So & So #91: Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Valerie Nieman | So & So Books | Page: Readings & Signings | Indy Week

Page: Readings & Signings

So & So #91: Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Valerie Nieman

When: Thu., Dec. 10, 8 p.m. 2015


SO & SO BOOKS—To judge by published excerpts, Gabrielle Calvocoressi's forthcoming book of poetry, Rocket Fantastic, is highly attuned to the subtleties of looking. The poems set up multiple vantages that the narration plays across, as if they sketched the boundaries of the field of possibility. In one matter-of-fact but taut prose poem, the speaker watches someone who is unaware of her presence, as he is intent on staring at a bird. "He's really beautiful," Calvocoressi writes. "When he's standing in the trees like that and thinks nobody sees him. He's like a stag. Which sounds silly but he is." An eternal triangle of desire yawns between those gazes, with their perpendicular lines of motion, though what the bird is studying, no one knows. Elsewhere, Calvocoressi shows us not only what to see but exactly where to look, drawing our attention away from "the beast" and toward "the tiny, frightened / man who brings him / in a cage from Alhambra." The author of two previous collections, Calvocoressi is senior poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and teaches writing at Warren Wilson and UNC-Chapel Hill. Hear her read in the So and So Reading Series with Valerie Nieman, former North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow and author, most recently, of Hotel Worthy. 8 p.m., free, 704 N. Person St., Raleigh, 919-426-9502, —Brian Howe

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