The University of Iowa

Rescue Press reading: Phil Sorenson and Olivia Cronk

Phil Sorenson and Olivia Cronk will read from their newest work on Saturday, October 27th, 4pm at Prairie Lights in downtown Iowa City.

Sorenson will read from his collection OF EMBODIES, the Editor's Choice pick for Rescue Press's 2011 Black Box Poetry Prize. Cronk will read from SKIN HORSE, published by Action Books in 2012.

Like an army of flowering stones, Philip Sorenson's OF EMBODIES evolves fixed positions into organic movement and marches straight into your open heart. These poems are the body and the text; the temple and a subject of discovery—their urgency manifesting itself in vanishing memory, actively decomposing letters, and what kind of material might survive you. These poems are interested in evidence, exact specimens, and wild living inquiry. Here there are indications of the inner workings of the earth, upsets, burials, blood, membranes, mouths, and "tongues learning to penetrate a word with the body to lean in and whisper but meaning is a fleeing." OF EMBODIES was the Editor's Choice pick for Rescue Press's 2011 Black Box Poetry Prize.

Olivia Cronk's SKIN HORSE shows that history is a crime scene, and that crime is theatrical, rife with costumes, masks, hats, props, weapons, scripts, dialogue, wooden scenery and dreamlike reenactments. These poems are anachronistic yet uncannily alive, furtive yet frank like an incriminating note forgotten in an apron pocket. Cronk locks words together like a lace collar which flutters attractively even as it tightens at the reader's throat. She writes, "with velvet trim / in the whistle of seeing." She writes, "Is it too untoward to say Please Go Back to Normal Life?" She writes, "Gotta nest of woe a nest of wail / and pardon my tied-on prom."


Philip Sorenson lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals, including Hayden's Ferry Review, elimae, Asymptote, and Saltgrass. He teaches writing and literature.

Olivia Cronk lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter. She teaches composition and creative writing at Northeastern Illinois University.