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Pop-up: Bonnie Arning

Sat, Nov 11, 2017 from 11:45 am - 12:00 pm PST
1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

Bonnie Arning reads in the Portland Art Museum galleries from her poetry collection, Escape Velocity.

Arning is paired with Rock Burn by Kathleen Gemberling Adkison; found in the Northwest Art, floor 3, gallery 303. Please reference the Portland Art Museum Map to find this location.


From the moment of a marriage’s heated inception to its period of luminous crowding and onward into distance and darkness, Bonnie Arning’s Escape Velocity asks if it’s possible to exist outside the only universe we’ve ever known. In modes both lyric and narrative, we are given a peephole into the height and decline of a marriage that begins beneath the moving lights of Las Vegas, Nevada, and traverses the devastating terrain of gambling, miscarriage, infidelity, and violence.

Arning gives voice to divergent aspects of love and violence through her use of math problems, erasures, dictionary entries, structured stanzas, and sprawling free verse. This multiplicity of forms comes together to explore everything from pop culture references of domestic violence to cultural notions of victims and victimhood. However dark, collectively these poems tell a love story—an acceptance of our capability to love those who hurt us, but also the love-of-self required to slowly and steadily reach “the velocity to be everleaving.”

Bonnie Arning

Bonnie Arning is a poet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work has appeared in Narrative, Prairie Schooner, The Colorado Review, and others. Her first collection, Escape Velocity, was selected for the Mountain West Poetry Series in 2017. Currently, she lives and teaches in Corvallis, Oregon. 
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