Deschutes Public Library News
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 8/5/2006
Deschutes Public Library is pleased to welcome Jodi Varon and David Axelrod for a reading in the Brooks Room of the Bend Public Library at 610 NW Wall Street on Sunday, August 13, 2006. The reading begins at 3:00 p.m. and a book signing will follow. This program is free and open to the public.
Varon’s memoir, Drawing to an Inside Straight: The Legacy of an Absent Father, is a bittersweet story of growing up in the Jewish ghetto of West Denver in the 1960s, the daughter of a Ladino-speaking cattleman gambler, whose luck turns catastrophic when he wagers the family business. Author William Kittredge praised Drawing to an Inside Straight, calling it a “clear-eyed story of an intellectual woman of Jewish background coming of age in the roughhouse American West.”
Reading with Varon will be David Axelrod, whose new collection of poems, The Cartographer’s Melancholy won the 2004 Spokane Poetry Prize. Fate, stillness, travel, will and the deep bruise of individual history as it becomes political history all shape his new book. In a language extraordinarily lean and fresh, Axelrod shows what it would be like to be truly alive to the nuance of events, structures, and the declarations of those who are in or out of power. Richard Robbins praised the collections, writing, “Fearless, guided by the angel Whitman, [Axelrod’s] poems enter the dark soul of American Empire and come back speaking the language of light.”
Varon and Axelrod are married and colleagues at Eastern Oregon University. Together they edit the literary and fine arts journal Basalt. In addition to her memoir, Varon is also the author of The Rock’s Cold Breath, poems translated from the Chinese of Li He. Axelrod is the author of several previous collections of poetry, and recently published, Troubled Intimacies, a collection of non-fiction about the interior rural west. They recently returned from a year abroad researching and writing new books.
For more information about this or other library programs, please call 312-1032.