100 Thousand Poets for Change

Niki Koulouris, Poet. by stephanie calvet

A dear friend of mine, Niki Koulouris, is riding high these days. At the Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York City last night, Koulouris was joined by fellow writers Betsy Andrews and Jen Coleman for a reading entitled Oceans of Poets. Each read from their new book of poetry about the sea. And it did not go unmentioned in The New Yorker's Above and Beyond section...

Koulouris' first collection, The sea with no one in it, takes her readers on a journey that weaves the distant ocean with both the abstract and familiar of our urban lives. The Canadian-Australian poet's work is poignantly visual, which is why I'm so drawn to it. I hope you also find much to discover in her work.

The sea with no one in it, by Niki Koulouris. Photo by Stephanie Calvet.

Her next reading, at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change event in Toronto, takes place at the Black Swan Tavern on Saturday, September 27th at 7:00-11:00pm.

Below are two poems from her book:

Today of all days 
this is the sea with no one in it 
is this all it will be
unable to dye all it touches 
in primitive ink 
what could you give the sea 
but your stripes,
since you ask,
your war paint, your blindfolds 
your appetite for westerns
in exchange for waves
as wide as trains
from the next frontier.
(for Cézanne) 
If anything
he must have kept his onions
in a safe
but I think of Cézanne’s apples, 
peaches, pears
turning like
in a house full of
restless fruit 
tuned at high noon
by the grocer's scales
oranges on togas 
on tables, 
still-blooded, spared.