It’s Monday morning, and I’m determined to keep my Thanksgiving Resolution. Besides which, our night with John Fulton and Paisley Rekdal was too good not to talk about! On Thursday, November 15th, we were delighted to have them both here to read from their newest works.
Paisley Rekdal is a familiar face here in Salt Lake City — she’s a Professor of English at the University of Utah, is a Writers at Work board member, and we’ve sold her poetry in our store for years now. Her newest book, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope, is a collection that spans personal reminiscences and revelations, the observation of nature, history, daily life, and the life of the mind, with poignant and haunting imagery. She captivated me from the first poem, Strawberry — which I’ve carried around in my head for days now, hearing certain phrases over and over again — and held onto me through the final, Peony, which has guaranteed that I will never look at a flower the same way again.
John Fulton grew up here in Salt Lake City, and is now a professor in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts (Boston), where he lives with his wife and daughter. The stories in The Animal Girl focus on the way we deal with two integral and inextricable issues: grief and love (which often turns out not to be love at all, but obsession, flirtation, or just plain sex). It’s a compelling and sometimes disturbing collection that draws you into the characters’ lives, and often makes you recognize something about yourself in the process. If you want to learn more, the Salt Lake Tribune has a great Q&A with John.
I think I can safely say that everyone had a great time — Paisley and John were both excellent readers, and afterwards there was food, wine, and lots of discussion. It was such a success, in fact, that I think we might try more double-header events in the future!