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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Thursday, July 24, 2014

Subtexts – Poetry in tune: Two artists read from their works

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2014 5:00 am

Nathan Brown, the current poet laureate for the state of Oklahoma, is also a singer-songwriter and something of a traveling troubadour. Poet Lauren Camp — her most recent collection is The Dailiness — is also a visual artist; her solo exhibit The Fabric of Jazz: A Tribute to the Genius of American Music was displayed at Kansas City’s American Jazz Museum and at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The two artists read their poems at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St., 505-988-4226) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Brown — his latest book is Less Is More, More or Less — writes in a self-deprecating style, taking a certain delight in his own misconceptions. He is not afraid to address silence, as he does in “The Sign,” a poem from his book Two Tables Over. Here his assumption about a young couple with a baby unravels as they begin to converse in sign language: “The baby’s eyes glow in the wave/and trickle of mom’s fingers that must/look like birds close enough to touch./And the trusses of my preconceptions/Begin to buckle.” Brown’s poems, accessible and almost conversational in tone, uncover the sort of life experiences that speak to all of us.

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