University of Vermont

University Communications

University Scholar Magistrale to Give Poetry Reading

Release Date: 11-03-2010

Contact: University Communications Staff
Phone: (802) 656-2005 FAX: (802) 656-3203

For his University Scholar presentation, Tony Magistrale, professor of English, will present a poetry reading from his own work. Some of the poems will come from his book, What She Says About Love (2008), winner of the 2007 Bordighera Poetry Prize from CUNY. Most of the selections, however, will be more recent, including a series of lyric poems inspired by painters as diverse as Picasso, Hopper, and UVM emeritus professor and acrylic landscapist, Michael Strauss.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building.

Here, read a sample of Magistrale's work, the poem, "Cautionary Tale":

His name was Benny and he had done serious time

in jail. The day he got out

he broke my nose on a soft October evening

my Senior year in high school

because I possessed the temerity

to ask out his hot girlfriend. In the back

of the Pizza Hut parking lot

in a corner between a stockade fence

and a black garbage dumpster,

giant pines looming up on either side,v
I watched helplessly as his fury

escalated with each prefatory shove

until it bore down into a lethal

frenzy--nostrils flaring,

breaths a staccato deepening,

even his stiff black hair was outraged

at this junction where language collapsed

and fists took over in a pounding blur,

where midnight entered my sinuses

in the sharp tin taste of blood.

No longer able to see or breathe clearly,

I looked up at Benny and was afforded

a revelation: the inherent moral

attendant to dating any woman, regardless

how hot, who was the girlfriend

of a man who had been sent to prison.

The University Scholar Awards Program annually recognizes distinguished faculty members for sustained excellence in research and scholarly activities. The scholars are selected by a panel of distinguished faculty, based upon nominations submitted by UVM colleagues.

Information: 656-3160.