Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day; Breakup Night at KGB

Dateless this V-Day? Don’t sweat it, you’re actually not alone. As last week’s post on the subject of Valentine’s Day explained, even the single can survive February 14th through the company of the right book. So drop that heart-shaped box of chocolates, cancel those flowers you had sent to yourself, and visit your local library or bookstore. Maybe you’ll even meet the book nerd of your dreams browsing the stacks.

Even if finding true love on Valentine’s Day it isn’t that simple, reading the right book can still help mitigate the loneliness of a partnerless holiday. If this year’s festivities find you celebrating solo, we have the perfect literary antidote to your dateless day of solitude—the new paperback edition of It’s Not You, It’s Me: The Poetry of Breakup, edited and introduced by Jerry Williams.

Last February Jerry was generous enough to stop by the blog to share an anti-anti-Valentine’s Day poem titled “Bed, Bath, and Beyond,” and this year he returns again (in video form) along with It’s Not You contributors Beth Gylys, Ravi Shankar, and Donna Masini, who all shared the stage during last week’s Breakup Night at KGB. If you skipped the reading you missed a boozy evening of heartrending verse performed by the industry’s most seasoned and humorous veterans of heartache, but thanks to the magic of Youtube, you can still enjoy them here today. Check out the videos below!

Jerry Williams opened the night with a reading of his poem, “Exegisis of a Hard Case”, exploring the grief regimen entailed by the four breakups that nearly killed him. Don’t know what a reverse cuckold is? We recommend you google it (potentially NSFW).


Beth Gylys, who is a professor at Georgia State University and the award winning author of two collections of poetry, as well as two chapbooks shared “Song of an X” and “Through the Glass,” both included in It’s Not You, It’s Me.


Ravi Shankar (no relation) followed up with a series of poems that hued closely to the night’s theme of harrowing breakup, including “Double Rainbow” (related), “Curacao,” and “Surface Tension.”


The night’s final reader, Donna Masini, began her set with a reading of Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art,” in commemoration of the poet’s birthday, before plunging into her It’s Not You contributions, “Slowly” and “Longing.”

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