Poet reads work that is ‘spiritual and sensual’; poem by Alleyne

ST. GEORGE — Don’t miss the opportunity to hear from an award-winning poet when Dixie State University hosts Lauren K. Alleyne as part of its weekly lecture series “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World,” Tuesday, noon to 12:50 p.m. at the Dunford Auditorium, Browning Resource Center on campus.

Originally from the twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Alleyne writes poems that are both spiritual and sensual. Her writings depict the narrator’s journey into womanhood and struggle for self-knowledge, said a press release.

“There is much to learn while accompanying Alleyne on her raft of language, through a troubled world and an imagined heaven, to the place from which comes all singing,” said Carolyn Forché, author of “Blue Hour & The Country Between Us” in a release provided by Alleyne.

Alleyne’s recently published collection of poetry “Difficult Fruit” is a nod to Billie Holiday’s famous song “Strange Fruit.”

“Lauren Alleyne’s voice is a revelatory and formidable fusion of irrepressible music and uncompromising craft,” said Patricia Smith, author of “Teahouse of the Almighty, Blood Dazzler” in a release provided by Alleyne. “Like snippets of cinema, these poems arrest the senses and challenge what’s known. Every door this exceptional work opens opens onto a larger light.”

Her work has been awarded numerous honors, most recently the Picador Guest Professorship in Literature at the University of Leipzig, Germany, a 2014 Iowa Arts Council Fellowship and a 2010 Small Axe Literary Award. Additionally, her fiction, nonfiction, interviews and poetry have been published in journals and anthologies, said a press release.

Alleyne, the poet in residence and an assistant professor of English at the University of Dubuque, holds a Master of Fine Arts in poetry, a graduate certificate in feminist, gender and sexuality studies from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in English and creative writing from Iowa State University.

Alleyne will offer a poetry reading, followed by a question and answer session at the Tuesday forum.

A sample poem, “Love in B Minor,” is included below:

Your sandbag body. Your blank moon eyes. Your glasses a train derailed across your nose. Your legs folding like bendable straws. The empty bottle of bourbon rolling beneath the bed. Our bed behind us, a wreck of linen and loving. I want to walk out the kitchen door into the morning and scream at the stupid birds to stop trilling their meaningless arias. I want to fly into the trees and find a nest to fall out of singing. Your ghost voice crumbling into static. Your bird hands like plucked strings, aquiver: Do not sing to me. I want to push you out of my heart, and watch your long fall through its chambers and valves until you are momentary — a blip, an irregular beat. Your siren, please. Your face an arrangement of pain. Your face.

About the Dixie Forum series

The book cover of "Difficult Fruit" written by Lauren K. Alleyne | Image courtesy of Lauren K. Alleyne, St. George News
The book cover of “Difficult Fruit” written by Lauren K. Alleyne | Image courtesy of Lauren K. Alleyne, St. George News

Dixie Forum is a weekly lecture series designed to introduce the St. George community and DSU campus to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation, said a press release.

The forum series will continue Nov. 3 at noon in the Dunford Auditorium with a presentation from Alan R. Harker, the associate academic vice president for research and graduate studies at Brigham Young University.

Harker will present “Small and Simple Things That Rule the World” about his current research focusing on the microbes that inhabit the Great Salt Lake, said a press release. He posits that the metabolic potential available in the lake should yield both academic and applied discoveries that will rival any other environment thus far explored.

Event details

  • What: “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” presents award-winning poet Lauren K. Alleyne
  • When: Tuesday, noon to 12:50 p.m.
  • Where: Dunford Auditorium, Browning Resource Center on Dixie State University campus
  • Contact: John Burns at 435-879-4712 or [email protected]
  • Dixie Forum website | Facebook | Twitter
  • Lauren K. Alleyne website

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