October 24, 2017
937 7th Street West
Saint Paul MN
Join Red Bird poetry editor Norita Dittberner-Jax and poet Margot Fortunato Galt for a reading featuring their recent releases.
Norita Dittberner-Jax has published five collections of poetry, most recently, Crossing the Waters from Nodin Press. Norita has won numerous awards and fellowships, among them several nominations for the Pushcart. One of the poetry editors for Red Bird Chapbooks, Norita lives with her husband in Lilydale, Minnesota on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Crossing the Waters chronicles the daily triumphs and setbacks, fears and recollections, that arose when her husband, Gene, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Her first response is a shock so deep / the dreaming shut down…
But the poet, adept at exploring the range of emotions from wistfulness and joy to panic and desperation, regains her bearings to capture details of the roller-coaster days and weeks following the diagnosis. Taken out of context, many of the poems could stand alone as reflections of lost love, memories of excursions shared, and praise for a fleeting moment of laughter or glancing sunlight. Yet other details return our attention repeatedly to our heartbreaking role as witnesses of a loved one's decline.
Language and place inhabit everything that Margot Fortunato Galt has published – from two books of poetry, a chapbook The Country’s Way with Rain (Kutenai Press) and a full length collection, Between the Houses (Laurel Poetry Collective) – to five books from nonfiction. These include two nominated for the Minnesota Book Award: Up to the Plate: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (Lerner) and an oral history memoir of Minnesota’s premier Ojibwa artist George Morrison: Turning the Feather Around (Minnesota Historical Society Press). Two others were published by Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York: The Story in History and Circuit Writer. Finally, comes Stop This War (Lerner), based on her husband’s refusal of the draft during the Vietnam War.
In The Heart Beat of Wings, the poet's concerns range from memories of childhood to the deal of beloved parents, immigrant ancestors, and a great love of nature, particularly winged creatures. The Cathedral poems are especially noteworthy, but in all the poems what is striking is the music under the lines and the gift for language.