I am excited to announce that on Friday, September 21, 2007, Beth Gylys is having a launch party for her new chapbook titled MATCHBOOK. It is with ease that I can praise Beth Gylys. As a former student I can attest to the fact she is an amazing professor who has a genuine love of what she does in the classroom. (If that isn’t the case she needs an Oscar for her performance!) She is an amazing poet; feel free to read her first chapbook BALLOON HEART or her two full length collections, BODIES THAT HUM and SPOT IN THE DARK, for evidence of her wit, humor, intelligence, and brilliant craft.
I must brag on Beth a little more before I get back to the exciting topic at hand. I keep Beth’s BODIES THAT HUM on my desk when writing. It is one of the books I keep in my satchel when I attend conferences. Yes, the book is that good! The Boston
Review published a few of Beth’s villanelles that can be found in BODIES THAT HUM and David Lehman
had this to say about those villanelles:
Beth Gylys has been writing a series of villanelles that test this arduous form
as a vehicle for writing about love, romance, and contemporary life in the
American idiom. She has written more than twenty of these poems to date, and
they are breathtakingly successful in exploring the limits of the form and
applying it to the demands of her own experience. Some of the villanelles are
funny; others are tender, sensual, and filled with high romance; many combine
wit and humor and urban speed in new and exciting ways. In “My Savior in the
Form of a Bus” and “Hard Luck” the apparatus of the villanelle is used toward a
narrative end. “Do Not Dive Head-First” rises beyond the immediate task of
parodying Dylan Thomas, while “Personal” must be the first and only villanelle
on record to combine the qualities of a classified ad with what Norman Mailer
called an “advertisement for myself.” Read and enjoy
I digress no more.
MATCHBOOK is a collection of personals written in sonnet form. (Hats off for a collection of sonnets– I try not to touch a sonnet with a ten foot pen.) Beth delves into all personalities and lifestyles: straight men and women, gay men, lesbians. As if it wouldn’t be interesting enough, Beth has spiced up the evening by variety of people reading her poems— I’m thrilled to be one of the people reading!
Mark your calendar, program it in your PDA, you need to attend the launch party for Beth Gylys’s new creation, MATCHBOOK, on 9/21/07 at 7:30pm in the Troy Memorial Library, which is located on the GSU campus.
Attend and see which personal speaks to you. MATCHBOOK has someone for everyone.
I promised two Gylys poems a day, so here it is:
HANDS FULL OF NOTHING
The hotel lobby, a one-legged man
flops down next to me. I’m so tired
I could curl beside the fountain,
Cupid in its center, vomiting green water.
You were just on the phone, saying,
I’d like to kneel down in front of you,
my tongue between your. . . If I were there,
you wouldn’t even take me out
to get a sandwich. The one-legged man
makes his living playing bass. His laugh
sounds like a horse. I close my eyes.
I’d like to . . . If I were there, you wouldn’t even
meet me for a drink. Why do I call?
Here by nine, I drove through the night,
sunroof open, the sky a pincushion of stars.
To stay awake, I kept reaching up my hand
to grab, one more time, a fistful of wind.
~ Beth Gylys
Spot in the Dark, Ohio State University Press (2004)