Join us at Chase Public to celebrate Geoffrey Woolf's newest book of poems "Learn to Love Explosives" available from Dos Madres Press.
Ryan Shadle will be playing some Merle Haggard covers to kick things off, and Geoffrey Woolf will read selections from his work.
"If you were to listen to a middle-aged Holden Caulfield, you might hear a voice like the one in Geoff Woolf’s gut-punchingly funny and irreverently honest poems. Like Salinger’s young protagonist, the speaker in these prose poems has no patience for phony Americans, such as a mountain climber being interviewed on TV: “the way he kept saying the names of these companies that make his equipment I bet they pay him to blab like that.” Later in the same poem, the speaker admits that he, too, might be bought for the right price: “even though I’m pretty much a coward I have a feeling that there’s this certain amount of dollars that would make me brave as shit too.” The chatty vernacular—spare of unnecessary punctuation—echoes an American idiom as familiar as the Midwestern landscape where these poems dwell.
Here, you might enter a tavern where God occasionally hangs out to stuff quarters in a jukebox or to play a divinely rigged game of pool, strong-arming patrons with bullish omnipotence. As these poems lead you to uncanny places, remember what the speaker says: “Sometimes when a mime is making me uncomfortable and claustrophobic I have to remind myself that it was his choice to get in that imaginary box in the first place.” Don’t get me wrong. These poems aren’t like a mime’s make-believe box, but their uncanny nature challenges you to question your certainties. Woolf wields a fierce and genuine wit against flim-flam hopes, and his poems bring laughter and discomfort in equal measure."
– Murray Shugars
Geoffrey Woolf lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he is a Professor of English and Literature at Cincinnati State Technical & Community College. His work has appeared in publications, including The Cincinnati Poetry Review, Smartish Pace, and Poet Lore. He is the author of two previous collections: When You’re not Here I Notice Things (2002) and Bogeyman (2012). He is a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and The Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University.
Friday, February 5th 7pm
Bring some dollars to buy books with
BYO to supplement the provided refreshements