Joseph Legaspi and Evie Shockley

Joseph Legaspi and I have been coming to Dodge since 1996. But this year, he was a festival poet! On Saturday, he mesmerized the crowd with poems from him first book, Imago. The consummate reader, he engaged the audience, made us laugh and cry, and allowed us into his world, as only an experienced reader can.

Joseph follows in the footsteps of our friend, the late Phebus Etienne, who was a festival reader in 2002. I believe she was there under the tent with us, watching him give a reading that was nothing less than inspired.

Later in the day, I had the privilege hearing Evie Shockley read from her book, Half-Red Sea. I would describe her poems as melodic, edgy, and thought-provoking. I find that there is always something to discover in her verse.

Listening to Evie’s words on a rainy Saturday added a layer of soulful melody that I will now hear every time I read her work.

Check out both of their books.


odessa said…
hi january,
i've read joseph's poems and they're so beautiful they make me cry. the images are very familiar from my childhood experiences. and how wonderful that he got to read at the festival! i'm crossing my fingers for you to read your poems in 2010, and hopefully I will be there to see it! :)

p.s. no confession today, just sharing a video that makes me happy, happy: i'd rather dance
Rethabile said…
I once read a poem by Legaspi (think it was him). I don't remember where I read it. I think he actually read it (podcast). Does he have a site I can visit and try to find the poem? It was a gem.
JimK said…
Nice to keep up with Evie.
January said…
Yes, Evie is hitting a stride right now. She's a wonderful reader, so it was nice to spend a little time with her this past week.

Thanks Jim. Hope all is well with you.
January said…
Rethabile, here's Joseph's Web Site: ttp://

You can also find his work in online journals, search for Joseph O. Legaspi. And he's also on Facebook.
Rethabile said…
I found the poems I'd read, but not the poem in which, I remember, there was a heartbeat, a pulse, and yes, he read this poem. Thanks for address, and for all the info about Dodge.
Mari said…
January, you don't know me, but I attended NYU with Phebus (my poetry collection The Darkened Temple, just published by U. of Nebraska Press, is dedicated in part to Phebus) as well as with Joseph. I still miss Phebus and think of her often. I'm so pleased to see Joseph's poems getting the attention they deserve and look forward to hearing him read them out here on the left coast one day soon!

All best,

Mari L'Esperance
January said…
Mari, I think I know you. I was in Joseph's class at NYU (MFA'97), the class behind Phebus'. Although, I'm very bad with putting names to faces.

I'm also on the NYU CWP Listserv, so I've seen your name come across many times for different things.

Congrats on your book! How exciting. My book, Underlife, will be published in Oct '09 by CavanKerry Press. Nice to see NYU alums having success post-graduation.

I miss Phebus, too. This was our first Dodge Festival without here. I'm hoping that her manuscript is published soon. Phebus would have appreciated the dedication.

Take care.
Mari said…
Congratulations, January, on your forthcoming book -- there's nothing like the first one! I love the title. And CavanKerry makes beautiful books, if Joseph's is any indication.

I hope you can attend the NYU alumni reading on March 27, as I'll be reading, along with Paula Bohince and a few others. It would be good to meet you. And I admire your prolific and dedicated output, despite having two children. Sounds Herculean. I am in a silent trough at present, over-inundated by a crazy full-time job, but look forward to making space for poems in the new year. Silence is a natural part of the creative cycle, or so I tell myself...

Be well, and let me know if you will be reading out west after your book is released.
January said…
Thanks Mari. Good luck with everything. And if you find yourself in the Boston area, my neck of the words, please look me up!

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