Congratulations to our own Lizzy Fox on the release of her book of poetry Red List Blue, just published by Finishing Line Press. I “attended” the online reading and book launch party last Friday, sponsored by Bear Pond Books and the Hubbard Library. I’d previously heard Lizzy read a poem or two at VCFA readings, but on this night she read several that I hadn’t heard. I very much enjoyed them.
Lizzy is a graduate of the MFA in Writing program here at VCFA, and was the Assistant Director of the Writing & Publishing program until July of 2020. We love and miss her. She’s a bright and shining light who was ready to show each of us the way. If we ever had a question, the answer was always “Ask Lizzy.” But we are so proud of her for following her goals and moving on when she needed to. She left to attend the Teacher Apprenticeship Program at Champlain College where she will earn her Vermont teaching license and go on to teach high school English. The best of success in this endeavor, Lizzy!
And now she has a book out!
This is not a typical book of poetry. Lizzy came out of the slam poetry scene and sound is so important to her work. Her poetry resonates strongly with me and this is probably why. (I was a street poet in San Francisco in the 80s, and that scene melded into the slam scene.) I LOVE poetry that’s meant to be read OUT LOUD! Lizzy told us that before she began her MFA program she wasn’t very interested in how poetry looked on the page. But—despite still being concerned about the sound—she has come to appreciate carefully planning a poem’s look.
She began the reading with “Empty/Full” a poem about love and cold, which closes with these lines:
“Have you seen how the light bends off the ice these days?
The way snow becomes the sun? How empty the trees,
always reaching, never in want?”
Lovely lines, aren’t they?
Lizzy read several poems that night, and even when she thought she’d read the last one, Valentine’s Day, people asked for more: “Read Beryl,” they asked. “Read A minute to seven.” So, of course, she did.
Lizzy’s poetry–or at least what she read that night–seem to be invariably about love, but all kinds of love: not necessarily romantic love, but…that too. Even the poems that are serious have a light air to them, like pixies dancing in a field. I had thought I’d lost my taste for poetry, but Lizzy may just have revived it. I will leave you with my favorite lines of the night, from the poem Blue:
” …she was a painter too–my grandmother.
She dyed her hair red and used yellow washes to make
the canvas brighter. She talked about the black hole
in her brain that ate memories. Later I learned
it was martinis. I’m beginning to notice a pattern.
The sky on a sunny day but not on a cloudy one. Sapphires
except not all of them. Did you know that sapphires
come in every color except red? Red sapphires are called rubies.”
Get the book/Find Out About Future Readings
You can order Red List Blue here.
Lizzy will be reading Friday night at the Writing & Publishing Reading Series (here) along with current Assistant Director Shin Yu Pai, visiting faculty Tim Horvath, and visiting writer Prageeta Sharma.
You can find out about Lizzy’s other readings here.