Poetry at the Armory

Feb 1, 2015

LightVoices—each a distinct inspiration—come together to reveal our fragility, peacefulness and necessity for change.

Five women. Five poets. Celeste Gainey, Verónica Reyes, Terry Wolverton, Kim Dower, and Eloise Klein Healy.

Pasadena’s Red Hen Press presents an intimate gathering at the Armory with “distinct women whose work has pioneered an exciting new wave of female poets in Los Angeles.”

Poetry at the Armory
Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, 7 p.m.
Armory Ctr. for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91103
For more info, visit event Facebook page



By Eloise Klein Healy

I’ll tell you why I’m afraid of the dark.
It has its own idea.
It’s like a bullet.
It doesn’t want to know what you know.

The dark is under.
It fits a place to put a hand but I can’t see.
It’s like a voice behind a door.
It can be just about anything I want to hear.

Darkness comes in every size of threat:
the dark cocoon at the end of my life,
storms that turn the sky into an empty can of dark
fitting snug onto the horizon,
the dark in putting my head in hands,
my head into the cave of a person I don’t love anymore.

I’ll tell you again why I’m afraid of the dark.
I can see it coming
and can’t ever tell just when it has arrived.
I sense it thin and waiting between the pages of books
but it’s too fast even for a good reader.

From that place darkness
comes a phone call erratic with grief.
It fills the story called “dying in your sleep”
and was the only time left for voodoo to take,
for rapists to dress in.

I can’t get a grip on darkness
though it wears my imagination like a shroud.
I’ve started hearing sunsets as cracking twigs.
I’ve taken to hiding a piece of flint in my shoe.

(“Dark” reprinted with artist’s permission)


Terry Wolverton: “Embers is at once dense and delicious, crammed with sorrow and drama, a marvelous American tale, a haunting work of art. The pure craft of the thing is fascinating and daunting. This is certainly Wolverton’s masterpiece—the poem, the novel, she was put on earth to write.”
—Carolyn See, author, Making a Literary Life




Verónica Reyes: “In this book (Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives) there is no time to run home chillando or licking your wounds—the gente in Reyes’ recollections pull you into a world where crooked tortillas and marimacha swagger are less the image of otherness, but a symbol of nosotros’ness. Through Reyes’ barrio lyricism, we, the others, do not cross over to become the norm, but come together as strands of hair, distinct, yet slicked together by the force of love, coraje, and Tres Flores.”
—Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Publisher of Kórima Press




Kim Dower: “These poems speak in the voice of an old, trusted friend who knows you, who has come to visit and remind you of who you are and what a life is all about. They speak not of the highs and lows, but about the grey space between tragedy and tenderness, memory and loss, fragility and perseverance—that space where the soul and the truest self live.”
—Richard Blanco, presidential inaugural poet.




Eloise Klein Healy: “Eloise Klein Healy’s straightforward and wry wit underscores her wisdom and the peacefulness that comes from a deeply humane emotional and intellectual knowledge. A Wild Surmise touches on so many things with such clarity and precision it’s like having a handbook to guide us through the world.”
—Natasha Trethewey




Celeste Gainey: “Celeste Gainey’s astonishing debut, The Gaffer, is a book about light: how it finds us, changes us, and shapes who we are and how we see. It’s also a book about the body—sexual, other—‘looking for combustion.’ In Gainey’s world, ‘gaffer’ and ‘poet’ are interchangeable: her poems light the world at perfect angles, even our ‘little failures,’ and cast back to us our own lives: radiantly refigured, radically changed.”
—Aaron Smith







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