1. Poet Ari Kalinowski at the bar beforehand. 2. Poets Ken Walker and Mary Austin Speaker.
Poetry-exclusive Copper Canyon Press staged a listening party at Littlefield in Gowanus Sunday evening, 1.4 miles from Borough Hall, in the rain, on a side street of casketmakers, hours after the Brooklyn Book Festival had closed its doors and stacked its chairs. In 2005 Copper Canyon made waves when its books garnered both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, and the press is known for its consistently top tier publications and its non-profit financial structure. Readers at the event were Ben Lerner (Angle of Yaw, Mean Free Path), Brenda Shaughnessy (Human Dark with Sugar, Interior with Sudden Joy), Chris Martin, (American Music), and Mark Bibbins (The Dance of No Hard Feelings), a cross-section of Copper Canyon’s upcoming best and brightest poets. In fact, of any event affiliated with this year’s Fest, the listening party lineup constituted the most relevant poets writing the most rigorous poetry to appear in Brooklyn this weekend. Maybe next year organizers will see fit to include this much heavy-lifting in the Festival’s general programing.
1. Scene 2. Brenda Shaughnessy reading, diffusing into light.