Jennifer Reeser is the author of five books. Writer and former editor of The Paris Review, X.J. Kennedy, wrote that her first volume “ought to have been a candidate for a Pulitzer.” Her verse novel, The Lalaurie Horror, debuted as an Amazon bestseller in Epic Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in Random House, London’s Everyman’s Library, among many other anthologies. Her poems, nonfiction, and translations have appeared in POETRY, The Hudson Review, and elsewhere.
10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
State Library, Fifth Floor Capitol View Room
Louisiana Poets, Part I
11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
This book - the author's fifth collection - contains new translations of Charles Baudelaire, poems of Paris, verses for the victims at Charlie Hebdo, poems of New Orleans, and more. These poems have appeared in journals such as the Paris digital revue, Levure Litteraire, in Europe's leading literary e-zine, Recours au Poeme, in American academic journals such as Able Muse and THINK, in mass publications such as The Writer, The National Review, and others. With a foreword by French scholar and Baudelaire authority, Kathryn Oliver Mills.
“The breath of Paris pushes at my shutters,” writes Jennifer Reeser, twenty-first-century flâneuse and elegant, rhyming translator of the great 19th-century French poet, Charles Baudelaire. Fleur-de-Lis is an example of how deeply a European city and that city’s poet can enter an American writer’s heart. Though Jennifer Reeser is no innocent abroad and hardly “maudit”—she is deeply Christian—the ghost of the nineteenth century haunts the cadences of this immensely talented, stylish, New-Orleans-based formalist whose work confronts “the malformations of her soul” (Fleur-de-Lis / Fleurs du Mal): I have seen queens’ swans, moved a man to cry, heard Bach played in the Metro on guitars. I have made love in Paris. Let me die. All of the nineteenth century is here, but filtered through a sophisticated, twenty-first-century sensibility, constantly moving between what was and what is. The journey is fascinating, rich, knowing, and endlessly circumfluent.
Though Reeser is “besotted” with Jesus, she dives deeply into darkness as well, and boundaries (herself / Baudelaire, New Orleans / Paris) fade. She is—as Baudelaire said of his flâneur —“a mirror as vast as the crowd itself…a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness” ("The Painter of Modern Life"). -- Jack Foley
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