Sep 4, 2020
The poems in Carl Boon’s debut collection, PLACES & NAMES, coalesce two kinds of history—the factual and the imagined—to produce a kind of intimacy that is greater than either fact or imagination. It is this sense of intimacy that brings the poems to life. We encounter real places sometimes—places we see on maps and highway signs—but also places that exist only in the imagination. We encounter names that are both recognizable and almost—or barely—remembered at all: Jorge Luis Borges next to an unknown boy from Clarita, Oklahoma, who himself would become a poet someday; a man who wishes he were Rocky Marciano hammering the heavy bag in Northeast Ohio, hungry for more than beans or soup. And suddenly it becomes clear how intimately connected in this collection these places and names are as we range from Saigon to northern Iraq; Athens, Ohio, to Libya; Ankara to Pittsburgh; and a strange, sleepy place called Pomegranate Town where someone’s infant dozes in the back of a car on a seaside highway. The people who inhabit these places seem, in a sense, to become those places, inseparable from their geographies and histories, often unable to escape, bound by memory, nostalgia, and tradition.
In this episode, we speak with Carl Boon and showcase his poems from PLACES & NAMES, which The Nasiona published in 2019. This week marks The Nasiona Magazine’s 2nd anniversary, and Carl was included in our first and second issues. During the next week, we’ll showcase some of the original work from those first issues from 2 years ago as a way to celebrate our origins.
For PLACES & NAMES, we included 30 poems Carl had previously published elsewhere, and then he wrote 30 new ones specifically for this collection. I’ve never read a Carl Boon poem I didn’t like, and I’m happy to share some of those with you today. If you like what you hear in the next hour, you can get a copy of Places and Names as paperback or ebook on Amazon. You won’t regret it!
The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten, as well as gives you a glimpse into Othered worlds. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @JE_Torres_Lopez
Original music for The Nasiona Podcast was produced by the Grammy
Award-winning team of Joe Sparkman and Marcus Allen, aka The
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