On Thursday, I attended a reading at Rockhurst University by Laura Kasichke. This was one of the Midwest Poets Series readings that have over the years attracted the likes of Billy Collins, W.S. Merwin, C.D. Wright, Sharon Olds, Li-Young Lee, among others.
I read a short novel last fall written by Kasischke when I was unable to turn up one of her poetry books at the Library. The remarkable thing about the book was not so much the plot as it was the language she used. He writing was so vivid with imagery that I know that her poetry just had to be awesome. I was not disappointed.
Kasischke has published six books of poetry in addition to three novels. She is a Pushcart Prize winner as well as the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award for Emerging Writers, the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award, and has earned fellowships by the Ragdale Foundation, McDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Presently she teaches at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
What draws me to her poetry is the manner in which she transforms the common everydayness of events and things into mystical imagery to tell a story. Her words, even in the throngs of commonality are strong enough to pry your attention away from your own everyday life.