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A 'minimalist holiday reading' tonight on Grant Street.

Two poets with ties to the University at Buffalo's Poetics program and a "proclivity for brevity" in their work will be featured tonight at 7 p.m. at Sweetness 7 Café, 220 Grant St. in what has been appropriately billed as "minimalist holiday reading" featuring Graham Foust and Michael Flatt.

Foust, a 2002 UB Poetics Program Ph.D who co-edited the journal Lagniappe:Poetry and Poetics in Review from 1998 to 2002 with Ben Friedlander, is the author of five full-length collections of poetry: "As in Every Deafness" (Flood Editions, 2003); "Leave the Room to Itself" (Ahsahta Press, 2004); "Necessary Stranger" (Flood Editions, 2007); "A Mouth in California" (Flood Editions, 2009); and "To Anacreon In Heaven" (Flood Editions, 2013).

He is also the co-translator (with Samuel Frederick) of "In Time's Rift" [Im Zeitspalt], a collection of the later poems by the German poet Ernst Meister published by Wave Books in 2012.  He has taught at Drake University, at Saint Mary's College of California, and, currently, as assistant professor at the University of Denver.

Owing much to the mordant concision and radical linguistic misdirections of English language writing after Samuel Beckett, Foust's work advances Beckett's familiar endgame tropes and schemes with the compelling immediacy of an idiomatic jolt. 

Michael Flatt is currently a Ph.D. student in the UB Poetics Program.  His work has appeared has appeared in such publications as Colorado Review, New Pages, Octopus Magazine, and Cutbank.  His first-length collection of poems, "Absent Receiver" published earlier this year by Springgun Press, was praised by J. Michael Martinez in a recent Poetry Society of America 'New American Poets' feature as "gorgeous in its intelligence and surreal sways."

Flatt's work "excavates those spaces of joy that can only occur after the damage," writes Martinez: "His work is like the night a lover confesses betrayal and, exposed, is wretched in their weakness; however, the power of his work isn't in aestheticized confession, Michael Flatt's genius is his ability to unlock the aesthetic and recover, in these events of rot and persecution, the grace love possesses to forgive the dark…"

The event is free and open to the public.

--R.D. Pohl


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