St. Bonaventure’s Visiting Poets Series: Rob Halpern

On Tuesday November 3, poet Rob Halpern visited campus to read out of his newest collection of poems, Common Place in the Quick Center for the Arts Loft as part of the St. Bonaventure Visiting Poet Series presented by the English department.

Halpern is an associate professor of creative writing at Eastern Michigan University and a published poet. His books include Rumored Skin (Krupskaya 2004), Disaster Suites (Palm Press 2009), Music for Porn (Nightboat Books, 2012), and his latest book Common Place (Ugly Duckling Presse 2015).

An autopsy report of a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo, who allegedly committed suicide inspired Halpern to write this collection. It is meditated in what is left over after disaster strikes. Also he explores what happens to stay relevant or what becomes apart of the common place. The poems were heavily concentrated on his reaction to the results he found in the translated autopsy report.

He related many of the reactions he had to memories of sexuality in his lifetime and dreams that once haunted him. The main idea of the collection is to draw attention to the increased militarization of the United States and the economic depression.

Marissa McCall

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