This reading is co-sponsored by Saint Paul Academy.
Who? A speaker at once questioner and questioned. An artist who embraces and resists what his work demands of him. "A naked / man in a crowd." What? Poems at once surreal and vulnerable, refusing to hide their uncomfortable truths behind their wildest imaginings. Where? In the mind, where "Nobody fails at meditation / like I do." Outside dreamlike cities. In the rich earth under a simple mattress. In new, disorienting fables and seemingly familiar folktales. When? As a child, spurning his mother. As a young man, seeking wisdom and peace. And as an older man, looking back at what he once was.
Suffused in psychology, uncertainty, and desire, Michael Bazzett's The Interrogation is a darkly humorous and unsparingly honest catechism of the self. Why? these poems ask. Why our cruelty? Why our loneliness? And how do we connect?
Michael Bazzett is a poet, teacher, and 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly Review, Copper Nickel, The Rumpus, and Best New Poets. You Must Remember This, his debut collection, received the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. Another collection of poems, Our Lands Are Not So Different, is forthcoming from Horsethief Books. He lives in Minneapolis.