~from intern Ciara Baird
Margaret Brown introduced Eduardo C. Corral by describing his writing style, saying he uses dreamlike and unfamiliar language in order to ask the reader/listener to see a world full of new possibility. She said that Corral draws on his own life for inspiration, while interweaving fantasy and events that have not actually occurred, but sound as though they have.
Corral began the reading with excerpts from his first book, Slow Lightening, which took him 9.5 years to write. The first poem he described as an acrostic poem, telling the audience he “stole” lyrics from Prince’s Little Red Corvette for the poem. Many of his poems make use of code switching, meaning he switched between English and Spanish. He described code switching as a means to displace the reader. A central topic of the poems he read dealt with the fear of acquiring HIV as a gay man coming to age in the 1980s.
He then read from his second book, Guillotine, which he hopes to have published later this year. The first half of the book is comprised of persona poems. The first poem Corral read was in the perspective of a Border Patrol Agent who is a central persona throughout. The second half of the book deals with falling in love with someone who doesn’t love you back.
During a Q & A session at the end of the reading, Corral divulged that he likes to use both English and Spanish in his writing because it mimics how he thinks. He enjoys using persona poems because it gives the writer access to new ways of thinking about the self and others.
The Creative Writing Reading Series is made possible by the support of the CSU Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts, the donor-sponsor of the Crow-Tremblay Alumni Reading Series, and other generous donors. Visit advancing.colostate.edu/CWRS for more on our donors and information about how to donate.
Join us for our next reading: Gillian Cummings & Adam Fagin, Wednesday March 7, 7:30 pm, Gregory Allicar Museum of Art, University Center for the Arts.
Gillian Cummings is the author of The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter, selected by John Yau as the winner of the 2018 Colorado Prize for Poetry (The Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, 2018) and My Dim Aviary, winner of the 2015 Hudson Prize (Black Lawrence Press, 2016). She has also written three chapbooks: Ophelia (dancing girl press, 2016), Petals as an Offering in Darkness (Finishing Line Press, 2014), and Spirits of the Humid Cloud (dancing girl press, 2012). Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Boulevard, The Cincinnati Review, The Colorado Review, The Crab Orchard Review, The Cream City Review, Denver Quarterly, The Journal, The Laurel Review, Linebreak, The Massachusetts Review, The New Orleans Review, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, in other journals and in two anthologies. In 2008, she was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund Poetry Prize. A graduate of Stony Brook University (BA, English) and of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program, Gillian lives in Westchester County, New York, where for five years she taught poetry workshops to women at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is currently at work on a novel and a third collection of poetry. She also draws botanical still lifes and occasional other subjects, and is currently seeking out professional training in the visual arts, (bio from her website, http://www.gilliancummingspoet.com/)
Adam Fagin is the author of the Mountain West Poetry Series selection Furthest Ecology (Center for Literary Publishing 2019). His chapbooks are T’s Alphabet (Little Red Leaves Textile Series 2013) and THE SKY IS A HOWLING WILDERNESS BUT IT CAN’T HOWL WITH HEAVEN (Called Back Books 2016). His work has appeared in Colorado Review, Boston Review, Entropy, Fence, Denver Quarterly, and many other journals.