This occasional series takes place at Siena College in Loundonville, NY & the reader tonight was Gary Soto.
Soto read a selection of his poems, many dealing with his experiences in school, such as "Stars," "Starching Clothes" (attending a concert for music appreciation class), & "Seventh Grade Shoes." His poems are often humorous, or as he described them, tongue-in-cheek, & the narratives are laid out in colloquial language spiced with bright metaphors. Even his animal poems (such as "Dime-Store Parakeet" & a poem about a dog in a car eating an apple) avoided the sentimental & stuck to vivid (& therefore memorable) images.
Other poems included among others the much-anthologized "Oranges," "Copper" & the early "Field Poem." I particularly liked "Pompeii & the Uses of the Imagination" with its humor & incongruous images. He said this was his first time traveling to this part of New York State. Too bad he couldn't stick around for the Albany WordFest this weekend.