OPEN STACKS | #23 God/Dog: Eileen Myles, Jennifer Scappettone & Peter O'Leary on the Sacred & Profane

October 15th, 2017

This week, we explore literature that traverses the sacred and profane, with Eileen Myles on Afterglow (a dog memoir), Jennifer Scappettone on The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump and Peter O'Leary, who draws from his forthcoming work of criticism, Thick and Dazzling Darkness, to offer advice on how to be a religious poet.

Religious poetry is a kind of wilderness. Sometimes I think of it like the
Wilderness Act of 1964, which empowers the government to establish areas in
the U.S. as designated wildernesses, in which there is a strict prohibition of any
kind of development, which includes the use of any machinery in these areas for
the purposes of trailblazing, creating camps, or in any way interfering with the
growth and life that make the wilderness worthy of protection. Religious poetry is
like that: A wild place (at times), with daunting openness and thorny passages
but, once there, no other environment suffices...

Read Peter O'Leary's revelatory essay on religious poetry, "So, you want to be a religious poet?" here.