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In Memory of a Banyan Tree: Poems of the Outside World: 1985 to 2022
Three Wooden Trunks
The Country Where Everyone’s Name Is Fear: Selected Poems
March 18, 2014

The Roundhouse Third Wednesday Reading Series for March will feature award-winning poet, David Axelrod

F_Cover150The Roundhouse Third Wednesday Reading Series for March will feature award-winning poet, David Axelrod, reading from his newly-released collection of poems, Folly (Lost Horse Press, 2014).

Folly is perhaps Axelrod’s most personal, vivid and honest work to date. Taking Desderius Erasmus as his noble guide, Axelrod follows the road of folly, error and ignorance that constitute our common life.

Along the way we meet Dostoyevski while Nordic skiing, get a haircut, watch a divorced woman and her daughter fly kites, hold a crippled bird in our hands, consider the virtue of shovels and the perversity of old chainsaws, cross a river with Basho and blow up an oven heating bagels.

Striking notes of real praise alongside bewilderment, this new collection from the author of What Next Old Knife? (Lost Horse Press) reminds us over and over of our privilege and reverence for this existence and our “dumb luck.”

“The poems in Folly,” Axelrod said, “were accumulated over two decades around the idea of imperfection, especially the imperfection of human existence. Because I live in a small town where anonymity is virtually impossible, these poems inevitably were inspired by extraordinary moments in the otherwise ordinary day-to-day in rural Oregon.”

Folly reflects Axelrod’s continued direction away from a “romantic rural West” with the private poet in solitude to a “more realistic view of rural Oregon” in which the poet is immersed in “the shared public spheres of human interaction.”

Joseph Millar says of Folly: “The poems . . . chart the wild landscapes of Eastern Oregon, where the poet has shoveled out a life in the shadow of the Blue Mountains, whose hillsides and trails he has tramped, whose sky he has labored beneath. I’m drawn to their imagery and clear language, and the hand of a practical philosophy opening its rough palm under their winter sun.”

Axelrod has published seven collections of poems and a collection of essays, Troubled Intimacies (Oregon State University Press). He teaches at Eastern Oregon University, where he directs the Ars Poetica Lecture Series and edits —along with Jodi Varon—the award-winning basalt: a journal of fine and literary arts. In addition, he is the co-director of the EOU low-residency MFA Program. He is currently at work on new collections of poems and essays, as well as editing a new edition of the poems of the late Walter Pavlich.

The Roundhouse Reading Series is made possible in part due to grants from Union County Cultural Coalition, Cook Memorial Library, Libraries of Eastern Oregon and local donations.

Folly can be ordered in advance from Looking Glass Books or from Copies will be available for sale after the reading.

Those wishing to read for open mic are asked to sign-up at table near entrance.

Admission is free. Donations are accepted.

April’s Third Wednesday reading will feature Scott Elliott of Walla Walla reading from his new novel, Tempest Grove, set in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

For more information, contact David Memmott at