NWU Visiting Writers Series presents
Poet Christian Hawkey
Wednesday, October 24th
Poetry Reading 7 pm
Callen Conference Center
Q&A with Students 3:30
Please join us Wednesday, Oct 24th when poet Christian Hawkey will give a reading as part of the NWU Visiting Writers Series. The reading will be at 7pm in the Callen Conference Center in the Smith-Curtis Building. He will also participate in an informal Q&A about poetry and poetics at 3:30 that day.
Christian Hawkey is the author of The Book of Funnels (Winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award), the chapbook HourHour, which includes drawings by the artist Ryan Mrowzowski (Delirium Press, 2005), and Citizen Of (Wave Books, 2007). His poems have appeared in Conjunctions, Volt, Denver Quarterly, Tin House, Crowd, Bomb, Chicago Review, Conduit, and other magazines. In 2006 he was given a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award, and this year he was awarded a 2008 DAAD Fellowship in Berlin. He teaches at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
Critical Praise for Christian Hawkey:
The title of this collection [Citizen Of] serves as a challenge to readers in a political climate where alarmism seems to alternate with complacency. "Hour with One Hand Inserted in a Time of War" asks, "Should we / stand guard at the Level of One Hand Raised / to Block the Lemon Seed of the Sun / or should we push off, down the tunnels, / dig a hole in the side of a wall & wait?" Hawkey effectively conjures a contemporary scene that seems peaceful, even while "Landmines whisper sideways underground." Everyone, he says, is "no longer / a crow's nest but a cluster of nests, / urban, suburban, some with turbans." Humor, stemming more from exasperation than from delight, eases immersion into the tight-knit poems, but amid the laughter a loud alarm rings: "At least the bird?s brain was focused / on something."
Simultaneously funny and eerie, Hawkey evokes feelings of giddy anticipation and anxious foreboding, as typified by "Green Solitude," which begins, "No such thing as exit for the man lost / In the middle of a cornfield. / No such thing as field," and which ends, "the sound / Of his listening was the landscape / Advancing at his approach." Like the best possible vacation or voyage, The Book of Funnels appeals to the reader as explorer, presenting the promise of surprise and discovery.
--Kathleen Rooney, Boston Review
For Hawkey, language is a strange tool, like a machine that begins to sweat and then turns beautiful. And if there is something unshakeable in this book, it is the poet's tremendously careful and necessary obliteration of how we expect language to work.
His poetry seems to whisper loudly into your face, to pluck at your ribs, to move you into a huge people-sized aquarium and, once you're acquainted with your fellow inhabitants, to fill with breathable green water through which you will see and feel everything from now on.
--Joshua Maria Wilkinson, Cranky Magazine
Poster by Anderson Reinkordt