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Two Acclaimed Poets to Read at APSU on Sept. 23

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Poetry, like music, is meant to be heard. The cadence of the spoken words has the ability to quiet the mind, illuminating a depth of feeling for the attuned listener.

            At 4 p.m. on Sept. 23, area residents will get to experience the transcending powers of two of the country’s formidable poets – Kazim Ali and Brett Ralph – during a public reading of their work in room 303 of the Morgan University Center. A book signing will follow.

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Poetry, like music, is meant to be heard. The cadence of the spoken words has the ability to quiet the mind, illuminating a depth of feeling for the attuned listener.

            At 4 p.m. on Sept. 23, area residents will get to experience the transcending powers of two of the country’s formidable poets – Kazim Ali and Brett Ralph – during a public reading of their work in room 303 of the Morgan University Center. A book signing will follow.

            Ali is the author of two books of poetry, “The Far Mosque” and “The Fortieth Day.” He was the winner of the Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award, and his poetry has been featured in national journals such as Best American Poetry 2007, American Poetry Review, Boston Review and Barrow Street.

            A review in Publishers Weekly stated that “painterly minimalism, open-field technique and Near Eastern traditions give Ali a neatly varied verbal palette for his smart, quietly attractive poems…his unresting intellect and acoustic talents make him a poet to watch.”

            Ralph, a Kentucky native, has traveled extensively and taught at an eclectic mix of institutions, such as the University of Massachusetts, the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in the Himalayas of Northern India and Hopkinsville (Ky.) Community College. His work has appeared in publications such as Conduit, Willow Springs and The American Poetry Review. His poems have been anthologized in “The McSweeny’s Book of Poets Picking Poets” and “The Stiffest of the Corpse: Exquisite Corpse Reader.”

            His first book of poetry, “Black Sabbatical” was published last year by Sarabande Books.

            “Brett Eugene Ralph can surely write like the Dickens, and I don’t mean Charles,” American filmmaker Harmony Korine said on the book’s jacket. “He’s a true beast of a man with insight and beauty to spare.”

            The reading, which is sponsored by the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, is free and open to the public. For information, contact Susan Wallace with the Center at 221-7031 or wallacess@apsu.edu.