April 2013
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Poet Lia Purpura

On Tuesday night, I had the opportunity to listen to poet and essayist Lia Purpura read some of her work at tonight’s Bothe Lecture on campus. The Bothe Lecture, named for alumnus Christopher Bothe, is an annual lecture sponsored by the English department and the Bothe family in which poets and writers come to read some of their works aloud.

All of the poems Purpua read came from her book of poetry, King Baby, a collection of poems about a mysterious “being” (depicted below) that she and her son found in a river one cold winter day and the powerful impact that this being had on her.


I really enjoyed listening to her read, but it wasn’t enough. For me, listening to poetry is hard if I don’t have the text in front of me. But the way she spoke and the emotion that came from her as she spoke about this being, King Baby, convinced me that I needed to buy the book, which would be on sale after she was done speaking. Not to mention that memoir in the form of poetry is a genre I have found that I like and would like to read more of.

Unfortunately, it occurred to me early on in the reading that I had forgotten my keys, which are attached to a small pouch in which I keep my student ID and some cash. I was bummed because I would not be able to buy and book and have it autographed. Fortunately, a very wonderful person who knows who she is agreed to spot me the money to purchase the book. I am so blessed!

So the day was saved! I now have my very own copy of King Baby signed by Lia Purpura, who is also lovely—she concurred that listening to poetry while wonderful, is also difficult.

I have already read few the first few poems, but it will be a while before I’ll have a chance to tackle the collection in its entirety. But I am very fortunate to now have a copy of the book because it brings me one step closer to having that chance.

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