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spacer.gif   MY TOPIC, MYOPIC, CAN'T STOP IT
Posted by : cj on Sunday, March 23, 2008 - 09:25 PM
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Chicago Poetry News: Click On Headlines .
It's Sweet Sixteen For Myopic Books


It's about time we sing some praises for Chicago poet Larry Sawyer, who not only continues to run milk magazine but who has kept the Myopic Books Sunday night poetry reading alive; and when I say alive I do mean alive. The series is in its 16th year and continues to feature local talent while bringing in voices from across the land. This magnificent event happens on Sunday nights at 7 PM on the second floor of the bookstore at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue. During each reading, two or three poets are featured. The series is very popular; in fact, it's so popular that a pretty good crowd came out to see Andrew Lundwall and Daniela Olszewska on Easter Sunday.

Andrew Lundwall is a widely published poet whose work can be found in print and online in Dead Horse Review, Seven Corners, Aesthetica, Lost & Found Times, Big Bridge, Eratio, Shampoo, Moria, Get Underground, Retort Magazine, Admit Two, Dead Drunk Dublin, Blackbox, Score, Unlikely Stories, Litter, Ocho, Blazevox and many others. The fragmented thoughts contained in his poetry reminded me of the way my mind works at six in the morning when I'm half asleep and all the thoughts are fused together into a steady stream of the unexpected. The strength of his work can be found in his ideas rather than in images and the complete absence of narration in his work makes it wonderfully experimental. Lundwall read some work from his book funtime, which is a collaboration with poet Adam Fieled, and he also read a couple of love poems that I thought were especially taboo.

Daniela Olszewska is the author of The Partial Autobiography of Jane Doe published by Dancing Girl Press. Her work also appears in La Petite Zine, MiPOesias, Cranky, and Pebble Lake Review. You can check out her blog here. Columbia College Chicago must be doing something right if they are helping to shape poets like Olszewska. As Olszewska read her work at Myopic Books, she really put me in her room, which was a strange experience considering her room is filled with suns orbiting balloons and people crocheting scarves for dead animals. What struck me most about Olszewska's work is how original the gargantuan images she constructs with petite lines are. She says so much with so few words in a way I've never heard it said before: "Don't' send the eyes to do the mouth's job."

Myopic Books remains one of the coolest independant bookstores in Chicago and its poetry reading series is an important part of the Chicago Poetry Scene. Check out their upcoming events here.

--CJ Laity


Note: CJ Laity takes a trip out to Myopic Books to report on their Sunday night get together. Click Here for the full report.

 
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