JOE HALL is an educator and the author of five collections of poems: Pigafetta Is My Wife, The Devotional Poems, and Utopia (Black Ocean). With Chad Hardy, he wrote the book The Container Store Vols. I & II (SpringGun Press). With Cheryl Quimba, he wrote the chapbook May I Softly Walk. His next book, Fugue & Strike, is forthcoming in 2022. He participates in Hostile Books, a publishing collective dedicated to radical materiality, with Ryan Kaveh Sheldon and Angela Veronica Wong, He lives in Buffalo, NY.
“Someone’s Utopia is about work and the mystery of making. The book’s spectral labor is a séance. Readers may hear echoes of Alice Notley and Lorine Niedecker, punctuated by the table-rapping of the invisible hand of capitalism, as they witness the (un)making of the familiar world.”
“There is something seductively destructive about these poems; with their hell-for-leather pacing, variable line-lengths, and on-again-off-again punctuation, they simultaneously chew up words like clouds of horseflies while also positing language as a dark, feral sludge as impenetrable as it is parasitic . . . and while there’s little stillness to be found in the pages of The Devotional Poems, the work in toto is of such force and authority it compels the most important sort of stillness in the would-be believer: Awe.”
—The Huffington Post
“Almost impossibly grand in scope, Pigafetta Is My Wife is a rare achievement and quite a debut. Hall’s poetry crosses contemporary love and ancient epic, folding inward and out by motion derivative of the sestina and pantoum, so that whether via image or address, beautiful shards fall: ‘A chrysanthemum blossom sails across a bowl of milk.’ Emotion accretes in accordance with ambition. A treatise on the action of discovery, this is a book to be taken in whole.”
Research and Information Commons
4380 Main Street
Dates: November 20, 2019
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.