Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Does anyone know who Cynthia Kimball is?
Yesterday, I was walking by Lyn Hejinian's office and noticed stacks of books of poetry across the hall from it. One of the things I picked up (stole?) was broadside called Omen for a birthday: unravelled poems, published by Leave Books in Buffalo, NY. I always love it when I can find a broadside. It was the kind of poetry I usually don't like, but it was a broadside, so I took (stole?) it.

I read it last night and liked it, but I thought I was just too tired to know better. I spent some more time with it today, and realize that I am really in love with it.
It is a collection of poems that run into each other so that you are reading all of them separately but can't help reading them simultaneously. This usually just looks like a mess, and this looks like a mess at first glance, but it is actually a very well-organized, well-made group of poems.

The cover has a star map on it; constellations. The poems read like constellations of stars, and then they make connections with the reader. A lot of "experimental" poets and poems fail at making an emotional connection with readers. Cynthia Kimball's Omen for a birthday does not fail in any way.

unfortunately, there isn't much of her on line. Only a very funny picture here.

3 comments:

mark wallace said...

Cynthia currently lives in Portland. She and I were students at the University of Buffalo in the early 1990s.

Jack Morgan said...

Wow!!! Mark Wallace!!!
Thanks for letting me know her whereabouts. I really did love her poems. I wish I wrote about more of your friends to get you to my humble blog more often!

I enjoyed your book, Nothing happened and besides I wasn't there very, very much.

mark wallace said...

I wasn't there very very much either. And I'm glad you enjoyed my book--thanks.

Cynthia continues to be a fine poet who keeps a low profile but goes to a lot of Portland readings. Somebody's going to have the good sense to publish a full-length book of hers at some point, I'm sure.