Eady Does It

Cornelius Eady

To inaugurate their Black Writers Series, UC Irvine is hosting Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Cornelius Eady. Historically, Eady’s poetry has focused heavily on race while possessing a distinct taste for fantasy: the first half of 2001’s 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 isn’t what make Eady’s writing worthwhile. Disarmingly honest lines like “We’ve bought a house / that doesn’t 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