Bowdan’s poems pay attention to behaviors we may not want to notice of ourselves, woven with humor & affection into the story of her blended family against a backdrop of society’s evolving expectations of girl, woman, wife & mother.
"Reading Janet Bowdan’s Making Progress is like talking to a friend so smart and funny you’re in awe, and so thoughtful you want to be a better person, and just so good at writing poems that matter that your heart skews, and around page 25 when the end is near you get a little mad, because nothing this good should end. These are familiar scenes: the triangle of woman, man, child; a nursing home; a cruise ship, and it’s as if a friend is telling you stories of a bent domesticity, and if there’s a tear in your eye she put it there, and if you’re laughing – well, you’re both laughing, which means you’re not alone, and that’s progress." - Karen Skolfield, Author, Frost in the Low Areas
Janet Bowdan grew up in South Hadley, 1.1 miles from the Odyssey. In fact her parents settled here largely because of its proximity to the Odyssey. Janet got most of her exercise walking to the Odyssey, selecting a book, charging it to her account, and walking home. She'd have read the book by the next day and therefore had to walk back again. It was always her goal to write her own book and give a reading at the Odyssey.
Janet's poems have appeared in APR, Best American Poetry 2000, Blood Orange Review, Peacock Journal, Tahoma Literary Review, and elsewhere. She edits the poetry magazine Common Ground Review and teaches at Western New England University. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, son, and sometimes a lovely stepdaughter or two
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 7:00pm
9 College st.
South Hadley, MA 01075
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