Claremont Insider: Small Things Done Well

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Small Things Done Well

A reader writes to tell us that Claremont poet B. H. Fairchild will be giving a reading at the Los Angeles County Central Library on Tuesday, April 7, at 7pm as part of the library's ALOUD speaker series.

Fairchild and poet Elise Paschen will be reading their respective works. Admission is free, but seating is limited, so you'll have to reserve a spot.

Fairchild's collection of poems The Art of the Lathe (Alice James Books, 1998) won the Kingsley Tufts Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, the California Book Award, and was nominated for the National Book Award. His collection Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (W. W. Norton, 2002), won a National Book Critics Circle Award.

You could probably go on and on about the numerous honors Fairchild has received. What surprises us most is that he isn't more recognized here in Claremont. It may be that Fairchild's work, which often draws on the working-class lives of the farmers, machinists, welders, and oil field hands of the poet's small-town Midwestern youth, gets dismissed by some readers as local color. However, it's difficult to deny the honesty, the craftsmanship, or the psychological and philosophical complexity of a poem like "Beauty."

Fairchild, incidentally, is the second great poet to come out of Liberal, Kansas. The other being William Stafford. If you're interested in reading a sampling of Fairchild's work, you can find some here.

If you're interested in the April 7th reading but can't attend, you can also hear a reading Fairchild did last year at the Lannan Foundation in New Mexico.

Poetry Society of America Image
(Click to Enlarge)

Tuesday, April 7 - 7pm
B. H. Fairchild &
Elise Paschen

LA Central Library

Mark Taper Auditorium
Fifth & Flower Streets,
Downtown Los Angeles

524 S. Flower St.

Contact Information
(213) 228-7025