The Poets of Coffee

Who are the great poets of coffee? Everyone knows William Carlos Williams was the poet of plums, Keats the poet of urns. Elizabeth Bishop, fish; Robert Bly had snowy fields; Ginsberg had cocks and balls; Emily Dickinson had the soul.

There’s Ron Padgett’s prose poem “The Morning Coffee” which is pretty good, though it’s not about coffee at all—you’ll have to read it, no spoiler here.

There’s the old nursery rhyme:

Molly, my sister and I fell out,

And what do you think it was all about?

She loved coffee and I loved tea,

And that was the reason we couldn’t agree.

Now there are plenty of poems that feature coffee and we’ll have a look—but there are no poems of coffee, the hot tropic wind of coffee’s phenomenology—in poem after poem, all written by excellent poets, coffee is a minor thing, lacking salience, like pillows on a couch. I do not dislike these poems. I’ll trade coffee for a pillow most of the time. Here are some of my favorite “almost coffee” poems:

“The Fight”

—Russell Edson

A man is fighting with a cup of coffee.

The rules: he must not

break the cup nor spill its coffee; nor must the cup break the

man’s bones or spill his blood.

The man said, oh the hell with it, as he swept the cup to

the floor.

The cup did not break but its coffee poured out

of its open self.

The cup cried, don’t hurt me, please don’t hurt me; I am

without mobility, I have no defense save my utility; use

me to hold your coffee.

**

“Recipe for Happiness Khaborovsk or Anyplace”

—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

One grand boulevard with trees

with one grand cafe in sun

with strong black coffee in very small cups.

One not necessarily very beautiful

man or woman who loves you.

One fine day.

**

“How Did You Meet Your Wife?”

—Richard Jones

Swimming the English Channel,

struggling to make it to Calais,

I swam into Laura halfway across.

My body oiled for warmth,

black rubber cap on my head,

eyes hidden behind goggles,

I was exhausted, ready to drown,

when I saw her coming toward me,

bobbing up and down between waves,

effortlessly doing a breaststroke,

heading for Dover.

Treading water

I asked in French if she spoke English,

and she said, “Yes, I’m an American.”

I said, “Hey, me too,” then asked her out for coffee.

**

Coffee is a stage prop in poetry—Wallace Stevens—“Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair…”

Gary Snyder: “There are those who love to get dirty and fix things./They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work./And those who stay clean, just appreciate things./At breakfast they have milk and juice at night./There are those who do both, they drink tea.”

 

Some poets get closer to coffee’s fizz in the nervous system. Neruda:

Take it all back. Life is boring, except for flowers, sunshine, your perfect legs. A glass of cold water when you are really thirsty. The way bodies fit together. Fresh and young and sweet. Coffee in the morning. These are just moments. I struggle with the in-betweens. I just want to never stop loving like there is nothing else to do, because what else is there to do?

**

The coffee plays in my coarse hair.

When it gets to my tongue it takes the rust off old family stories.

Regarding the premise of life, coffee entered me.

I breathed its steam; wrote with my finger when it found a window.

Coffee: a stop in midair.

—these are my lines, just off the top of my head, be-coffeed, quick, still trying to reach the world….

 

Freaky Angels

In one of his early poems entitled “Contagion” James Tate wrote: So this is the dark street/where only an angel lives/I never saw anything like it. I read that poem when I was twenty and saw the “dark street” as Emerson—saw the angel as Emerson’s strange angel which is also D.H. Lawrence’s strange angel, the wings are too much like ours; the wings are possibly sinister. In any case, we never saw anything like it and yet we always knew they were there—the wings, the humanoid specter, and our expectation they are a completion, one answer to the betrayals of phenomenology. Such a view is not Romantic, though plenty have said so. Its tougher. It took Freud and Jung to show us what the figurines mean: they’re neither enemy or friend, but fact. How you will live, in what manner you will live, depends on what you can challenge yourself to admit about the angels. The ones I’m talking about are freakish angels and not the sanitized “idea” of the angel that Wallace Stevens preferred. Stevens’ angels are like those paper wrapped seats in the washroom—sanitized for your protection—and so they are not angels at all. Here is what the angels felt like to Lawrence:

 

 

The Song of a Man Who has Come Through

 

 

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!

