OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Pulp, horror, fairy tales, true crime: this poetry collection has it all

04/29/2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Award-winning poet Lightsey Darst will read from her new book, “Find the Girl,” on Friday, May 14, on the Oregon State University campus. A book signing will follow.

The free public event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library’s main rotunda (201 S.W. Waldo Place) Corvallis.

“Find the Girl,” published by Coffee House Press, is a poetic exposé of girlhood, obsession, and the CSI profession. This lurid and lyrical debut explores the transition from girlhood to womanhood and America’s fascination with missing and exploited children.

Topical and timely, Darst’s poems draw from both the oldest tales and the current vein of child/young woman endangerment horror — recalling and responding to true crime exposés, pulp detective fiction, classic fables such as “Snow White,” modern novels such as “The Lovely Bones,” and TV shows such as “Law & Order.”

Stephen Burt, author of “Parallel Play” and “Close Calls with Nonsense” described Darst’s collection as, “bluegrass and teen lust, the sequels to horror films and the modernist fragment, perennial myth and murder mystery.”

Originally from Florida, Darst is a writing instructor, dance critic, and dancer who lives in Minneapolis where she curates a writers’ salon. The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, her poems have appeared in the Antioch Review, Diagram, Gulf Coast, Monkey Bicycle, New Letters, and elsewhere. “Find the Girl” is her first poetry collection.

The reading is part of the OSU English Department’s 2009-10 Visiting Writers Series, and is sponsored by the Valley Library, the OSU Department of English, the Office of the Provost, and the OSU Bookstore.