Last night, the English Language and Literature Association at SIUE (ELLA) hosted a reading by poet Allison Joseph. Given the multi-threaded commentary on Joseph's work that Emily Phillips and I have been posting, we were especially excited about attending the event. But we weren't alone: so many folks in the large crowd last night knew about her work and looked forward to her reading.
Joseph read some fun and funny poems, some sad poems, a few sexually suggestive poems, and a poem full of references to Bob Marley. Her poems focused on rocking a fro, meeting her husband, and chronicling events related to her father's death and funeral.
I first saw Joseph read nearly 10 years ago while I was a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University. For some reason, I can't recall her doing as much with her voice modulations, pace changes, and tone shifts as she did last night. But you know, it's possible that she's always been this good, and I've just become a better listener over the years.
Whatever the case, she rocked it.
• Allison Joseph