A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.

If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!

If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed

By the fine, fine wind that takes its course though the chaos of the world

Like a fine, and exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;

If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge

Driven by invisible split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

 

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,

I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,

Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

 

What is the knocking?

What is the knocking at the door in the night?

It’s somebody wants to do us harm.

 

No, no, it is the three strange angels.

Admit them, admit them.

 

 

Notice Lawrence’s angel is both the man or woman who feels wind blowing inside the body and then the angel is, when more fully realized, like a fine chisel, a wedge that rents chaos—a dangerous tool to be sure. Lawrence’s angel is a wire that pierces. Oh its imagination alright. Its your dream. Its your fear about the future. Its your regret about the past. Its your dead father tuning a piano in the underworld. As Robert Bly would say: Its the distance between the head and the feet as we lie down. The freaky angel is us and not us unless we reckon with time. Its our ambition. Our completion. Its the hard work of consciousness which must admit what’s under the boat. (Ahab) or cry because space has pierced us with a sharp tip (Emerson’s cosmological Boston Commons). I like the word “freaky” better than strange. Freaky can’t be domesticated though we build churches or sideshows and put angels on pedestals so the frightened gazers can gaze and then go home saying, “well, I saw it—good thing it is not me.” 

 

But of course the “freaky angel” turns up. It knocks if you’re lucky. Lawrence was lucky. His angels passed right through his carapace of fear, the lobster back of the psyche, and then he was stronger, undoubtedly weirder, perhaps thinner, maybe with the taste of honey and excrement in his mouth, happy to the point of rending his garments, and sharp, very sharp. 

 

  

 

Freaky Angels

In one of his early poems entitled “Contagion” James Tate wrote: So this is the dark street/where only an angel lives/I never saw anything like it. I read that poem when I was twenty and saw the “dark street” as Emerson—saw the angel as Emerson’s strange angel which is also D.H. Lawrence’s strange angel, the wings are too much like ours; the wings are possibly sinister. In any case, we never saw anything like it and yet we always knew they were there—the wings, the humanoid specter, and our expectation they are a completion, one answer to the betrayals of phenomenology. Such a view is not Romantic, though plenty have said so. Its tougher. It took Freud and Jung to show us what the figurines mean: they’re neither enemy or friend, but fact. How you will live, in what manner you will live, depends on what you can challenge yourself to admit about the angels. The ones I’m talking about are freakish angels and not the sanitized “idea” of the angel that Wallace Stevens preferred. Stevens’ angels are like those paper wrapped seats in the washroom—sanitized for your protection—and so they are not angels at all. Here is what the angels felt like to Lawrence:

 

 

The Song of a Man Who has Come Through

 

 

Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!

A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.

If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!

If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed

By the fine, fine wind that takes its course though the chaos of the world

Like a fine, and exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted;

If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge

Driven by invisible split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.

 

Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,

I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,

Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.

 

What is the knocking?

What is the knocking at the door in the night?

It’s somebody wants to do us harm.

 

No, no, it is the three strange angels.

Admit them, admit them.

 

 

Notice Lawrence’s angel is both the man or woman who feels wind blowing inside the body and then the angel is, when more fully realized, like a fine chisel, a wedge that rents chaos—a dangerous tool to be sure. Lawrence’s angel is a wire that pierces. Oh its imagination alright. Its your dream. Its your fear about the future. Its your regret about the past. Its your dead father tuning a piano in the underworld. As Robert Bly would say: Its the distance between the head and the feet as we lie down. The freaky angel is us and not us unless we reckon with time. Its our ambition. Our completion. Its the hard work of consciousness which must admit what’s under the boat. (Ahab) or cry because space has pierced us with a sharp tip (Emerson’s cosmological Boston Commons). I like the word “freaky” better than strange. Freaky can’t be domesticated though we build churches or sideshows and put angels on pedestals so the frightened gazers can gaze and then go home saying, “well, I saw it—good thing it is not me.” 

