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Poet Gregory Kimbrell reads

March 28, 2017

VCU Libraries Events and Programs Coordinator Gregory Kimbrell will be on stage, rather than behind-the-scenes, for the April 19 Meet VCU's Authors events.

Kimbrell, a poet, will read from his award-winning book of poems, The Primitive Observatory. The event takes place 7 to 9 p.m. in James Branch Cabell Library, room 250. 

Kimbrell's The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016) was selected for the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Parentheses JournalBlackbirdThe Laurel Review and the Abaculi Project.

"The poems in Gregory Kimbrell's riveting collection, The Primitive Observatory, take place in unnamed, remote districts teetering on the cusp of apocalyptic ruin," says poet Brian Barker, author of The Black Ocean and judge of the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award contest. "Characters go about their everyday lives the best they can amidst war, plague, murder and cataclysmic winters. But even stranger things are afoot. Sinister diplomats in black overcoats wander the streets, meting out justice. A man in a crocodile mask performs a funeral ritual in the middle of a lake. In these poems, the mundane, the historical and the fantastical mix into a mesmerizing, nightmarish concoction. Kimbrell is a fabulist of the highest order."

The book "delivers what its title promises," says Nathanael Tagg for The Colorado Review. "Typically, an observatory either contains instruments for examining the world or provides a broad view, but Kimbrell's book does both. Its poems are tools for observing many characters in various times and places. Inspired by history and myth, this poetry collection achieves a powerful blend of realism and fantasy that focuses on primitive behavior."

About the Meet VCU's Authors series: Members of faculty and staff in the humanities at VCU have an impressive record of scholarly productivity and are recognized, both nationally and internationally, for their significant contributions to our understanding of the human condition across cultures, throughout the past, and in the present. The Meet VCU’s Authors series invites members of the Richmond community as well as colleagues and students from VCU and other local universities to come and meet VCU's authors as they talk about their recently published books and answer questions about their work.

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