Poetry Reading: Dallas Crow and Rob Hardy

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Dallas Crow and Rob Hardy will give a poetry reading Thursday, April 17, 7:30 pm at Monkey See, Monkey Read (425 Division Street).  Northfield poet Rob Hardy will open with a brief selection of poems before turning the evening over to Dallas Crow. Copies of Crow's chapbook, Small, Imperfect Paradise, and Hardy's poetry chapbook, The Collecting Jar, will be available for purchase and signing. 

In Small, Imperfect Paradise, Dallas Crow unflinchingly explores themes of love, sex, growing up, and growing older. The spine of the narrative is the speaker’s progression through a relationship, from the early possibility and romance, through marriage and parenthood, and on to the painful dissolution. The titular poem identifies a moment of stillness in this progression, where two realities exist, one aching, and one idyllic: that of the husband and wife, whose relationship is over, and that of the sleeping children, who do not yet know.

The small, imperfect paradise that Crow writes toward is shattered in “Separation”: “Like a home movie played backwards,” Crow intones, “the gifts / are rewrapped and taken away, the guests / sidle awkwardly out, and then your children leave, / smiling and waving.” In this collection, Crow creates a Möbius loop that mirrors the human experience; the poems wind through startling pain and realization and then loop back to hope and love again and again, each experience simultaneously fractured and precious.

Dallas Crow grew up in small towns in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and attended Oberlin College. He now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota and teaches high school English at Breck School in Golden Valley, Minnesota. His poems have appeared in many periodicals (including English Journal, Poet Lore, and Tar River Poetry), two anthologies, and—as part of a public art project—in the sidewalks of St. Paul. He has also published a number of essays on contemporary poetry.

Rob Hardy is one of Northfield's sidewalk poets, and is the author of The Collecting Jar, which won the Grayson Books Poetry Chapbook Competition in 2004. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including 33 Minnesota Poets (2000) and the 2008 Best of the Net online anthology. Rob graduated from Oberlin College two years ahead of Dallas Crow.

To read a review of Crow's chapbook in Verse Wisconsin, click here. To hear Crow reading his poem "The Holy Order of Fish Handlers," click here

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