Please join us to celebrate the launch of G.C. Waldrep’s first UK poetry collection, The Earliest Witnesses. Hosting the reading will be Victoria Chang, joining G.C. to discuss the new work. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will also be showing extracts of the text during the reading so that you can read along.
‘American Goshawk’, the opening poem in this collection, concludes with these words. The word ‘witness’ comes with a wealth of meanings. The poems are, at one level, acute observations of the world in its physical and dramatic detail. But eye and ear detect, in what is there, shadows and figures of what is beyond, what imparts to the things perceived their deeper form, significance and beauty. Such seeing is a craft, a form of translation that engages not just the surface but the essence of what is seen, what the poet calls ‘eye-proofs of the epiphenomenal world’. The ophthalmologist in ‘A Mystic’s Guide to Arches’ keeps asking, ‘Can you see this?’ And we can, seeing it more fully each time we re-read the poem and the separate things configure into a single, powerful seeing. Language obscures – until it releases what it names to the senses.
G.C. Waldrep is an American poet and historian. Winner of the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, recent work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, Paris Review, PN Review, New England Review, Yale Review, New American Writing, Conjunctions, and other journals. Waldrep lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he teaches at Bucknell University and edits the journal West Branch.
Victoria Chang is an American poet and children’s writer. Her fifth book of poems, OBIT, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2020.
Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.