Columbia Poetry Review Release Reading

In Celebration of Issue 29

by David Fairbanks

After fifteen weeks of reading and discussing poems submitted for the 29th volume of Columbia Poetry Review and another semester scrutinizing every page of the magazine and checking with our published poets to ensure their work appeared exactly as they intended after making its way from their word processors to ours, the boxes arrived. There was something simultaneously exciting and haunting about having the cover staring back at us as we filled envelopes with contributor and subscriber copies.

Our first look at issue 29, fresh from the box. Photo: Chrissy Martin

Publishing a book of remarkable poems should not go unobserved, and what better way to celebrate our hard work and put copies into the hands of readers than to hold a reading? Just before entering the last week of the semester, we gathered in the Columbia College Library's reading room to put the year's academic stresses on pause for a couple hours of poetry. Editors and editorial board members read some of their favorite selections from the magazine, save for poems by Anthony Madrid, Ryan Snyder Ananat, and Richard Meier, who we were lucky enough to have in attendance.  


With all of the events that are going on in Chicago every night of the week and with the reading being just a week before many of us had deadlines as teachers and students, we were impressed with the turnout. We shared new work from CAConrad, Morgan Parker, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Jennifer Moxley, and Lucia LoTempio, among others. Anthony Madrid captivated us with his readings of "What Are the Thorns of the Rose" and "For the First Few Years a Person's Whole Body," Ryan Snyder Ananat read "Shaker Traditions" and "Dance Marathon #3" from the magazine as well as a new poem he wrote just that day, and Richard Meier closed out the event with the reading of his poem "2.2.14 Clarity.


After working hard on Columbia Poetry Review 29 for eight months, it was incredible to see the book in people's hands and hear the poems read aloud, and I can't wait to do it again as we ring in 30 years with the next volume.


Copies of issue 29 can be purchased here

Columbia Poetry Review Faculty Advisor Tony Trigilio
introducing the reading. Photo: Chrissy Martin