James Meetze reads from his poetry collection Dayglo
“James Meetze is, in some sense, a ‘landscape poet,’ except that his landscape includes ‘FA-18 Hornets’ that ‘boom above the freeway / as eucalyptus leaves rustle.’ He has a feel for his hometown, which is also mine. In fact, San Diego, with its ahistorical ‘Dayglo’ pastels, best glimpsed in passing from a freeway, is where we all live now, somehow, or soon will. James Meetze is a poet for this time and place.” —Rae Armantrout
Dayglo never shies from the hurts of reality—a dead bird on a car, an imagined mushroom cloud, a childhood home visited much later and found destroyed—yet it is filled with the light, from sun to “icky cinematic / light” that pervades the mythic landscape of California. Surfers’ locutions like “dude” and “no way” are colors of paint in a mirage depicted and embodied.
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James Meetze’s book Dayglo was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and published by Ahsahta Press. He is also the author of I Have Designed This For You (2007), and editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010). The recipient of the 2001 Poet Laureate Award from the University of California, he has taught poetry and creative writing at the University of California, San Diego, California State University, San Marcos, and in the MFA Program at National University. He lives in San Diego with his wife and son.