December 17, 2010 - 2:50 PM
Even as the days grow short in December, she's one of the brightest lights on the Buffalo area literary scene--a poet, educator, teaching artist, arts publicist, proprietress of a small press, performer for the Buffalo Poets' Theater, and perhaps the only founder of a collective of women writers and artists to also have created a blog on the finer points of professional hockey and the National Hockey League.
Robin Brox is one-of-a-kind, and tonight she'll join fellow poet Gary Andrews in just the second installment of the Queer Vibes Quarterly Reading Series. The event starts at 7 p.m. at Buffalo East, 1412 Main St. (near Utica.) Admission is $2.
The new series, which began in September, focuses on gender and showcases the work of poets and writers from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. Poet and spoken word artist Marek Phillip Parker is the series co-founder and host.
Ms. Brox is the founder of Saucebox, a women’s performance series turned small press, which produces handmade chapbooks, broadsides, and other book art projects. She teaches creative writing for Young Audiences of WNY, as well as Just Buffalo Literary Center, where she is also Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator. An Amherst, NY native and graduate of Amherst High School, she did her undergraduate work at Barnard College and the University at Buffalo. She earned an M.A. in English from The University of Maine-Orono in 2005, and later that year released her first collection of poems Tinsel Strength and the Orchid Sheaf. She has a chapbook of new poems forthcoming from Bay City, Michigan's Binge Press, and a full-length volume of poems and other writings to be published next year by Buffalo's own BlazeVox Books.
A lifelong hockey fan, Brox is also is the Buffalo-based author of Ice Hockey Chick
, a lively and informative blog that rants and rambles it way around all things pertaining to hockey culture and the aesthetics of the National Hockey League.
As for her poetics, it is no less filled with thrilling breakaways, breath-taking enjambments, and dazzling linguistic stops. Here is her poem "Waiting For It" from Tinsel Strength:
Waiting For It
Waiting for it,
This, a poem scrubbing its makeup off, now naked on the page telling me
what I want to hear,
Truthful and unashamed, a woman loving herself, seeking same, enticing
her equals to act,
To write poems, the other woman's poems, a taciturn haiku or florid song,
One unafraid to confront itself as hypocrisy or antifeminist, a love song by
and for women with fury in its words,
And in its company, each verse one girl becomes a woman and thankfully
She finds her voice in ink in front of her, now confronting her here,
Confronting the fear inside of women, women needing each other yet
often competing amongst themselves, against fear of betrayal,
A poem proposing getting past all that, whose reader waits for it, who then
embraces it as one woman's arms encircling her friend or lover,
A poem with lines long enough to wrap around the blank page's potential,
lines long and black as memory, whose music soothes us with the
About her work, Brox has written "I believe that language exists inside our minds and outside our selves, as part of an ongoing conversation, across time, culture, and geography. The world we encounter provides us the raw material, but language is the tool with which we carve poetry."