Phillips Library poetry reading featuring two AU instructors

The Glass Wall of Poetry returns to Phillips Library this year for National Poetry Month.

Phillips Library is celebrating National Poetry Month tonight with a 5 p.m. reading featuring two recently published Aurora University instructors.

Patrick Dunn, Assistant Professor of English, will read from his third published book, “Second Person.” His collection of poems explores life as an engagement with others, or Other. Included is a poem called “Quartet in A Minor, op. 132,” which won the Marilyn Houghton Kayton Founders Prize. Dunn’s poetry has been described as delicate — the product of a tender and sensitive heart.

“‘Second Person’ is about the idea of relationships between people and how we relate to the world we live in, and how those relationships create meaning,” he said.

Dunn has been writing published poetry for the past 15 years. He describes his work as straddling the line between formal and free verse.

“I’m a fan of structures, but not necessary traditional structures,” he said. “I invent a lot of the structure as I go.”

Sandra Marchetti, a writing specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning who also teaches English courses at AU, will be reading from “The Canopy,” winner of the Midwest Writing Center’s 2011 Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest. A reviewer has described her book as “brimming with landscapes we inhabit for a meaningful moment before that glimpse and tickle of the surroundings necessarily change with the inevitable momentum of time.”

Marchetti called herself a “poet of places” and said she writes mostly about Midwest landscapes, houses and the people living in them. Her poems often have a surrealistic touch with readers encountering unexpected and out-of-place elements.

“There’s a rhythm to it,” said Marchetti, who was first published seven years ago while in college. “There are definitely sounds in the poetry. It’s less narrative and more lyrical.”

Both authors will be selling and signing copies of their new books after reading select works.

Other National Poetry Month attractions include a book display featuring 50 books of poetry specifically targeted for children and young adults, and the return of the Glass Wall of Poetry. The wall of static clink “words” was introduced last year on the Phillips Library window walls, allowing students to create their own poems in honor of National Poetry Month.

You Understood

By Patrick Dunn

The imperative of all audiences
Is a you understood,
Sitting in the back there,
Or in bed with a book.

The archaeologist with her brush
Finds in the clouds
of dust a you to be, a way
Back to the carver’s hand.

And picking at the Spanish
In a used book, fallen behind
A stack of cookbooks, I am
Who the author thinks I’m not.

This, and all these, are shapes
Carved from the space between
My face and yours, like
An optical illusion of a vase.

Or maybe our faces sculpt
A champagne glass, thin-stemmed
Ornate cut crystal.  Then disappear
Altogether when our lips meet.

Walk Ahead

By Sandra Marchetti

Strength is an object,
like anything else.

We pull at its edge,
pluck off the crust

and feed ourselves.
Nervously and then

wonderfully—we harbor
strength and give it,

pulling at each other
as we stretch and sing—

hip into hip,
eye blinded to other eyes.

We walk down the street,
the wrestlers,

you and I who
keep strength as our object,

the thing we must
impress ourselves upon.