Toned in the ambient lighting at The Forge with a wine glass in hand, poet Kevin Prufer articulated a reading that engaged his listeners to lean closer with anticipation.
“And then the air was full of postcards pictures, all of them shouting ‘phoenix, phoenix, phoenix,’ twirling and fallin’ until the empty postcard rack spun once more, tipped and crashed through the window,” Prufer read. “’It’s called impermanence.'”
This was the latest reading from the Every Eye poetry series put together by Colorado State University professor Matthew Cooperman and his wife Aby Kaupang Cooperman. The two have organized these monthly events in Fort Collins since 2011.
“The creative writing community is small,” Cooperman said. “Both my wife and I are poets and we tend to know a lot of poets around the country who are doing things.”
Each month, two poets are carefully selected to read their original work for the event.
“We have people in the area and then try to line them up with someone from Denver or Boulder so that literary activity extends from what is really quite a vibrant scene down in Denver and Boulder up to Fort Collins, to extend that up all the way to Wyoming,” Cooperman said.
Cooperman wants his readings to be engaging and stimulating to his audience.
“We try to construct what we think are interesting alignments that create some kind of openings in conversation,” Cooperman said. “We try to create some bridges and interesting conversations.”
The reading is a free event held at 7:30 p.m. at the Forge in Old Town, typically on a Wednesday. Information as to exact dates can be found on the Every Eye Facebook page.
“We love to have people come out,” Cooperman said. “It’s been a bit of a secret, as it (is at) The Forge, so we just like to get people out there to enjoy this and to diversify the kind of literary happenings that are going on in town.”
After the event showcasing the poets Kevin Prufer and Wayne Miller, Dan Beachy-Quick, a poetry professor at CSU, was impressed with the quality of writing.
“Both are extraordinary lyric poets,” Beachy-Quick said. “There aren’t a whole lot of readings that are as sold as this one was, so that is good to hear.”
Some members from the audience were Forge customers who decided to listen to and reflect on the spoken poetry.
“Poetry: this is part of what it is about,” said CSU alumnus Joel Potter, who has a masters in literature. “It is accessible in many different ways. It means a lot of different things to different people.”
Collegian reporter Stephanie Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @stephersmason.