Spoken Word

Jim Walker

Poetry reading by Denise Duhamel and Nick Carbo

Butler University Robertson Hall Johnson Room

Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.

Denise Duhamel

Married poets Denise Duhamel and Nick Carbo bring their shared passion for playful language, ironic humor and pop culture to Butler University as part of the school's Visiting Writers Series this week. The Florida residents are the first readers in the spring round of the series.

Duhamel's work - which are often poems in prose form - has a decidedly sexy edge to it. Her book Kinky comes through the voice of various incarnations of Barbie, exploring serious gender role issues with an ever-present sense of humor. Her retelling of Inuit tales found in her book Queen for a Day look at base sexual issues in allegorical ways: thus titles like "Him-Whose-Penis-Never-Slept" and "The Woman with Two Vaginas."

"I write political poems. But I think popular culture helps me locate them and have them take themselves less seriously," Duhamel said in a telephone interview.

Carbo, who is Filipino, offers much shorter, image-driven work. But, as the title of his book - Secret Asian Man - reveals, he too knows how to have fun pushing the envelope. And, like his wife, Carbo is interested in postmodern explorations of new forms for poetry. One of his poems is a short resume.

"There are a lot of bad things in American society," Carbo said. "It's best to choose something that works as a symbol, then you attack that and it speaks for the whole. And the bad things don't know they're being attacked."

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