Clarence Major, a UC Davis professor emeritus and prize-winning poet, will be at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. in Davis, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, to read from his new collection of poetry, “Down and Up.”
In the book, Major makes use of American and European public places, their character and voice, to construct poems that explore the physical world juxtaposed sharply with the inner world. Sometimes realistic, sometimes dreamlike, these poems are dynamic, universal in theme, and acknowledge a debt to the great tradition of modern American poetry.
Clear-eyed and painterly, they explore wherever Major’s fancy takes him. His distinctive voice and compelling spatial and visual approach offer a connection between everyday human occurrences and the physical space they surround.
“Down and Up” celebrates what it means to be human with moments that explore love, doubt, life and art. With distinctive language and rich imagery, the poems take the reader on a rhythmic journey through the various realities of the human experience. At the same time, they demonstrate a wide and deep understanding of the American story, including its music, mythology, history and heartache.
A prize-winning poet, painter and novelist, Major is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, including “Configurations: New and Selected Poems, 1958-1998″. Most recently, he received the Stephen Henderson Poetry Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Currently, he is a professor emeritus of English at UCD. He lives in Davis.