Catharine Savage Brosman
Catharine Savage Brosman, Professor Emerita of French at Tulane University, is a nationally-known essayist, scholar in French and American literature, and, foremost, a poet. Her 14 poetry collections include A Memory of Manaus, Chained Tree, Chained Owls, and the newest, Arm in Arm. Her short fiction appeared as An Aesthetic Education and Other Stories. In 2001, after 40 years in New Orleans, Louisiana, she settled in Houston, Texas, but now maintains a second residence in her favorite city.
9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
Capitol Park Event Center, Meeting Room
with Kathleen Balma, Catharine Savage Brosman, Ariel Francisco, Rodger Kamenetz, Alison Pelegrin, Sha'Condria Sibley, and moderator Mona Lisa Saloy
11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Cavalier House Booksellers Tent
Arm in Arm: Poems
With its broad range of vision and mastery of poetic technique, Arm in Arm shows again why Catharine Savage Brosman is, as Claude Wilkinson wrote, one of America's finest poets. Her wit, powers of observation, and depth of feeling are displayed on page after page, as she looks at the world personally, phenomenologically (in food and flower poems, for instance), and spiritually. Historical figures including Alexander Mackenzie, Samuel Coleridge, Kit Carson, and Grace King rub elbows with imaginative creations such as "Old Mr. Chauvin" from the Louisiana bayou country. Landscapes in "Annapurna," "Great Wind," and elsewhere attest to the poet's evocative powers, as topography is paralleled by landscapes of the mind, arising from the real, but multivalent, with subtle shadings and emotions. "My scattered thoughts / collect, ruminate a moment with the pronghorns, / then fly off . . ." Each of three parts concludes by a series: "Fourteen Modern Poems in the Chinese Manner" (a new departure), "Six War Poems," among Brosman's finest, concerned with the two world wars, and "From The Hours of Catherine de Cleves," fourteen poems on saints, illuminating poems elsewhere on the burdens of humankind and evils of history. Friendship and love add light everywhere. A beloved figure appears in the title poem through "copper clouds at sunset"; the joy of marriage is evoked in an epithalamium; empathy resonates in sonnets for a poet-friend; girls, young and old, take in museums or drive, carefree, in a yellow Mustang; and the ideal radiates through "shimmering rainbow mesas" ("A Note to One Deceased").
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