 

But of course the “freaky angel” turns up. It knocks if you’re lucky. Lawrence was lucky. His angels passed right through his carapace of fear, the lobster back of the psyche, and then he was stronger, undoubtedly weirder, perhaps thinner, maybe with the taste of honey and excrement in his mouth, happy to the point of rending his garments, and sharp, very sharp. 

 

  

 

Poet David Simpson: The Way Love Comes to Me

 

I don’t know how many poetry readings I’ve attended over the past forty years. The actual number would be pretty high. I went to a poetry-centric liberal arts college and the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. The number doesn’t matter. Its enough to say I’ve heard some great poets read their poems so movingly I’ve walked into the nights filled with milk and iodine; feeling wide and tall with stars for a cloak; windswept and in love with love; frightened and rich. But last night in New York City, at the NYU Creative Writing Center on West 10th Street I heard the poet David Simpson read from his newly published book to a room filled with poetry admirers and friends and I believe he gave the finest reading I’ve ever heard. I do not say this lightly. I will remember last night’s reading for the rest of my days. David Simpson is a complex man: he’s a musician, poet, playwright, classical organist, and he’s performed with numerous symphony orchestras, including The Boston, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta symphonies, as well as The New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. But last night he was a poet. He was a poet who gave a reading so pure and lyrical I wanted to cry. Poetry can do that to me—perhaps to you as well—usually when the tears are about to come its because the poems are driven by emotional candor with a compassionate softness of of tone, an urgent softness, the kind that only a clear spirit can obtain and communicate. Enough to say that after David Simpson read last night, a young man in the audience said to me: “Man! That was the real thing! Old School!” I said, “yeah, not ideas about the thing but the thing itself” and he said, “‘That’s it!” I didn’t tell him the phrase came from Wallace Stevens—enough that Simpson’s poems had reached so many in the room. The night would be different for everyone. Poetry can do that. 

 

Listening to David I felt the cusp of tears and tenderness I associate with Hart Crane’s famous poem about finding his grandmother’s letters in the attic. I get this feeling also from Whitman’s 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

 

How many poets do you know who have a twin brother or sister who also writes poetry? David’s brother Dan Simpson was also in attendance. 

 

How many twin poets do you know who are also blind? And as I say, have so much talent one suspects they could move furniture by means of telekinesis. 

 

Here’s an ars poetica if ever there was one, a poem in which David Simpson recalls riding a ferris wheel with Dan when they were around ten years old: 

 

 

Bond

 

The bond of our wildest cooperation–
riding with my twin brother on the big ferris wheel
just before puberty
when such a thing would have embarrassed us.
It was our fabulous luck to get stuck at the top
for five free minutes. Locking arms,
counting to three, we made our cage spin
until we could flip it upside down
so that everything fell out of our pockets
and we were laughing hard.

The first time I made love with a woman
who taught me how ungentled love could be,
the whole bed felt as if it were tilting heads-up
heads-down, our cheeks, shoulders,
bellies, ankles all of one body,
our duet of love sounds as natural as birdsong.

 

Oh, my dear brother, ever since
the river spilled us out onto this dry land
and we have had to, mostly on our own,
find our legs and paths into different worlds,
I have missed you.

 

 

The poet Molly Peacock writes of David Simpson’s book The Way Love Comes to Me:

 

Poetry to turn to on a sleepless night, poetry to open with breakfast on a snow day, poetry to seek when stabbed by memory: this is the work of David Simpson in The Way Love Comes to Me. Here are poems lucid and many-layered, at once cold fathoms deep and warm as skin. From line to line they sort their way through the jumbled paradoxes of existence. With music at once sacred and sassy the poet captivates, comforts, and makes us feel wiser. The brilliance of Simpson’s poems is that they answer a call we did not realize we had uttered. 

 

 

The poet Kuusisto says: 

 

Buy this collection.

