Poet Matthea Harvey to read Sept. 27 and Oct. 4

Author of Modern Life and Sad Little Breathing Machine

The listening post was right under a linden tree
so all we ever heard was leaves falling but
it wasn’t manly to write about that in your report.

— The Future of Terror / 8

In Modern Life, her third book of poems, Matthea Harvey offers a whirling, riffing, buoyantly ironic take on post-9/11 America.

At the heart of the book is The Future of Terror, a series of freewheeling, associative poems that “pinball from one image to the other, racking up an inner light show, a childlike dreamscape, full of horses, wooden groves, rainbows and other earthy creatures” (National Book Critics Circle).

At 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, Harvey, the Visiting Hurst Professor of Creative Writing at Washington University in St. Louis, will read from her work for The Writing Program in Arts & Sciences.

In addition, Harvey will lecture on the craft of poetry at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4.

Both events — presented as part of The Writing Program’s fall Reading Series — are free and open to the public and take place in Hurst Lounge, Room 201, Duncker Hall. A reception and book signing will follow each.

For more information, call (314) 935-7130.

Harvey’s previous collections include Sad Little Breathing Machine (2004) and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (2000). Modern Life was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book.

Her first children’s book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel, was published in 2009. Of Lamb, a version of the children’s nursery rhyme (co-starring Mary), was published by McSweeney’s in 2010, with illustrations by Amy Jean Porter.

Her most recent children’s book, Cecil the Pet Glacier — illustrated by Giselle Potter — was released earlier this year.

Born in Germany, Harvey was raised in Milwaukee and England. She studied at Harvard and in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Iowa. A contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper and BOMB, she teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn.