To inaugurate their Black Writers Series, UC Irvine is hosting Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Cornelius Eady. Historically, Eadys poetry has focused heavily on race while possessing a distinct taste for fantasy: the first half of 2001s Brutal Imagination is narrated by the imaginary black man that white Susan Smith accused of kidnapping her two kids (whom she really murdered). But expect a little less imagination tonight as Eady reads from Hardheaded Weather, his newest collection. This time, transition is the focus: coping with middle age, crossing class lines by buying a vacation cottage and the pleasure and guilt that go with it. But the subject matter alone isnt what make Eadys writing worthwhile. Disarmingly honest lines like Weve bought a house / that doesnt need / to be, / and luck is / so unfair, / complicated, / true, make beauty out of the banal. Hearing it live can only make the experience better.
Mon., Nov. 17, 5 p.m., 2008