Bucknell Book Talk Winter 2021
Again by Jennifer Perrine Cover
The Poetry of Now
by Sherri Kimmel

Poetry and activism intertwine in Again, a book of poems by Jennifer Perrine M’03 published this fall. Composed over a couple of months in early 2017, the 48 poems explore the state of the nation following a disruptive 2016 presidential election.

Writing in a compressed time frame — and with a cohesive focus — is a departure for Perrine, a recipient of prestigious writing fellowships and poetry prizes such as the Diana Cox Award for Images of Women in Popular Culture and the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award. The book’s sociopolitical theme is in keeping with the poet’s three prior volumes, which explored gender, sexuality and violence.

Again’s activist topics marry well with Perrine’s recent career shifts from college teaching to nonprofit work to now coaching writers and advising nonprofits on incorporating social justice practices into their work. The Portland, Ore.-based poet also is an evangelist for the art form, hosting a monthly radio show, called The Occasion, that showcases mainly Northwest poets reading their own and others’ works related to a theme, such as pride, labor, reunion, mothers and luck.

Making poetry available through shows such The Occasion and former U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith’s The Slowdown podcast helps to remedy the lack of connection most people have to poetry outside of a classroom, Perrine says.

“Even now, there are still public readings, and, in some ways, those readings are even more accessible, because people can just get online to view them,” Perrine says.

Again by Jennifer Perrine Cover
Jennifer Perrine headshot
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Jennifer Perrine M’03 explores the state of the nation in Again.
Hearing poets read at Bucknell was the New Jersey native’s own introduction to the literary art. As an undergraduate at Susquehanna University, Perrine traveled to Lewisburg to hear poets sponsored by the Stadler Center for Poetry. At Bucknell, Perrine met then-Stadler Director Cynthia Hogue and English Professor Saundra Morris. The women encouraged Perrine to pursue a master’s degree.

“For two years at Bucknell I really focused primarily on writing, and it made me see that it was something that could be possible for the rest of my life,” Perrine says. “And so Bucknell had a huge, huge effect.”

Again, Jennifer Perrine M’03. (Airlie Press, 2020)
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Watch Jennifer Perrine discuss Again go.bucknell.edu/Perrine
Alumni Books
David Bakish ’59, M’63
Drowning Naked in Paradise & Other Essays (Newman Springs Publishing, 2020)
In 42 separate autobiographical essays chronicling his life, Bakish touches on Columbus Day, his deceased wife, junk food, his pet peeves, his hair, his dog and other topics. Writing this book was part of a healing process for Bakish, who has suffered significant emotional hardships.

Richard Lobban ’66
Historical Dictionary of Medieval Christian Nubia (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020)
The dynamics of the three Nubian kingdoms of Nobatia, Mukurra and Alwa are the centerpiece of this book, which covers a neglected period of medieval African history. Mural arts, architecture and the leading kings and bishop are explored as Lobban analyzes the complex transition from Christianity to Islam in the 14th century in great personal, political and military detail.

David Nasaw ’67
The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War (Penguin Press, 2020)
After World War II ended, a million displaced persons were left behind in Germany: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. The Last Million tells the gripping yet largely hidden story of their postwar displacement and statelessness.

Allison Karbonik Wiest ’02
Roaming Riley: A Delmarva Adventure (Salt Water Media, 2020)
In this children’s chapter book, a cat named Riley finds himself in Ocean City, Md., after falling asleep in his owner’s luggage. He explores the Delmarva area from Chincoteague, Va., to Lewes, Del., and everywhere in between, meeting animal friends and having adventures along the way.

Photo: Justin Huck