Assistant Professor James McCorkle '76 read from his collection of poetry, “Evidences,” as well as from new work, on Friday, Jan. 25 at the Geneva Public Library, as part of its Musical Moments series.
“Evidences,” which received the 2003 APR/Honickman Award for poetry, was published that year by Cooper Canyon Press.
“The poems from ‘Evidences’ are about history, politics, and perception,” McCorkle explains. They were inspired by a series of paintings by Anselm Kiefer, a contemporary German artist. McCorkle’s work is often in dialogue with the visual arts and alludes to both general and specific social, political and ecological issues.
Influenced by the works of African and Caribbean poets, as well as various ancient texts, “Evidences” becomes a vehicle to explore questions of belief, genocide, holocaust, and the nature of human beings. These poems are a constellation of works which allow the reader to engage in a deeper, more complex thought process, ultimately resonating with themes of collective memory, cultural transmission, and a more inclusive and interactive dialogue with a global past, present and future.
Recently, his poems have appeared in “American Poetry Review,” “Boston Review,” “Boulevard,” and the “Harvard Review.”
McCorkle, a 1976 graduate of Hobart College, holds a master's and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa; he teaches in the First-Year Seminar program and in the Africana Studies program. He has long been actively involved with the Geneva community and has previously offered numerous poetry readings at local schools.
He was one of the editors of the five-volume “Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry,” published in December 2005.
Musical Moments at the Geneva Public Library is sponsored by the Margaret Wyckoff Foundation. This event is part of an initiative to provide more cultural and educational events for those who live, work and study within the Geneva community. Admission is free and the public is invited.