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Alicia Ostriker reads soon to be published poems and an essay

On January the 27th, the poet Alica Ostriker read unpublished poems and an essay to invited guests at a friend’s apartment on the Upper Westside. I wanted to record her reading. My camcorder, after many years of good service, was not recording well. Instead, I was going to use the camera on my iPhone for the first time, and without a tripod. With the handgrip, I could hold it still on my knee and move it smoothly where I wanted to.

Alicia’s spent many years speaking to students, colleagues, and even strangers in an audiences so there is an ease and a poise in her delivery that makes her easy to record. One of the poems I knew because she’d sent it to me a few years before, a pandemic poem called “All That Year.” I include it after the video below. Enjoy. 


We were body surfing a wave of public rage
attempting to swimit was terrific thrilling
hate sprayed us on the left and on the right
We wonderedwould it smash us into a reef

A swaggering man loosedlies from his lips like eels
it was a good moment for cartoonists and journalists
and billionaires and lovers of guns
a good moment

For poetspoets thrive on disaster
born as we are within the wound


Alicia Ostriker reads from The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog


Alicia Ostriker reads from the volcano sequence


Alicia Ostriker reads from The Mother/Child Papers



One Comment

  1. Dear Alicia, ever as sharp as more than many knives and yet allowing we her readers/hearers to laugh at her own wry laughs, she who has observed the human condition again and again and can still make poetry of it. Deep bow to her as ever, xx, m

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