Safia Jama for Word for Word Poetry, May 13th, 2014
Featuring Coffee House Press
The month of May ushered in the first of 24 Word for Word poetry readings curated by Paul Romero through the end of September. The inaugural outdoor reading featured four diverse voices from Minneapolis-based CoffeeHouse Press.
|Sun Yung Shin|
Anna Moschovakis, the last reader of the evening, approached the microphone as the air turned chilly. Moschovakis made an unusual choice and delivered a reading of all-new material, one long poem titled “What it Means To Be Avant-garde." The poem juxtaposes notes on Roma culture, anxiety disorders, depression, and the problem of beauty. The poem lives up to the title and its tone evokes Dostoevsky: “I am dissatisfied”; “I expect to be punished.” I'm eager--even anxious!--to read this new work by Moschovakis in print.
While the four poets from Coffee House Press could not have been more different, each took imaginative and linguistic risks. All in all, the reading was an auspicious start to this year's Word for Word poetry series.
Safia Jama currently teaches writing and pursues an M.F.A. in poetry at Rutgers-Newark. A Cave Canem fellow and a graduate of Harvard College, her poetry appears in Reverie and The New Sound; her nonfiction appears on NPR's SchoolBook and The Volta.