Join us in welcoming award-winning author and poet Rick Mulkey to the bookshop to discuss his newest poetry collection, All These Hungers, on November 11th at 7PM! Mulkey is the director and co-founder of the Converse University Low Residency MFA, and we are pleased to host him at the bookshop for his new release.
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"Turn my hungers. Feed, hungers, in the meadows of sounds," wrote our crazed surrealist French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, over one hundred years ago. Talented, candid, intellectually nimble, neither crazed nor surreal, Rick Mulkey turns on his hungers, turns Rimbaud into something American, small town scrappy, transparent and musky: these memorable poems land on the tongue and in the brain and center on the stomach. Whisky, beans, peppered pork belly bacon, lemonade, unclean scrambled eggs, very cold sweet tea, onions, beets, tomatoes, wine, beer - the poems overflow with juice. These poems celebrate sex - "the salty taste of the body's hidden flesh" and excrement - "there's the kind beetles roll into balls across the savannah." These Rabelaisian poems have a nose for the ground that smells "like dusty clocks." More Roethke than Whitman, more Hogarth than Gainsborough, this book's gritty lyric excretes an aroma that lingers. This book honors what many lost in the world's worst pandemic: taste and smell. -Spencer Reece
Rick Mulkey is the author of six collections, including All These Hungers (2021), Ravenous: New & Selected Poems, Toward Any Darkness, Before the Age of Reason, and Bluefield Breakdown. He is co-editor with Denise Duhamel of the recent anthology Ice On a Hot Stove: A Decade of Converse MFA Poetry (Clemson University. Pr.). Individual poems and essays have appeared widely, including Poetry East, Georgia Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, Shenandoah, Poetry Daily, and the anthologies American Poetry: the Next Generation, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volumes I and II, and A Millennial Sampler of South Carolina Poetry, among others. His awards include the Hawthornden Fellowship, the Charles Angoff Award from The Literary Review, and the Gearhart Poetry Prize from Southeast Review. Mulkey is director and co-founder of the Converse Low Residency MFA.