 

Click here 

Poet David Simpson: The Way Love Comes to Me

 

I don’t know how many poetry readings I’ve attended over the past forty years. The actual number would be pretty high. I went to a poetry-centric liberal arts college and the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. The number doesn’t matter. Its enough to say I’ve heard some great poets read their poems so movingly I’ve walked into the nights filled with milk and iodine; feeling wide and tall with stars for a cloak; windswept and in love with love; frightened and rich. But last night in New York City, at the NYU Creative Writing Center on West 10th Street I heard the poet David Simpson read from his newly published book to a room filled with poetry admirers and friends and I believe he gave the finest reading I’ve ever heard. I do not say this lightly. I will remember last night’s reading for the rest of my days. David Simpson is a complex man: he’s a musician, poet, playwright, classical organist, and he’s performed with numerous symphony orchestras, including The Boston, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta symphonies, as well as The New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra. But last night he was a poet. He was a poet who gave a reading so pure and lyrical I wanted to cry. Poetry can do that to me—perhaps to you as well—usually when the tears are about to come its because the poems are driven by emotional candor with a compassionate softness of of tone, an urgent softness, the kind that only a clear spirit can obtain and communicate. Enough to say that after David Simpson read last night, a young man in the audience said to me: “Man! That was the real thing! Old School!” I said, “yeah, not ideas about the thing but the thing itself” and he said, “‘That’s it!” I didn’t tell him the phrase came from Wallace Stevens—enough that Simpson’s poems had reached so many in the room. The night would be different for everyone. Poetry can do that. 

 

Listening to David I felt the cusp of tears and tenderness I associate with Hart Crane’s famous poem about finding his grandmother’s letters in the attic. I get this feeling also from Whitman’s 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

 

How many poets do you know who have a twin brother or sister who also writes poetry? David’s brother Dan Simpson was also in attendance. 

 

How many twin poets do you know who are also blind? And as I say, have so much talent one suspects they could move furniture by means of telekinesis. 

 

Here’s an ars poetica if ever there was one, a poem in which David Simpson recalls riding a ferris wheel with Dan when they were around ten years old: 

 

 

Bond

 

The bond of our wildest cooperation–
riding with my twin brother on the big ferris wheel
just before puberty
when such a thing would have embarrassed us.
It was our fabulous luck to get stuck at the top
for five free minutes. Locking arms,
counting to three, we made our cage spin
until we could flip it upside down
so that everything fell out of our pockets
and we were laughing hard.

The first time I made love with a woman
who taught me how ungentled love could be,
the whole bed felt as if it were tilting heads-up
heads-down, our cheeks, shoulders,
bellies, ankles all of one body,
our duet of love sounds as natural as birdsong.

 

Oh, my dear brother, ever since
the river spilled us out onto this dry land
and we have had to, mostly on our own,
find our legs and paths into different worlds,
I have missed you.

 

 

The poet Molly Peacock writes of David Simpson’s book The Way Love Comes to Me:

 

Poetry to turn to on a sleepless night, poetry to open with breakfast on a snow day, poetry to seek when stabbed by memory: this is the work of David Simpson in The Way Love Comes to Me. Here are poems lucid and many-layered, at once cold fathoms deep and warm as skin. From line to line they sort their way through the jumbled paradoxes of existence. With music at once sacred and sassy the poet captivates, comforts, and makes us feel wiser. The brilliance of Simpson’s poems is that they answer a call we did not realize we had uttered. 

 

 

The poet Kuusisto says: 

 

Buy this collection.

 

Click here 

A Dog Loves Me

A dog loves me.  The cleansed skins of the apple trees darken with morning sun.  A dog loves me.  Before the first light of day Venus appears from behind a winter cloud.  A dog’s love is not presumptive: it is no mere wish.

There are mythical scenes in human lives—light bulb moments, the college kid understanding Emerson for the first time, and, as a friend of mine would say, he “bumps along the ceiling of his skull” for myth is one of the lauds, the oldest prayer.

But a dog loves me.  She wakes me early.  We stand beside the Asian Maple tree, its hydra branches dusted with snow and we talk.

When a man or woman talks to a dog its not always a spoken thing.

