Joseph Green and Donald Levering

Joseph Green and Donald Levering read poetry at Teatro Paraguas

Sunday, May 15 at 6:00 pm

3205 Calle Marie, Santa Fe



Joseph Green’s poems have appeared in such publications as The Bellingham Review, Cooweescoowee, Crab Creek Review, 5 AM, Free Lunch, Hubbub, Litspeak Dresden (Germany), Nimrod, Pearl, Pontoon, Slipstream, The Stony Thursday Book (Ireland), Terrain.org, The Threepenny Review, Wilderness, Willow Springs, and ZYZZYVA, among others. 

His most recent collection is 

What Water Does at a Time Like This (MoonPath Press 2015), following That Thread Still Connecting Us (MoonPath 2012), The End of Forgiveness (Floating Bridge, 2001), Greatest Hits: 1975—2000 (Pudding House, 2001), Deluxe Motel (The Signpost Press, 1991), and His Inade- quate Vocabulary (Signpost, 1986). 

Joseph Green has been PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writer, in residence at the Dutch Henry Homestead in Oregon’s Rogue River Canyon; has held a residency at Fundación Valparaiso, in Mojacar, Spain; and has more recently spent almost a year traveling, living and writing in Morocco. At home, he collaborates with his wife, 

Marquita, to produce limited-edition, letterpress-printed poetry broadsides through the Peasandcues Press, using hand-set metal type; and at the C.C. Stern Type Foundry and Museum of Metal Typography, in Portland, Oregon, he is working to preserve the craft of casting the type itself. He lives in Longview, Washington, where he retired from teaching in his twenty-fifth year at Lower Columbia College. 


Coltrane’s God, Levering’s 7th full-length collection of poems, is a departure from his recent books, 
which have focused on environmental and human rights issues. Instead, love of music and honor for musicians are the heart of Coltrane’s God. Among the players in his joyful tribute to the “language of emotion,”are a street busker wailing laments in the rain, a choir boy with changing voice, an itinerant fiddler, romping barrelhouse piano players, and a woman singing scat in a tram tunnel. A prose opening section recalls the author’s introduction to music in the era of transistor radios and sock hops. One of the book’s motifs is “ear worms,” music that gets stuck in your head, ranging from Mozart to “The Bristol Stomp” to Oliver Nelson’s scales of braided horns. In the title poem, the voice of the god of John Coltrane admonishes the famed sax player to “blister their ears with arpeggios.”


The book is garnering praise from other writers. Dorset-prize winner Lauren Camp says that “In Coltrane’s God, the landscape of life opens though music. Even the sad is insulated with sound. These poems are intoxicated with chords and changes.”  The musician-poet Kevin Rabas, author of Bird’s Horn, writes, “Levering’s Coltrane’s God is a hip, historical collection of “flatted thirds and sevenths,” full of those characteristic, jazzy blue notes, poems sung as if through saxophone and smoke. Levering has an ear and eye for jazz, and what he writes here is part history, part song, following a lineage of jazz poets, including Hughes, Kerouac, Baraka, Carruth, Harper, and Mackey.”

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