An Enunciated Interest: Young Poets Read at their End-of-Year Performance
Dr. Nathaniel Mackey, the Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke and award-winning author of Splay Anthem, hosted an end-of-year poetry reading at The Shed Jazz Club on Thursday, April 27th. The reading gave student poets an opportunity to read their poetry aloud and to celebrate their work with friends, colleagues, and fellow members of the Duke poetry community.
Ten undergraduate poets enrolled in the “Advanced Poetry Workshop” course were accompanied by two graduate students, with emcee duties for the evening fulfilled by Dr. Mackey.
Read a selection of the performed poems below.
A Room to Wait
by Amina Bility (T’17)
Now, more than ever I appreciate design.
How they make a coffin feel comfortable.
We pass from a fluorescent-lit hallway,
into a lamp-lit salon.
I see texture and feel the delicate
song of a wind chime
hanging next to the air-condition unit
of this windowless room.
The terror of local news is
reserved for dermatology.
We sit and watch Bonanza,
on a floral patterned couch.
I turn to my sister,
this could be grandma’s living room.
She nods, but the faces
of bleary-eyed strangers remind us
that this is, in fact, a public space.
And like at the deli or DMV,
Someone’s gonna call our number.
Quarter Century Middlescience
by Chelsea Reyes (T’17)
Hands, matches, an ashtray. A ritual beautiful and bitter.
1 Fusillade of sequenced emotion
levels all discussion
Tranquil defreconnaissance rescues
The pilots trapped in inertia
2 Dig the caffeinated pinstripes
coloring the people’s resolve
their horse was never in the barn
it ran through planks and hay to get out
3 Strangled metadata has chiefed old gods
making technical assignments haram
lucrative strongholds in Western ires
match impeded chronologies of human interest
4 Captive eyes smothered in digital resonance
facsimiles of triumphant moments of imagination
singularities of memories escort us
praising the archive of market succession
by Haley Enos (T’17)
supine and dipping
my toes in the spread-eagle sky.
My mouth on the moon and her
arch and quiver
in the woods at night.
I’ll vein the earth,
thread ribbons of blood through her skin,
I’ll give my breath
to her stone lungs
if I have to,
pump her heart with my hands.
When I am shot
with light, when I am
blind, I’ll know
and hollow, feel my insides
pouring from my nose and my throat as
the warm dark retreats.
The day these trees start talking
we’re done for.