Poet, USC students bring works to Skylight Books

first_imgDozens of people gathered around a tall left-leaning tree under the domed roof of Skylight Books, a Los Feliz bookstore that often hosts various authors and artists in its intimate setting. On the evening of Feb. 29, Skylight invited three women to read their poems in front of an engaged and diverse audience just as the sun began to set. Some listeners were sitting in chairs, some were standing in groups and some lingered behind book stacks. All held their breaths in rapture as the poets poured their hearts out into their pieces. After ending her portion of the event on that powerful note, Fernandes finally stepped up to the microphone to read five of her “Good Boys” pieces.  Her first poem, “Running in the Suburbs,” offers commentary on growing up as a girl of color becoming aware of her race. “Nukemap.com” addresses the anxiety of living in New York under the threat of nuclear war, while “Conversion” paints a portrait of gay adolescence and conversion therapy.  “Somewhere what you love is still alive / turning cartwheels in a gentle snow / is the kind of lie I write years later / wishing I could make it true for you,” she read.  “I’m so happy to be at USC with [Pond], if you caught that repetition in the bios,” Siskel said proudly, adding that she wrote her third poem of the night in a workshop with Pond. Fernandes went off on passionate, crescendoing tangents only to suddenly slow down, leaving the audience reeling and hanging on to her every word. Her anger, humor, anguish and sometimes confusion clearly shone through her voice; at one point she joked about her poems, saying “they’re all bummers.” Fernandes also gave lively backstories for her poems, and many directly reference people from her life, which invited the audience further into her personal narrative.  After Pond came Callie Siskel, a doctoral fellow in creative writing and literature at USC and the author of the poetry book “Arctic Revival” released in 2015, and she read three of her pieces as well. “Why We Drink” details Fernandes’ friendship with a man named Malik and the confusing process of aging, while her last poem, “Amsterdam,” ties together a conglomeration of issues, from the widespread voyeurism of Anne Frank’s life to her feelings of disconnect from the United States despite living there.  Pond’s voice was soothingly monotone and steady as she read, an intonation free of emphasis that deftly drove the listener to pay close attention to every word and phrase uttered. “Each woman poet comes from her experiences of the world and feminism from a different perspective,” Marjorie Pond reflected at the end of the reading. “[Siskel’s voice] was kind of a combination of [Fernandes’] fire and [Pond’s] more soft voice. That was interesting.” “For me, I think my positioning in the poems is more the witness to somebody else’s grief — [when] someone that you love is suffering and not being able to do anything about it,” Pond said. She spoke of this inability to make the ones you love happy in “Winter Sister,” a poem about a friend losing her brother.  The first poet, Catherine Pond, is a Ph.D. candidate in literature and creative writing at USC whose debut collection, “Fieldglass,” won the Crab Orchard First Book Award in Poetry in 2019. Pond read three poems from her forthcoming manuscript: “Winter Sister,” “University of Iowa Museum of Natural History” and “Blue Angels Air Show.” In the poems, she addresses metaphorical figures of her friend and boyfriend over themes such as grief, depression and the passage of time.  “‘In a past life’ is not supposed to mean your life before tragedy, but an existence altogether unrecognizable, which is maybe the same thing,” Siskel proclaimed in “Ab Initio,” as she reflected on how grief shapes one’s life and identity. “No one would know me in a past life. The allure is not who we were, but who we are not.” Skylight Books hosted the event, drawing crowds from around the city. The venue, which hosts weekly readings and other events, invited all three poets to read published or unpublished works. (Bridgette Boggs | Daily Trojan) “In my poems, I write a lot about sexuality, and struggles or thoughts I’ve had about it,” Fernandes said. “But it’s not necessarily an argument that I’m making … It’s more like this is really messy. And I’ve always felt really messy about it, and I probably will for the rest of my life.” “I say, humiliation is like the nausea of childhood with / those delayed epiphanies. I hate the violence of insight / the lesson is always how one is ugly or dishonest, / the short-comings that could build a civilization and then did,” Fernandes read passionately in “Why We Drink,” pausing for a breath afterward to let the words sink in. Her combination of flow and pauses was reminiscent of both Pond and Siskel’s intonations. Siskel’s lilting intonation had less uniformity than Pond’s, but not to her detriment. She still spoke with flow but placed more emphasis on individual words as she read, creating almost a spoken enjambment in which the words took on their own individual meanings. Her three poems, “Messenger,” “Vanitas” and “Ab Initio,” also dealt with grief, childhood and the pasage of time, among other themes, with many of them ruminating on what it is like to lose a father.  Pond’s mother, Marjorie Pond, pointed out the interesting ways in which all three of the poets’ different voices interplayed with each other during the event. The main visiting author, Megan Fernandes, came to read from her latest poetry book “Good Boys,” which deals with topics such as feminism, race, origin, nuclear proliferation, sexuality and “what it means to exist as a body of contractions.” She was accompanied by two other poets who read before her.  This was a welcomed blend, though, as each author complemented the other, creating a dynamic reading full of introspection, tender realizations and beautiful lyricism.last_img read more