My dog scents the new snow, putting her snout deep in a snow bank.  She snorts like a horse.  Snow magnifies the delicate scents of mice.  The man says nothing but sees inwardly expanding circles on water—smells broadcast in snow—and as he thinks it, he sees what his dog sees.  Forget your occupation or ideas of sensible success.  The man and dog stand in the cuneiform world of things unseen.

But forget poetry.  This can be diverting, this business of man and dog moving together in subordinate thought.  In a business meeting I hear my dog sigh from under the table.  She’s heard the grey voices above her, voices so monotonous she is asking: “who among the humans besides my good man is happy to be alive?”  I know this is what she’s saying.

In an elevator she smells one man’s fear and another’s sorrows.  We’re just going down two floors.  It’s an ordinary day.  “The people,” she thinks, “are passively borne by dark emotions.”  I know this is what she’s saying.

Riding an escalator in Macy’s (the original flagship store in New York) she knows the false symmetry of human occasions, thinks the place needs a thousand wild birds.  I know this is what she’s saying.

We move to and fro.  Swiftly.

She loves me.  There is never a moment she does not love me.  We move to and fro.  All day, every day, we have light bulb moments.

We talk.

We ride uptown on Fifth Avenue and for once the cab driver is friendly.  He likes dogs.  He’s from Egypt.  His sister back in Cairo is deaf.  He knows a lot about struggle.  My dog smiles at him.  Honestly.  She smiles.  He asks if he can pet her.  I tell him he can.  He smiles.  I know he’s telling her to keep up the good work.  I know she’s telling him about her fleet footed life.  She’s telling him life is life and we can go places.

We move to and fro. A dog loves me.

**

Once upon a time, years ago, long before I got a guide dog, I climbed to the top of a ski jump tower in Finland.  I was with a friend who thought this would be fun.  The skiing season was over and the tower was deserted.  We climbed a ladder that seemed to never end.  Up and up.  I’ve never been good with heights.  My stomach felt green and cold.  But I didn’t want to appear cowardly.  I kept going.  The top of the ladder met a platform where the skiers line up.  The mighty drop beyond was a terrifying thing.  We stood there for a time, right at the lip.  I remember thinking as I stood there, that truth and love will always go astray but visceral fear—that you can count on.

But now a dog loves me.  She stops me at the edge of the railway platform.  We talk.  She likes her life.  She knows a great deal about quelling fear.

We talk. She says fear is not what people suppose—its not just danger, its not knowing what to do.  She says dogs know what to do.  She likes her life.  She loves me.

Dog Schmooze

Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released. Listen to Steve read “Letter to Borges in His Parlor” in this fireside reading via YouTube. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do. Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy. www.stephenkuusisto.com, www.planet-of-the-blind.com

Dog Language 101

The utility of language resides in two questions: what’s upwind and what’s the best way to get there?  For all I know dogs may have poetry—sonnets of smell—amusing to think so—but when I took my first solo walk down the subway stairs with guide dog Corky I knew she had a bold and ancient comprehension of our circumstances.  When you feel the language of others, even when its silent, you’re sensing competence.  Some days a silent language is all you need.

Once, riding a train from Helsinki to Tampere, I sat beside three old women.  They knew one another well.  You could see it in their postures, long familiarity.  One was knitting.  One had a book.  The third looked out the window.  Every now and then one of them would say a confirmatory thing—“snowing again” or “coffee?”  It was easy to be in their company.  I was a young man writing poetry and starting to understand the delicacies of language and consciousness.

With a dog you don’t have to be all tricky and wild.  Trouble free words will do.  Heartfelt silence will do.  Walking through the subway with Corky I let her guide me and kept my mouth shut.

Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released. Listen to Steve read “Letter to Borges in His Parlor” in this fireside reading via YouTube. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do. Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy. www.stephenkuusisto.com, www.planet-of-the-blind.com

Dedication: Poems for a Horse

I am in Iowa City, Iowa where tonight I will read poems from my new book at Prairie Lights Books, one of the nation’s premier independent bookstores. I am hereby announcing that my brief reading is dedicated to “Luigi” who is pictured below

I am in Iowa City, Iowa where tonight I will read poems from my new book at Prairie Lights Books, one of the nation's premier independent bookstores. I am hereby announcing that my brief reading is dedicated to "Luigi" who is pictured below. For my blind readers Luigi is a thoroughbred "off the track" former race horse who entered our lives when my wife and I moved to Syracuse a year and a half ago. My wife rides Luigi and I feed him apples. Why dedicate a poetry reading to a horse? Because he has soul, he's a talker, and he has the kindest eyes of any animal I know. Sounds like poetry to me. And here is James Wright's amazing poem "A Blessing" because its one of the best poems I know:
"A Blessing"

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,

Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.

And the eyes of those two Indian ponies

Darken with kindness.

They have come gladly out of the willows

To welcome my friend and me.

We step over the barbed wire into the pasture

Where they have been grazing all day, alone.

They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness

That we have come.

They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.

There is no loneliness like theirs.

At home once more,

They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.

I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she has walked over to me

And nuzzled my left hand.

She is black and white,

Her mane falls wild on her forehead,

And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear

That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.

Suddenly I realize

That if I stepped out of my body I would break

Into blossom.

–James Wright

 

Thank you, Poetry Daily, for This Honor…

 I’ve been designated the “Featured Poet” for today at Poetry Daily.  Needless to say I’m delighted.  I’m grateful, too.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released. Listen to Steve read “Letter to Borges in His Parlor” in this fireside reading via YouTube. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do. Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy. www.stephenkuusisto.com, www.planet-of-the-blind.com

Jim Ferris, Laurie Clements Lambeth and Stephen Kuusisto Reading at Syracuse University

Disabilities as Ways of Knowing: A Series of Creative Writing Conversations: Part II

The Disability Experience and Poetic Verse

Reading by Poets Jim Ferris, Laurie Clements Lambeth, and Stephen Kuusisto

March 28, 2013
Reading 7:00 to 8:00 pm at Watson Theater
Reception and book signing from 8:00 to 9:00 pm at Light Work
SU Campus

Jim Ferris, Laurie Clements Lambeth and Stephen Kuusisto will be reading from a selection of their poetry, followed by a reception and book signing, for all members of the S.U. community. While this event is geared specifically to raise and support awareness among undergraduates, everyone is welcomed to participate in this exciting set of opportunities. This event will feature works from Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press) and launch Letters to Borges (Copper Canyon Press), where “best-selling memoirist Stephen Kuusisto uses the themes of travel, place, religion, music, art, and loneliness to explore the relationship between seeing, blindness, and being. In poems addressed to Jorge Luis Borges—another poet who lived with blindness—Kuusisto leverages seeing as negative capability, creating intimacy with deep imagination and uncommon perceptions” (from http://www.stephenkuusisto.com).

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided during both the reading and the reception/book signing. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided during the reading.

If you require accommodations or need information on parking for this event, please contact Radell Roberts at 443-4424 or rrober02@syr.edu.

This event is made possible through the Co-Curricular Departmental Initiatives program within the Division of Student Affairs, and cosponsorship by the Disability Cultural Center, the Renée Crown University Honors Program, the Center on Human Policy, Disability Studies, the Burton Blatt Institute, the Dept. of Women’s and Gender Studies, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Slutzker Center for International Services, the Creative Writing Program, the Disability Law and Policy Program, the Disability Student Union, the Beyond Compliance Coordinating Committee, and the Disability Law Society.

As aspects of variance and diversity, disability cultures and identities enrich the tapestry of life on and off the SU campus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Professor Stephen Kuusisto is the author of Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening” and the acclaimed memoir Planet of the Blind, a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”. His second collection of poems from Copper Canyon Press, “Letters to Borges has just been released. Listen to Steve read “Letter to Borges in His Parlor” in this fireside reading via YouTube. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled What a Dog Can Do. Steve speaks widely on diversity, disability, education, and public policy. www.stephenkuusisto.com, www.planet-of-the-blind.com