I had the pleasure of visiting Elizabeth Savage at her home in Fairmont, West Virginia during the waning days of April, the cruellest month if there ever were one. We spent the morning searching for a missing manuscript (mine, which was, ironically, in my bag at the house), and headed down to the campus of Fairmont State University, where she teaches literary studies, down a winding hill in the rain with Oscar Hokom, Elizabeth's narratively versatile son, in tow.
I asked if I could record some poems from her newest collections from Furniture Press Books: a chapbook by the name of Jane & Paige, or Sister Goose, Twenty-Four Women & Girls, and her first book, Grammar, and a last surprise, a reading of a serial poem called The Book of Lonely Chairs. When Oscar asked why a chair would be lonely, he answered himself of his own keen wisdom: "Well? Because a chair was built for people to sit, and when no one is sitting in the chair, it's not doing its job, and it gets sad."
Genius. He takes after his parents, two of the most hospitable and generous people I have met.
from Jane & Paige, or Sister Goose, Twenty-Four Women & Girls
The Book of Lonely Chairs (countdown by Oscar Hokom)