By Nash Young
I caught the buzz. Matthew Dickman and his twin brother Michael are really into poetry. I don’t know what being submersed as “precogs” in Minority Report has to do with it, but the dialogue that surfaces between the twins is a force of expression when tooled to the page. Matthew won a Tufts award, and his book All-American Poem is the winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. This is to say, his poetry is good. It’s accessible and I don’t mean accessible in a bad way. These days, I listen for a conversational tone in poetry. I want to hear a human voice.
Matthew Dickman reads this Saturday at the new Disjecta art space.
To celebrate the release of the quarterly magazine, Tin House joined with Disjecta to throw a party. “This is our first one,” Cheston Knapp says of the release party. “So we’re trying to see if this is something the people want. As it is, we don’t know.” Portland’s literary scene attracts some interesting talent. Arthur Bradford will read from his story published in the Winter issue. It’s about “a guy who makes LSD in his basement, and he’s asked to babysit.”
Bradford makes movies. “Last time I talked with him,” Knapp says, “they were in post-production.” Bradford worked with developmental disabled people to interview the public for a documentary titled “How’s Your News?” The program is now a show on MTV. Knapp tells me, “He had a story in McSweeney’s.” Ah, the cred. Now, here are credentials you can trust: Bradford lives in Portland with his wife and two daughters. I hear the conversational tone in Portland’s growing literary scene. Naturally, a literary party is the place to discuss what’s close to your heart. (When the voice is too heartfelt, it covers its shy exposure in a book.) An opening is abundant and relaxing: feel your way in.
The words and music of The Old Believers follow upon the readings. A young man and woman with guitars, an elemental combination to awaken your heart: Keeley Boyle and Nelson Kempf are not that old, but I think the old belief is always new when your living in the moment.
Saturday, February 21 at 7:00 pm
$6; cash bar; all ages
Disjecta 8371 N. Interstate
Portland, OR 97217
The new Disjecta art space is near the lumberjack statue: Paul Bunyan in steel frame and plaster stands on North Interstate near Denver Avenue.