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Keith Wilson: Field Notes on Ordinary Love
September 23, 2020 @ EST 7:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
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Poetry Reading & Conversation
Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, Cave Canem Fellow, and graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. Selected by The New York Times for its “best poetry of the year” list, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love was lauded by Publishers Weekly as “romantic yet world-weary, bereaved yet fortified–a kindred reflection of the heart in the modern world.” Wilson is a 2018-19 Kenyon Review Poetry Fellow and has received scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, MacDowell Colony, Tin House, Community of Writers, Miami Writers Institute, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center, among others. A game designer, he serves as assistant poetry editor at Four Way Review and digital media editor at Obsidian. He lives in Chicago.
The poems in Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love approach family, politics, and romance, often through the lens of space: the vagaries of a relationship full of wonder and coldness, separation and exploration. There is a sense of the speaker as a cartographer of familiar spaces, of land he has never left or relationships that have stayed with him for years, and always with the newness of an alien or stranger. Acutely attuned to the heritage of Greco-Roman myth, Wilson writes through such characters as the Basilisk and the Minotaur, emphasizing the intense loneliness of these characters. For the racially ambiguous speaker of these poems, who is both black and not black, who has lived between the American South and the Midwest, there are no easy answers. From the fields of Kentucky to the pigeon coops of Chicago, identities and locations blur–the pastoral bleeds into the Afrofuturist, black into white and back again.