Wednesday, January 8, 8 p.m.
Rozz-Tox, 2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL
In a unique blend of sound art and public reading, the latest presentation in the Midwest Writing Center's Spectra series, Bradley/Clifton/Miller, will find noted writers Jon Miller and Brian Clifton collaborating with sound artist William Ellis Bradley to create a thrilling, multi-modal experience at Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox, the January 8 event also boasting readings by local authors Beth Roberts and Ryan Collins.
For this genre-crossing happening, Miller and Clifton will alternate reading poems in order to create a dialogue between their works. Meanwhile, employing experimental instruments that rely on both light and the body to create tones, Bradley will score the entire reading, helping one poet's words melt into the other's. With readings that focus on bodily experience and instruments that use the body to make sound, the artists' collective hope is to foster a visceral experience – to recreate that moment in which you are drawn to a piece of art, but don't know precisely why.
A founding co-editor of Bear Review, Brian Clifton is a PhD. student at the University of North Texas, where manuscripts have been shortlisted for book prizes including the Kathryn A. Morton Award, the Akron Poetry Series, and The National Poetry Series. Their works can also be found in such magazines as Pleiades, Guernica, Cincinnati Review, and The Journal. Jon Miller's most recent poetry has appeared in A Dozen Nothing and the South Broadway Ghost Society, and the author currently lives in China, where he founded Osmanthus, a literary press devoted to chapbooks, video poetry, and similar artifacts. And the Rev. William Ellis Bradley, a native of northeast Wisconsin, holds a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a Masters Certificate of Advanced Studies from the Alternative School of Fine Art at Wickerson Studios. He is also a certified Deep Listening practitioner and a Music/Sound MFA candidate at Bard College (expected in 2021).
Local author Beth Roberts works as the editorial director at Augustana College and serves on the Board of Directors of the Midwest Writing Center. Her first book of poetry, Brief Moral History in Blue, was published by New Issues in 2001, while her second book, When we break for the spires and tall grass together, is the winner of the 2019 Ottoline Prize from Fence Books and will be published in the fall of 2020. Ryan Collins, meanwhile, is the author of a book of poems, A New American Field Guide & Song Book, and several chapbooks. His poems have appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Asymptote, Columbia Poetry Review, and other literary journals, and when not writing, Spectra Reading Series host Collins can be found playing drums in the area band Giallows.
The Spectra Reading Series' Bradley/Clifton/Miller event gets underway starting at 8 p.m. on January 8, admission is free, and more information is available by visiting RozzTox.com, or by contacting the Midwest Writing Center at (309)732-7330 or MWCQC.org.