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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Poetry Center aims to bring diversity to Tucson community

    Photo+courtesy+of+Jenny+Boully
    Photo courtesy of Jenny Boully

    The faint smell of old books, a crowd of attendees hungry for the sound of words and author Jenny Boully will take over the UA Poetry Center on Thursday.

    A collaboration between the Poetry Center and UA Prose Reading Series will present this event as part of the Hybrid Writing Series. On Thursday, Boully will read from her work, then hold a Q&A session.

    Cybele Knowles, program coordinator at the Poetry Center, said that the Hybrid Writing Series works to diversify the Tucson community’s exposure to today’s poetry.

    “We aim to bring the best of contemporary poets to Tucson, and to provide education about contemporary poetry,” Knowles said in an email interview. “Each reading is a learning experience for us and for our communities.”

    Knowles said she hopes Boully will read from her book titled “not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them.”

    “One of the fun things about going to a poetry reading is getting these sneak peaks at poems that are still in manuscript form,” Knowles said.

    Boully double majored in English and philosophy at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., where she later earned her master’s degree in English criticism and writing. The 37-year-old author said she has been writing for as long as she can remember, adding that she recalls scratching words onto a page as early as first grade.

    Boully said she began working on getting her pieces published when she was in high school, when she wrote personal columns for the San Antonio Express News and worked as editor-in-chief on her school’s newspaper.

    “I thought it was just amazing that I could write a poem and put it in print and people could read it,” Boully said.

    On Thursday, Boully will read her 2012 compilation of poetic short-comings, “of the mismatched teacups, of the single serving spoon: a book of failures.” Boully said this book is a collection of failed attempts of full books made up of prose columns and mini essays.

    Boully said she hopes attendees will gain a sense of the possibility and wonder that can take place on the page when she reads this Thursday.

    “People sometimes describe my work as dreamy,” Boully said. “I like to think of my writing as something that relies on image and language rather than one of narrative and sense-making.”

    Knowles added that hearing Boully speak will give readers a chance to see how the author views the world.

    “One thing you might get from the reading is an inspiration to see the world as Jenny Boully does rather than in the normative ways,” Knowles said. “Poetry, because it is an exploration of the possibilities of limits and language, often critiques false or worn-out language, and therefore exposes truths. I feel that Jenny is a particularly good example of this power of poetry to help us see more clearly.”

    Follow Casey Knox @Knox_Casey

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