Poetry Panel with Jeremy Michael Clark, Matthew Parsons, and Maurice Manning

Event date: 

Monday, April 22, 2024 - 7:00pm
2720 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY 40206

In honor of National Poetry Month, Carmichael's Bookstore is excited to host poets JEREMY MICHAEL CLARK, MATTHEW PARSONS, and MAURICE MANNING. They will be presenting from their latest collections. 

About the Books:

In The Trouble with Light, Jeremy Michael Clark reflects on the legacy of familial trauma as he delves into questions about belonging, survival, knowledge, and self-discovery in unflinching lyrical poems. “Like you,” he writes, “I have . . . [a] history of / hardly caring for my body, of letting / whoever drink their share of me, / thinking it could cure / my fear of dirt.” Whether ruminating on intimacy, lineage, identity, faith, or addiction, Clark’s poems embody a restless, rigorous curiosity. Largely set in the poet’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, his portraits of interiority gracefully juxtapose the sorrows of alienation and self-neglect with the restorative power of human connection. In one of the most affectionate—and characteristically ambivalent—poems in the collection, Clark recalls, “For days, doubt struck as does lightning / across the span of night. . . . Love? If it exists, / it’s the uncertainty one feels before a thunderclap, / after the sky’s gone dark again.” A vulnerable and transporting debut, The Trouble with Light is a vital record of how grief can endure, and how we can yet endure ourselves.

Mountain Roosters is the debut full-length book of poetry by Matthew Sidney Parsons being published by Pine Row Press. The book addresses social issues such as gender, cultural identity, poverty, politics, and generational succession with a clear dialectic voice supported by strong images and quick wit. Mountain Roosters examines the modern Appalachian man through the lens of the author’s ever-evolving relationship with the men he has known – featuring poetic sketches of the characters as you move through the collection. In a bit of beautiful irony, Mountain Roosters pries open the hard shell of the country man using the acutely emotional communication range of the poetic form.

Maurice Manning returns to the Kentucky countryside in his eighth collection, Snakedoctor. Existing between haunting memory and pastoral dreamscape, this quiet collection showcases Manning's storytelling at its finest. Simple, four-beat lines hold epiphanies--"the barn is just an empty church"-- and announce visits from seven-foot strangers named Mr. True. Here, God is reimagined as a "serious banjo player" who calls the world to sing. And sing Manning does. Through rhyme, blues, and haiku, Snakedoctor trains our ears to hear music in the mundane, to find beauty all around us: in the annotated margins of a well-read book, the flight of a father's shadow puppet, the yellow centers of daisies. Punctuated by rain's pitter-patter on a tin wash tub, and the "ring of lonely" in a farmer's voice as he calls his cattle home, Snakedoctor is a collection that will leave you wanting to dog-ear its pages. From childhood to fatherhood, church barn to apple orchard, moonshine to moonbeam, we leave these poems understanding Manning's wish: "I wanted to make a prayer and I did, / in half-sleep after the dream."

About the Authors

Jeremy Michael Clark earned his MFA from Rutgers University–Newark and his MSW from the University of Pennsylvania after working as an editorial assistant at Callaloo. His poems have appeared in PoetryThe CommonPoem-a-Day, the Southern Review, and elsewhere. His work has also been recognized with support from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, the Community of Writers, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.

Matthew Parsons is a poet and farmer from eastern Kentucky. He has been published in print and online journals such as Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Rattle, and Still: the Journal, among others. Matt is a professional musician and songwriter, touring domestically and internationally. Matt is currently working at home farming, creating new music, writing poetry and fiction, and enjoying the company of his wife and children.

Maurice Manning's eighth book of poetry is Snakedoctor.  His first book, Lawrence Booth's Book of Visions was selected by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.  His fourth book, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize.  A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning lives on a small farm in Kentucky and teaches at Transylvania University.  He is the co-creator with Steve Cody of The Grinnin' Possum Podcast, featuring poetry, music, and history.

 

Staff Pick Badge
The Trouble with Light (Miller Williams Poetry Prize) By Jeremy Michael Clark Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781682262498
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: University of Arkansas Press - March 21st, 2024

In The Trouble with Light, Jeremy Michael Clark reflects on the legacy of familial trauma as he delves into questions about belonging, survival, knowledge, and self-discovery in unflinching lyrical poems. “Like you,” he writes, “I have . . .


Snakedoctor By Maurice Manning Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781556596988
Availability: On Our Shelves in the last 24 hours. Click to see a specific store location's stock.
Published: Copper Canyon Press - November 14th, 2023

From church barn to apple orchard, from snow-covered pasture to secret moonshine cabin, Manning's Snakedoctor reinvigorates the Kentucky pastoral through poems that find light in shadow, good in evil, love in a father's stinging blow.

Maurice Manning returns to the Kentucky countryside in his eighth collection, Snakedoctor.


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Event Summary: 

In honor of National Poetry Month, Carmichael's Bookstore is excited to host poets JEREMY MICHAEL CLARK, MATTHEW PARSONS, and MAURICE MANNING. They will be presenting from their latest collections.