Carnegie Mellon University English Professor Jim Daniels reads from his latest book, "Having a Little Talk with Capital P Poetry."
In this wide-ranging collection, Daniels moves from Detroit to Pittsburgh, from childhood to parenthood, meditating on memory and loss, on what we try to dispose of in our own personal landfills, and what we are confronted with in the present moments of our daily lives. He riffs on popular music in the "Esperanto" poems, trying to capture what is universal about music, apart from language, using the only thing at his disposal—language. In "The Tenured Guy" series, he creates an Everyman character to examine some of the less noble aspects of academic life, similar to how he used the character "Digger" to explore factory life in his earlier books. Throughout the book, Daniels' cynicism battles with his sense of wonder. In the face of our bones turning to dust, he seems to argue, we can both experience the pain of laughter and the joy of tears.