsons School of Design, and SUNY Purchase. She is pursuing a doctorate in English at The University of California, Berkeley. Sergei Kuzmich from All Sides is her first book.
ROB SCHLEGEL is the author of The Lesser Fields (Center for Literary Publishing 2009), selected by James Longenbach for the Colorado Prize for Poetry, and January Machine (Four Way Books 2014), selected by Stephanie Burt for the Grub Street National Book Prize. His third collection is In the Tree Where the Double Sex Sleeps (University of Iowa Press 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy for the Iowa Poetry Prize. With the poets Daniel Poppick and Rawaan Alkhatib, he co-edits The Catenary Press. Most recently, he has taught at Whitman College, and in the MFA Program at Portland State University.