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Stephanie Lenox at the Hatton Gallery

By Kaitlin Heins March 2, 2016  |  Uncategorized  |  no responses

 In case you were unable to attend the most recent event in the Colorado State University MFA Creative Writing Reading Series, here is what you missed: poet Stephanie Lenox and fiction writer Luke Dani Blue, both recently published by The Center for Literary Publishing, and an incredible night of literature at the Hatton Gallery. I had the honor of introducing Lenox, even as a fiction writer, because I worked closely in the crafting of her collection The Business during the summer. As an editorial assistant and intern at the Center for Literary Publishing, this is one of the many amazing opportunities a writer gets to partake in.

My introduction for Stephanie is below. Check it out:

Stephanie Lenox is a poet, editor, and teacher, and the winner of the 2015 Colorado Prize for Poetry. It was a privilege to read and typeset Stephanie’s work this summer. The Business is a collection that both challenges societal performativity and celebrates it. She combines mythic leitmotifs with the eccentricities and nuances of office life, reminding the reader to enjoy the details of the day and to laugh at the absurdities that come out of what could be considered a boring day job. Because of this, the collection has a deep universality, highlighting the poetic significance behind the concrete, sometimes hilarious office routine. Lenox leaves the reader with zeal that only poetic precision and skill can render.

I know Stephanie will read her work in a moment, but there is a short poem in this collection that embeds this zeal in me, as well as an indescribable forlornness.

AFTER A BREAKDOWN IN COMMUNICATION, THERE IS THE REQUIRED SENSITIVITY TRAINING

   The cat snaps the neck first

      Before it devours its prey

Don’t take this the wrong way.

To me, the poem compares being reprimanded, or rather taking sensitivity training to an inherently violent action, prey murdered by predator. Or maybe the action that required the sensitivity training was the violent one. The last line leaves the reader arrested, and contemplating the mechanics and violence of office politics.

She is the author of a collection called Congress of Strange People, eccentric, and explorative, examining the definition of an outcast. She has also written a chapbook, The Heart That Lies Outside the Body, a beautiful title, which won the 2007 Slapering Hol Chapbook Competition. In addition to her poetic prowess, Lenox teaches creative writing at Willamette University and has two daughters.

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It was a wonderful evening, and we’re sorry you missed it, but if you did you can still read these writers’ amazing work, available through the Center for Literary Publishing.

Kaitlin Heins

keh9t9@gmail.com

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