Great Wisconsin poet John Koethe, winner of the Frank O’Hara Award for Poetry, has for years taken inspiration from both his beloved home state and masters like Proust and William Wordsworth. A significant and largely revered contemporary poet, Koethe published his latest collection, “Ninety-fifth Street,” last month, a thrilling assemblage of blurry-eyed glances to the past. Koethe’s strongest attribute has always been his ability to reach a larger audience—through both his matter-of-fact use of language as well as his willingness to insightfully detail common themes. Everyone has a past that’s viewed wistfully with equal amounts of pride and regret, and as Koethe grows older, it seems his appreciation for his walks down memory lane grows as well. Now in his mid-sixties, thoughts of mortality have taken residence in the poet’s mind and heart, and he invites us along for the modest journey. Lovely work from Koethe, as always. (Tom Lynch)
October 9 at Book Cellar, 4736-38 N. Lincoln, (773)293-2665, at 7pm.