A community-wide reading program, featuring the Carl Phillips poetry book Double Shadow, sets the stage for the 2013 Kenyon Review Literary Festival on Nov. 8-9 at Kenyon.
As part of the Knox Reads! program developed by the Kenyon Review and supported by state and local community and cultural organizations, about 200 copies of Double Shadow will be distributed for free starting on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 9 a.m., at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market in downtown Mount Vernon. Later that day, copies of the book will be distributed at Paragraphs Bookstore, 229 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, and the Kenyon College Bookstore. Copies will also be shared with members of the Kenyon and Gambier communities starting at noon on Oct. 5 in the Cheever Room of the Finn House.
Phillips, who has published 12 books and a number of poems in the Kenyon Review, will be honored with the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in New York City on Nov. 7 and travel to Gambier to deliver the literary festival’s keynote lecture on Nov. 9.
“Carl Phillips is at the apogee of his generation of American poets,” said David Lynn ’76, editor of the Kenyon Review and professor of English. “Smart, challenging – without being deliberately difficult – full of mystery and mythical resonance, he engages contemporary questions of sexual identity and the profound link to creativity.”
Those who read Double Shadow are welcome to join a free book discussion led by Royal Rhodes, professor of religious studies, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry St., Mount Vernon, and a free brown-bag chat led by Thomas Hawks, assistant professor of English, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 12:45 p.m., also at the public library.
“Read Double Shadow for its music – the sound and rhythm and collisions of sense,” Lynn said. “It is full of fragments of Greek myth made flesh in the immediate, in the twisting arms of the everyday world.”
Phillips is a professor in the departments of English and African and African-American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Double Shadow won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2011. His other books include Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Life and Art of Poetry (2004). He published a translation of Sophocles’s Philoctetes in 2004.
The community-reading project is supported by Ariel Foundation, Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture Series, First-Knox National Bank, Kenyon Academic Partnership, Kenyon Bookstore, Kenyon Craft Center, Kenyon English Department, Ohio Arts Council, Paragraphs Bookstore, Peoples Bank, and Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County.