Bank Square Books and the Merrill House present a poetry reading with Merrill House fellow Moira Egan, the author of the collection Synæsthesium. This event is free and open to the public.
Synæsthesium is an unusual exploration of ekphrasis--poetry that takes a real or imagined work of art as its muse. The first half of the book, Olfactorium, is inspired by various fragrances and the olfactory flashbacks--real or imagined--induced by them. From everyday Old Spice to exotic Casbah, the poems take the reader on journeys peppered with the luscious language of perfumery. The second part, Love and Work, is based on the works of Suzanne Valadon, the bold and unconventional model-turned-artist, peer and probable lover of Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other painters. The poetic forms--sonnets, syllabics, a villanelle, a rondeau--reflect the content of the paintings and drawings of this great and under-appreciated artist.
About Moira Egan
A resident of Rome, Italy, Moira Egan earned a BA from Bryn Mawr College, an MA from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, and an MFA from Columbia University, where James Merrill chose her graduate manuscript for the David Craig Austin Prize.
Her most recent collection, Synæsthesium, won The New Criterion Poetry Prize and will be published in 2017. Previous books published in the U.S. are Hot Flash Sonnets (2013); Spin (2010); Bar Napkin Sonnets (2009), which won the 2008 Ledge Poetry Chapbook Competition; and Cleave (2004).
In Italy, two bilingual collections, with translations by her husband, Damiano Abeni, have appeared: Botanica Arcana / Strange Botany (2014) and La Seta della Cravatta / The Silk of the Tie (2009). She has also translated (with Damiano Abeni) the work of several authors into Italian, including volumes by John Ashbery, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Charles Simic, Mark Strand, and Charles Wright.
Egan has had writing residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (as a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellow), the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, and the James Merrill House. She teaches Creative Writing at the St. Stephen’s School in Rome.
Syn sthesium is an unusual exploration of ekphrasis--poetry that takes a real or imagined work of art as its muse. The first half of the book, Olfactorium, is inspired by various fragrances and the olfactory flashbacks--real or imagined--induced by them.