Comic book culture becomes the stepping-off point for award-winning poetry In the hands of Topeka native Gary Jackson.
Jackson reads from and discusses his Missing You, Metropolis, winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize for the exceptional first book by an African American poet, on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
His presentation is part of Park University's Ethnic Voices Poetry Series and is co-sponsored by the University of Central Missouri.
With humor and the delight of a serious comic book collector, Jackson - recently named one of "five young black writers you should be reading now" -- imagines the comic-book world of Superman, Batman, and the X-Men co-existing with the real world of Kansas, racial isolation, and the gravesides of a sister and a friend.
In the book's introduction fellow poet Yusef Komunyakaa writes that Jackson "embodies a voice uniquely shaped and turned for the twenty-first century. Playful, jaunty, rueful, and highly serious -- sometimes within a singular poem -- his person has been forged in the caldron of popular iconography, especially in the culture of the comic book. Anything is possible in such created time and space; immediate tension exists in a climate where otherworldly figures are defined by earthly matters and concerns. The funny-book world is a perfect landscape for innuendo and signification, and Jackson uses these aptly. This first collection of poems is gauged by a sophisticated heart."
Jackson received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 2008. His poems have been published in Literary Bohemian, Magma, and other magazines.
He teaches at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque.
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage in 10th & Baltimore.