Thursday May 18, 2023 – 5:30-7:30 PM EDT
Price: Free public drop-in event
Registration: No advance registration needed
Venue: Pat Conroy Literary Center | 601 Bladen St., Beaufort
Website: Facebook Event Page
The nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center is honored to host a public launch event for Jacquelyn Markham’s new collection of poetry, Rainbow Warrior, on Thursday, May 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 601 Bladen St., in downtown Beaufort. No advance registration required. Books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments will be provided. The author will give a reading from her new book at 6:30 p.m.
About Rainbow Warrior
The powerful poems in Rainbow Warrior make connections between the lives of the islanders of the South Pacific impacted by nuclear testing on Bikini and nearby islands and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill that devastated land and sea off the coast of Louisiana. The poems in this collection—some narrative, some epic, some lyrical—delve into ecopoetics to reveal the human toll of environmental disasters.
Images of the lone Ivory Billed Woodpecker, now extinct, juxtaposed with a child listening to the “Mother of the Sea” chant from a spiral shell, or fledglings the “size of pennies/…copper in the sun” make everyday moments of healing and beauty in nature even more poignant. These poems that follow the moon and the tides strike awe in our hearts and move us toward a deeper social consciousness.
“Jacquelyn Markham’s dedication of Rainbow Warrior to Rachel Carson prepares us for the power of this collection. Each of the ten poems gives us not only an insightful appreciation of nature but an awareness of its fragility in the lives of humans who too often view themselves as ‘gods’ in relation to it, enjoying what they will without understanding they are destroying it. Drawing from indigenous lore, and imagining the voices of the people directly affected, Markham—as though herself listening to the spirit of the sea in a spiral shell, as though heartfully calling on sky power—expresses outrage and terror in the dark necessary reminder that warfare’s bombs and greed’s oil drilling have poisoned our Earth. ‘I plunge into the water trying/yet I wonder will we survive?’ epitomizes the spirit of this strong sequence compelling in silent reading and superbly ready to be performed aloud by many voices.”–Katharyn Howd Machan, author of Dark Side of the Spoon and other collections
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Jacquelyn Markham has loved poetry since wandering through the meadow along a mint-lined brook as a child in rural Michigan. She has written poetry for nearly as long, so as a freshman in college, she decided to make a career of it. After earning her bachelor’s degree in English, she earned a master’s and a doctorate in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University.
Author of two chapbooks and a personal mythology, Peering Into the Iris: An Ancestral Journey, she has published nationally and internationally in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Archive: South Carolina Poetry Since 2005, Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Lullwater Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, The High Window, and Woman and Earth, among others.
Dr. Markham enjoyed a rich academic career from which she retired as a full professor. During her academic career, her love of poetry extended to scholarship as she “rescued” 19th century women poets who had fallen into obscurity, focusing on collecting the far-flung poems published by Charlotte Perkins Gilman during her lifetime. The result is the award-winning reference The Complete Poetry of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1884-1935, Together with Commentary and Notes (Mellen Press, 2014), recipient of the Adele Mellen Prize “for its distinguished contribution to scholarship.” She currently mentors poets and writers, making her home near the coast of South Carolina.