In our first poetry forum of the semester, Danielle Pafunda, author of Maneater and My Zorba, and Peter Davis, author of Poetry! Poetry! Poetry! and Tina, inspired the audience with wit and humor. In the words of our own David Lehman: "Peter Davis and Danielle Pafunda complemented one another beautifully: two minds divided by gender, united by intelligence and sensibility. There is much talk about gender and poetry. Listening to these two poets, back to back, you think you are hearing a shared voice -- attractively intelligent and adult -- from distinctly masculine and feminine points of view. It is as instructive as it is entertaining. Both poets write funny. They make you laugh and they make you realize that a genuine laugh can be as great as an epiphany. What a lovely evening Laura Cronk moderated, don't you think?"
Danielle's Natural History Rape Museum dissects violence and our culture to accept it as part of our society. “It feels good," said Danielle, "to conduct the world’s violence on the page. It’s my response to violence without doing or incurring violence. It’s how I navigate through it.”
When Peter Davis, who had the audience roaring in laughter, was asked about how and why he uses humor in his poems, he said, “Writing is boring. Humor makes it fun. In this nasty world we live in, humor is a way to cope with it. “
Danielle Pafunda: "Look for a press that will make your work beautiful. Don’t worry about contests, finding the chic or right press. Also, children make for great material. So if you face a creative block, just borrow some children!
Peter Davis: "Know your contemporaries."
Danielle Pafunda's books include Manhater, Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies, My Zorba, and Pretty Young Thing. A fifth collection Natural History Rape Museum will be out from Bloof Books in Fall 2013. Her work appears inDenver Quarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Fence, Kenyon Review and The Huffington Post.
Peter Davis is a poet and musician from Indiana. His first book of poetry is Hitler’s Mustache and he co-edited Poet’s Bookshelf: Contemporary Poets on Books That Shaped Their Art and Poet’s Bookshelf II. He teaches English at Ball State University.
Moderated by Laura Cronk, associate director, the School of Writing.