Thursday, April 27, 2006

SISTE VIATOR

Siste Viator (Latin for "traveler, halt" - a traditional opening for inscriptions on gravestones) is the name of Sarah Manguso's excellent new poetry collection. She read from it this past Monday night to a packed house at KGB.

The poems are all from the perspective of dead people, save for the book's final poem, which is spoken by Death itself, if memory serves. Death, poetry - few things are more naturally aligned.

The reading was intense, with the mood of some poems creating a suitably mournful silence; at other times, the audience was gleefully appreciative of Manguso's considerable wit.

Reading with her was Scottish poet Robin Robertson, who, coincidentally, I heard read during my trip to Montréal earlier this month.