This was the first of the day’s “Standish Room readings,” this one held in the afternoon in the Standish Room of the Science Library at the UAlbany Uptown Campus, a seminar with poets Alicia Suskin Ostriker & local favorite Joan Murray. Later in the evening both poets would give a reading, but I attended the afternoon event so that I could go to another reading in yet another Standish Room at the College of St. Rose, just a couple miles down Western Ave.
|Joan Murray, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Don Faulkner|
Ostriker described her early writing in form until she discovered free verse, or as she likes to call it, “open form.” Topics ranged from women writing about pregnancy & childbirth as a modern phenomenon, to political poems, to MFA programs v. communities of writers.
I’ve been drawn to Ostriker’s work since I first saw her read in 1986 at a bookshop in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, & a few years ago saw her read & be part of a panel discussion at Split This Rock in DC. I am less familiar with Murray’s work, but she has a strong following in the area of women who had been in a workshop with her some years ago & have continued meeting as a peer group since then.
The Writes Institute has a regular schedule of free readings, seminars & films throughout the academic semesters. Unfortunately readings by poets were rare this past year.