Award-winning poet Lisa Bickmore read a selection of her work at the English Reading Series.
(PROVO, Utah. Sept. 16)—Lisa Bickmore’s subjects are often commonplace. Her poetry centers on relationships, emotions, and quiet moments of reflection which she treats with a sensitivity akin to reverence; everyday scenes like a frightened child waking up a mother in the middle of the night become beautiful and intimate. Her poetry is largely biographical and deals often with familiar emotions such as pain and grief.
Lisa Bickmore received a B.A. and M.A. from BYU and currently is an English professor at Salt Lake Community College. She has been published in magazines and journals, and won the Ballymaloe International Poetry Award for her poem “Eidolon.” She returned to BYU to share some of her poetry as part of the English Reading Series.
Bickmore read a selection of poems from her two published books, beginning with the earlier of the two, Haste. She occasionally gave a bit of background on the poem she was about to read, but often let the stories tell themselves. Her poetry discusses everything from conversations with God to long nights with small children who need water, blankets, and comfort from bad dreams.
The poetry from her second book, flicker, had the same mesmerizing effects on the audience, but focused on subjects that moved outside the four walls of a home. Her descriptions were rich, using such phrases as “velvet sheen/pearl” and “sugar holding/scent-heavy fence brambler” to describe something as ordinary as grapes on a vine. Bickmore’s poetry invites those listening to re-examine the everyday objects and experiences around them and teaches that beauty can be found even in the most mundane of places.
-—Olivia Madsen (B.A. French Language, ’17)
Olivia Madsen covers events for the English Department for the College of Humanities. She is pursuing a degree in French Language with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric.
Featured photo via The King’s English Bookshop
flicker photo via Amazon