Arda Collins, James Arthur, and Heather Christle gave a reading at the NYU Lillian Vernon Writers House on Friday, March 15. NYU creative writing faculty member Matthew Rohrer introduced the three poets.
Arda Collins kicked off the reading with several of her intense, disquieting poems from her 2009 book It is Daylight, wryly observing that her poems are “incredibly lonely and incredibly creepy.” Collins also read several new poems titled after numbers she likes, including “152”, “392”, and “266,000”.
James Arthur read next, fluidly delivering his poems from memory. He read poems from his debut 2012 book Charms Against Lightning, and explained that many of the poems were inspired by his wanderings, and his belief as a younger man that, “if I just kept moving, and just kept changing, finally I would end up somewhere where I would be completely myself, completely happy.” His poems meditated on everything from the omnivore diet to the biblical story of Cain and Abel to the sight of an ergonomic bicycle.
Heather Christle read last, charming the audience with questions about Daniel Day-Lewis and lines like, “I lost my phone I am using the baby monitor instead it’s in the flowers nobody is calling.” She read poems from her 2011 book The Trees The Trees, poems which Matthew Rohrer introduced as “deceptively simple, emotionally rich” and as “taking place in Narnia.” Christle closed with a poem dedicated to her friend Bill Cassidy who she last saw climbing the stairs at the reading she gave at NYU in 2009.
A podcast of the reading can be found here: http://cwp.fas.nyu.edu/page/podcast#27938
Dana Isokawa, Assistant Interview Editor