Anne Lovering Rounds for Word for Word Poetry, September 10th, 2013
Featuring Etruscan Press
Renée D’Aoust opened with an invocation for peace, and with her poem “Pearl Street.” On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, the poem’s vivid downtown snapshot was a poignant reminder that we may always be, in some sense, “looking up,” “look[ing] for the tops of the World Trade towers.” D’Aoust continued by reading from her creative nonfiction memoir, Body of a Dancer. Her prose is infused with lyric, even as it describes the marks dance leaves on its practitioners and its practice spaces— “the sweat in the air and blood on the floor”—and the price the art form exacts from the body. D’Aoust spoke to the visceral and mesmerizing rhythms of the dancer’s life: “You breathe. Then stop breathing. This is how you start every day. For blood. For art.” The pacing of D’Aoust’s language, especially as she performed it for the listeners in the Reading Room, compellingly reflected the corporeal tensions and releases she had taken as her subject.
Anne Lovering Rounds is Assistant Professor of English at Hostos Community College, City University of New York.