Arts & Culture / Mosaic / February 25, 2009

Borch reads, speaks on disappearing

Over a hundred people were crowded into the Alumni Room in Old Main, filling all the seats and standing against the walls to hear poet Marianne Boruch read. Brought by Caxton Club, Boruch read her poems for just over an hour. There were refreshments offered before the reading began. The event started at 4 p.m. when Professor of English, Monica Berlin, delivered an introduction for Boruch in the form of an extended poetic essay. Once Berlin started her introduction, the room went silent.

When Boruch took the podium, she was greeted by polite applause. The audience silenced and Boruch began to read. She read a range of poems from two of her books. She started with her poem “February,” and followed it with “To All Those Poets One Reads in Childhood,” which was in part a tribute to poet Carl Sandburg. Boruch read for about an hour and read 16 poems, finishing with “Snowfall in G Minor.”

Boruch’s poetry is heavily influenced by the places where she has lived. She grew up in Chicago and spent time as a child in rural Illinois. Thus, her poetry was of a particularly germane nature to the Knox community.

Following the reading, there was a brief question and answer session, which Boruch started with a joke: “So two cannibals are eating a clown and one looks at the other and says, ‘Does this taste funny to you?’” The audience seemed surprised by the joke and laughed appreciatively.

Once the Q&A session had concluded with more applause, Boruch met with students to talk and sign books. Boruch spoke about why she writes poetry: “Because I like to disappear. You can just disappear into the poem where there’s no age or gender or time.”

Ben Reeves


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