Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hal Sirowitz, Mike Topp, and Cory McAbee January 23

Wednesday January 23 (8 pm)
Issue Project Room (232 3rd St, 3rd Fl, 718.330.0313 )

Families, like poems, often conflate trivial affairs and matters of extraordinary importance. Two books by Hal Sirowitz — 1996's Mother Said, followed eight years later by Father Said — thrive on this exaggerative impulse. The former poet laureate of Queens begins each compact poem with moments stolen from a long, claustrophobic car trip, but each ends with a quick shift in subtext — the depressive habits of a quirky uncle, say, or the hushed secret behind Mom's glaring reprimand. Of equal note is one-line soothsayer Mike Topp, who reads from his work-in-progress, The Lonely Life. Littoral provides music as well, in the form of gruff singer/director Cory McAbee.

– Joel Withrow