It’s hard to believe we are already into the second month of 2022. I kicked off February with an in-person reading on 2/1 at Weinstein Auditorium at Smith College for Matt Donovan’s “Reading Contemporary Poets” class. It was so much fun to read from Uncertain Acrobats (and one poem from my chapbook Dressing the Wounds) to over 100 Smith students! The evening was split between reading my poems and having a great conversation with the whip-smart and welcoming Smithies about my book, writing process, publishing, and more. It was really sweet to be in company with this class that offers students “the opportunity to read contemporary poetry and meet the poets who write it.” Many thanks to the students and to host Matt Donovan, director of the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith, who gave me a lovely intro: “In the hands of this poet, grief can be found and interrogated in a remembered New Yorker cartoon pinned to the family refrigerator, in memories conjured by the taste of wild fennel, in the uncertain limbo of a joint-custody commute. And in lieu of any easy answers, these poems instead evoke the possibility of hard-earned solace in acts of close-looking at our teeming secular world, and at the ways in which, to quote the poet, ‘our minds run wild / with all we want.’ ” Read more here.
And the first full review of Uncertain Acrobats was published in Mom Egg Review. Much gratitude to Jennifer Martelli for her generous reading of the book. Here’s an excerpt: “The poems in Rebecca Hart Olander’s debut collection, Uncertain Acrobats, not only recollect a father’s life, but also navigate the landscape of grief, making all movement breathtaking and physical. Olander’s mastery in her construction of the book belies whatever uncertainty or hesitancy the daughter—the speaker—has as she travels a world without her father. The poems are arranged so well, and with such precision of imagery and language, I trusted and moved with the speaker. The poems reflect the gorgeous image on the cover of the book: three women (or are they the same woman?) dancing (or are they falling?) mid-air in alabaster gowns.” Read the full review here.
I’m really looking forward to more readings online and in person in 2022, next up being a virtual reading on Sunday, February 20 at 4:00pm EST with Libby Maxey, Jean Blakeman, Adin Thayer, and Sharon Tracey for the Gallery of Readers series. I’ll also be at AWP in Philly from March 23-27, where I’ll not only be celebrating Uncertain Acrobats with CavanKerry Press but also representing Perugia Press and its poets at the bookfair 3/24-26 and reveling with Perugia poets at an off-site reading on 3/24. Check out Perugia Press events here, and check out my evolving slate of events here. I hope to see you soon online or in person!