Carol Moldaw: A Brilliant Poet Comes to Los Angeles

August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Carol Moldaw

Normally I write about film and Hollywood history. Today I am writing about poetry, which was my introduction to literature and the first kind of writing I attempted. While I no longer consider myself a poet, I’m fortunate to know Carol Moldaw, who has achieved greatness in the field. 

Carol and I have been friends since 1981. Though we and our boyfriends studied at Harvard, we hadn’t crossed paths there; instead, the four of us met as neighbors in Berkeley. Carol would later perfectly capture our hillside apartments in “64 Panoramic Way,” in the process making me one of the lucky few whose grad school digs have been immortalized in verse: 

At the first switchback,
pine needles tufted with dog fur
pad up the wide cracked steps 

leading to a cottage and two
ramshackle shingle houses.
From the lintel of an illegal
basement apartment, magenta 

fuchsia, silent bells,
bob and sag over a pot’s rim. 

Since then, Carol has published five collections of poetry and a novel. Her work has appeared in AGNI, Antioch Review, Boston Review, Chicago Review, Conjunctions, Denver Quarterly, FIELD, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Parnassus, Threepenny Review, and Triquarterly. It has also been anthologized in many venues, including Western Wind: An Introduction to Poetry, and Under 35: A New Generation of American Poets. She has been the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Marfa Writer’s Residency, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, and a Pushcart Prize. 

On Friday, September 10th at 7:30pm, Carol will read from her new collection, “So Late, So Soon: New and Selected Poems” (Etruscan Press) at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. I’ll be there; I hope you will, too.

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