Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Review at the University of Georgia will present a reading by nationally renowned poet Steve Gehrke April 2 at 7 p.m. at Ciné, 234 West Hancock Avenue in downtown Athens. The reading, which is free and open to the public, is part of Gehrke’s tour on the statewide Georgia Poetry Circuit.
Gehrke has published three books of poetry, most recently “Michelangelo’s Seizure,” which was selected for the National Poetry Series and published by the University of Illinois Press in 2007. His other books are “The Pyramids of Malpighi” (Anhinga 2004), selected by Philip Levine for the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and “The Resurrection Machine” (BkMk Press, 2000), winner of the John Ciardi Prize.
His awards include a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Pushcart Prize. Poems from a new manuscript have appeared at Poetry, The Kenyon Review, AGNI, VQR, the Missouri Review and many others. He teaches at the University of Nevada in Reno.
The Georgia Poetry Circuit is a consortium of 10 colleges and universities that annually brings three poets of national reputation to the member campuses, providing important access to the literary arts for Georgia residents across the state. The Georgia Review, the internationally prominent literary quarterly founded at the University of Georgia in 1947, has been the UGA liaison to the circuit since its start-up in 1985.
An excerpt of Beasley’s poetry is provided:
By Steve Gehrke
For my daughter
If the body is primal, if the body is performed,
if the body is a city made of matches,
something the self burns as it retreats,
if death is a victory, if death is a cascade,
if death is the moment when the pianist rises
from the piano and the piano plays on,
if you are a theater, if you are the wandering
troupe, if you have checked, lost traveler,
into the softest of hotels, if you already existed,
in endless repetitions, like an echo which,
biopsied, grows to completion, like the flames
on a candelabra, not just born from a single
match, but wavering in the tip before it’s
struck, the whole hive singularized, a queen
subject to her ovaries, if the same horses
grazing in me are grazing in you, if the body
is a field written in hoofprints, the whole
ghostly herd passing through, then I’ll meet you
where the generations end, where the last gene
evaporates, my invisible, my twin…And
Fortinbras enters, followed closely by the wind.
Source: “Poetry” (July/August 2012).