Nigeria Open Receives Positive Reviews From ITTF As Tennis Body Confirms 2018 Dates

first_imgThe 2017 ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open has garnered rave reviews from tennis body, International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) after more than 29.35m viewers watched the five-day tournament worldwide making it the ITTF Challenge with the most coverage globally.The successes recorded has prompted the international table tennis body to put their weight behind the tournament while also confirming that next year’s edition will be held from August 8 to 12.Nigeria Open is the second highest prize money tournament behind the Spanish Open on the ITTF Challenge series calendar and the latest edition attracted over 20 countries across the world.The aforementioned statistics were revealed by CSM Media Research-KantarSport, which was contracted by ITTF to monitor television viewership of its tournaments.According to the firm, over 29.35m watched Nigeria Open on Supersport Channels globally.Kantarsport revealed that the Nigeria Open was mostly watched on Supersport channels via the following statement:“The ITTF Challenge events, we found in our worldwide sports programs tracker (within all channels we monitor), the Belarus Open (aired on Belarus TV-5 Sports: that channel reaches 6.2 of the 6.9 m Belarussians), as well as the Nigeria Open 2017. The Nigeria Open was shown live and non-live on Super Sport 9 & Super Sport Blitz (South African channels) as well as on Pan-African channel Super Sport 5 (which we track in Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa). It might have been telecast too on some channels or OTT platforms that are not included into our tracke.“Supersport 9 in South Africa is a PAY-TV channel received by 19.7% of all TV households (13.65 m TV HH / 45.00 m TV ind.) so it is available to a potential of 8.86 m. viewers. As for SuperSport 5, it reaches 11.4% or 5.13 m potential viewers. No such information is available for Nigeria (no measurement at all), nor Senegal (a French company just started measuring Dakar, 1.71 m TV users).” the statement further read. RelatedTABLE TENNIS: 2019 Nigeria Open Seamaster ITTF Challenge Plus Gets Improved Prize MoneyMay 13, 2019In “Table Tennis”Nigeria Open Is a Model to Others, Says ITTFAugust 7, 2019In “Table Tennis”Lagos is the Center of Table Tennis in Africa – Wahid OshodiMay 29, 2019In “Table Tennis”last_img read more

PSG confirm interest in Mourinho & Cristiano Ronaldo

first_imgSheikh Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has stated that Paris Saint-Germain are interested in luring Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho away from Real Madrid.Goal.com recently revealed that PSG are considering a €123 million bid for Ronaldo, and although club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi previously denied reports that the Ligue 1 giants are interested in signing the Madrid coach and the Portugal international, his right-hand man has now admitted that the Parisians would like to sign the attacker and successful coach after all, as they aim to win the Champions League.“Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are objectives for Paris Saint-Germain, of course,” Al-Thani told Canal Football.“PSG are one of the best clubs in the world. Ever since day one, our goal has been to win the Champions League.“We are already one of the best teams in France, and it’s our goal to become one of the best in Europe and the world, too.”PSG climbed to joint first in the table at the weekend following their 1-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais.last_img read more