"Excess Women" Presented by The Little Corner Reading Series

On December 1, a chilly, rainy, Saturday night in Durham NC, several dozen poetry fans ventured out to the Duke Coffeehouse for Little Corner presents: Excess Women.  Jessica Q Stark and Hannah VanderHart both Ph.D. candidates in the Duke English Department are the organizers of Duke's Little Corner Reading Series, which brings poets and scholars to Durham, NC for poetry readings.  

In an article published in the Indy Week prior to the reading it was noted that in the concept of "Excess Women," Stark and VanderHart  wanted to explore all the iteration of what that phrase could mean-regarding motherhood, appetite, psychology, and more and they wanted to map its intersections with race, gender, and other points of identity.  (This Season, Duke's Little Corner Reading Series Focuses on Women Who Break Through Borders, Indy Week)

"In the eerily golden light at Duke Coffee House, we heard three extraordinary women poets read: Jessica Q. Stark, Ina Cariño and Dorothea Lasky. "Poetry reminds you that there is no dignity in living," Dorothea read to the packed house. Yet, the gold light was emblematic of the bright variety of the lives gathered to hear three unique, radical voices in contemporary poetry. I'm so excited by the gift of Little Corner to the Duke and greater Durham community and look forward to bringing Rachel Zucker and Dorothy Chan in the spring to our gold-lit, feminist, inclusive space." - Hannah VanderHart

Excess Women featured reading by Ina Cariño, Dorothea Lasky, and Jessica Q. Stark:

Photo of Ina Carino during Excess Women Reading
Cariño reciting her poetic works


Ina Cariño was born in Baguio City in the mountains of the Philippines. Her poem "Feast" won the inaugural Sundress Publications broadside contest, and her work appears or is forthcoming in Tupelo Quarterly, Sakura Review, Nat, Brut, Santa Ana River Review, VIDA Review, New American Fiction (from New Rivers Press), One (from Jacar Press), and december Magazine. Her poem "Feast" centers around "childhood memory, the natural world and the interplay between life and death.  ("Ina Cariño Wins Poetry Broadside Contest, Melissa Jackson, NCSU, English News). She is a candidate for an Masters in Fine Arts in creative writing at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, NC.



Photo of Dorothea Laskey reading during Little Corner Presents: Excess Women
Lasky reading from her newest work "Milk"



Dorothea Lasky a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Lasky is a poet and the author of five full-length collections of poetry, taught poetry at New York University, 2013 Bagley Wright Fellow in Poetry and is currently an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts, where I direct the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, act as a co-Faculty Advisor for Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T), and organize the summer writing program




Photo of Jessica Q. Stark at Excess Women
"How can poetry lead us out, in excess, of the structures that hold us still?"  - Jessica Q. Stark


Jessica Q. Stark is a mixed-race Vietnamese American poet and Ph.D. student at Duke University in English, writing on the intersections of American poetry and comics. Her poetry and/or illustrations have appeared or are forthcoming in Tupelo Quarterly, Potluck, Lute & Drum, and for the Glass Poetry Journal's Poets Resist Series. Her chapbook manuscript, The Liminal Parade, was selected by Dorothea Lasky for Heavy Feather's Double Take Prize in 2016. Her mini-chapbook, Vasilisa the Wise, is forthcoming from Ethel Zine Press and she writes an ongoing poem for the Internet called INNANET, the latest volume of which is forthcoming as a poetry pamphlet by Happy Monks Press. Her first full-length collection, Savage Pageant, is forthcoming with Birds LLC. 




"I think the event went well yet I'm excited to develop our theme further as provocation rather than proclamation in relation to our next two readings in the Spring with Rachel Zucker and Dorothy Chan. I am eager to continue thinking about EXCESS WOMEN and further ways we might press against the definitions afforded to boundaries, borders, and femininity."  Jessica Q. Stark

So & So Books was on hand so that the audience could support the artist featured at "Excess Women."  They had copies of the featured readers works available for purchase.

The Little Corner Reading Series, sponsored by the English Department and Professors Joseph Donahue and Nathaniel Mackey, hosted the first of three reading events scheduled for the academic year. 

Future Events:

  • February 8, 2019 - Rachel Zucker, w/TBD, 8pm, Duke Coffeehouse
  • April 6, 2019 – Dorothy Chan, w/TBD, 8pm, Duke Coffeehouse