Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Julia Bouwsma reads from Midden poems

Julia Bouwsma will read from her book of poems Midden at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick on Saturday, May 4, at 2 PM, with book support from Gulf of Maine Books. The poems in Midden rise up out of the historical account of Malaga Island, where in 1912 the State of Maine forcibly evicted an interracial community of roughly 45 people. Utilizing a wide range of poetic styles, Midden confronts the events and over one hundred years of silence that surround this shameful incident in Maine's history. Here is a section from "Interview with the dead", one of the poems in the collection:

How did you leave?

Our houses became our bodies - we lashed
ourselves to rafts.Our bodies became boats.
Some left as cargo in boats, boxes.
We wept or did not weep

until home became the rubble
between our teeth: the thing one cannot
bite for fear of breaking.

Then we were a people sculpted of wind,
and when we left, we scattered as breath,
lingered as breath -

then we were a people carved of gravel and dust,
and we left as the land
stripped from the land -

carrying our hearts in our fists.

Julia Bouwsma

The event is free, and open to the public.


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