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Join Cowfeather Press and Woodland Pattern Book Center to celebrate new work by Wisconsin based poets Rubén Medina, Wendy Vardaman & Sarah Busse (Sarah Sadie).
Rubén Medina was born in Mexico City in 1955. He is a poet, translator, academic, editor, and one of the founders of Infrarrealism. He has lived in the US since 1978 and received an NEA in poetry in 1981. In poetry he has published Báilame este viento, Mariana (1980), Amor de lejos...Fools’ Love (1986), the first edition of Nomadic Nation / Nación nómada (2010), and poems in numerous anthologies in the US, Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. In the area of research his works include: Autor, autoridad y autorización: escritura y poética de Octavio Paz (1999) and Genealogías del presente y del pasado: Literatura y cine meXicanos (2010). In collaboration with John Burns, he translated a major anthology of Beat poetry: Una pandilla de salvajes improvisando a las puertas del infierno (2012). Recently he edited Perros habitados por las voces del desierto. Poesía infrarrealista entre dos siglos (2014). Since 1991 he has taught at UW–Madison.
Wendy Vardaman is the author of Obstructed View (Fireweed Press 2009) and Reliquary of Debt (Lit Fest Press 2015), the co-editor of four anthologies, and a board member for the Council for Wisconsin Writers. With husband, Thomas DuBois, she has three adult children and has never owned a car.
Sarah Busse (Sarah Sadie) is the author of Somewhere Piano (Mayapple Press, 2012) and Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes (Five Oaks Press, 2015). She writes for the Patheos Pagan channel at patheos.com and teaches at the Loft and the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.
Together, Vardaman and Busse co-edited the anthologies Echolocations, Poets Map Madison and Local Ground(s)—Midwest Poetics, and founded Cowfeather Press. They currently share the Madison Poet Laureate position (2012-2015).
Cowfeather Press, founded by Sarah Busse and Wendy Vardaman in 2011, is a two-woman volunteer operation committed to developing a place for poetry in civic discourse, everyday life, and ritual, as well as to expanding and connecting communities of poets and readers. At Cowfeather Press, we believe poetry matters, and we reach towards an aesthetic that represents the diversity of the Midwest. We encourage conversations on the page, stage, screen, and in other public spaces which embrace, challenge, and explore both our differences and our common humanity.
Blue Flame, Blue Wave
My home was a shallow Cambrian sea.
Now, it’s a grit of sand, smoke from a forge,
twisted sheets still damp. This is Wisconsin.
If I tell you I still hear the surf will you
believe me, or
easy glosses, home and love,
I live how restless walls can be,
how trembly mornings before
the flare and catch, pitched
on the cliffedge
of trust, of the truest
words I ever wrote: everything
happens at once. But closer to the bone:
arrangement wedded to accident, another way
to say, I said then, doorway, escape.
—Sarah Sadie, from Do-It-Yourself Paper Airplanes
(Madison. Reliquary. St. Monica’s Day)
Half-way tempted minutes after you leave
to sweep up the trimmings from your last
off the bathroom floor, the sink, the countertop, and save
them in some sacred box—the way I’ve saved
each lost tooth, last
bits of blood still clinging to their worn roots—
I brush my hand across fogged glass, remove
the curled lock pasted there, scrap-booked valentine,
yellow-edged, from someone who no longer calls,
transport this last
of you that’s left on the end of one
processional fingertip, careful not to let it drop until
I reach its final resting place—the trash.
—Wendy Vardaman, from Reliquary of Debt (Lit Fest Press 2015)
MAPA DEL DíA
I am in all the places I
want to be
Camino por las
calles de Madison
en el horizonte
and the clouds
on my gaze
el olor de las jacarandas
I find pieces of the moon
on my nails
en La Habana
y calle Dolores
el gemido del mar
y del pacífico
en un solo
y enorme latido
I feel Winter’s air
Me voy a dormir
en el centro
de Monte Albán
bajo las estrellas
and I wake up
on a bus ride
in the middle
or at the edge
of Lake Mendota
en una noche
I am in all the places I
want to be
es un país
Aquí y aquí
—Rubén Medina, from Nomadic Nation/Nación nómada (Cowfeather Press, 2015)