Poets @Scup: Janis Harrington,David Dixon
The Scattering of Saints explores the many ways we are separate - from nature, from self, from each other, and from the transcendent; yet also how we seek to remain as fellow travelers, pilgrims and saints who still kiss family/ destined to arrive someplace holy. Each poem is a numinous thread in a shared fabric of kindness and fun, compassion and humor, and part of an often hilarious world where Richard Brautigan, Gary Snyder, and Wendell Berry won't let the poet sleep, and a world in which the value of the divine plummets to where we . . . cannot trade / a saint for a cup of coffee / nor an angel for a donut. Overall, these are poems of grace, so that it's okay if, like the poet, you wonder at finding yourself . . . last in line / and all the Jesus powers / are gone / Except for the power / to curse fig trees.
Janis Harrington's How to Cut a Woman in Half is a testament to resiliency in the throes of mounting family tragedies and trials "beyond human comprehension." This odyssey from loss toward recovery and hope celebrates the boundless love and support between siblings. Using an adapted sonnet form, Harrington has wrought a taut and spellbinding tale in this finalist for the 2020 Able Muse Book Award.
"These carefully wrought sonnets take readers on a journey "to grief's center" as the speaker supports her sister through new widowhood and, in the process, rediscovers and explores her own submerged grief. Many poems take place in the liminal space between "living and not," bardo moments that contain "all my life's partings." It is striking how fully present the speaker is in the experience of mourning, and how well suited the sonnet form is for containing such deeply personal wells of human sorrow. A beautiful and healing read." -Rebecca Foust, author of Paradise Drive and Only
David Dixon is a poet, musician, and physician who lives and practices in the Foothills of North Carolina. the son of missionaries, he grew up in Trujillo, Peru, and studies theology before beginning his medical education and subsequent career as a Family Physician in a rural community. He prefers a day lost on the Blue Ridge backroads on his motorcycle. Plays music every opportunity. And still has a little faith.
Janis Harrington's first book, Waiting for the Hurricane, won the Lena M. Shull Book Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society. Her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies, including: Tar River Poetry, Journal of the American Medical Association, North Carolina Literary Review, and Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer's Disease. She was the runner-up for the White Pine Press Poetry Prize 2020 and a finalist for the 2021 James Applewhite Poetry Prize and the 2022 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. After living in Switzerland for many years, she and her husband returned to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.