Celebrated poet Clemens Starck will read from his book, “Cathedrals and Parking Lots: Collected Poems.” He has been honored with an Oregon Book Award and the William Stafford Memorial Poetry Award.
A Princeton dropout and former merchant seaman, Starck has supported his literary and intellectual interests for more than fifty years by working with his hands, mainly as a carpenter and construction foreman. In his early twenties, he decided to take responsibility for his own education: to read deeply, travel widely, and write poems.
“Cathedrals and Parking Lots” represents the work of a lifetime: poems of memorable clarity and substance based on actual experiences, whether standing lookout on the bow of a freighter, dismantling houses for a living, building a freeway overpass, or traveling to Russia and studying the language. Composed in the cadences of everyday speech, Starck’s poems are works of functional beauty -- every word, every line, every image belongs.
According to Carolyn Kizer, a Judge for the Oregon Book Award, “Starck has a faultless ear and an admirable concision. He also has a quietly devastating wit and a sharp eye for the foibles of our society.”
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