Out & About

September 20, 2012

'By Available Light'

Reading by an almost out-of-print poet

PLATTSBURGH — Visual imagery, memory, naming and place are intrinsic to the poetry of Michael Carrino.

This impulse is evident in his artistic oeuvre and illuminated in his most recent collection, “By Available Light: New and Selected Poems,” published by Guernica Editions.

The collection’s title comes from a poem he wrote about a 1922 John Sloan painting “The City From Greenwich Village.”

In the poem’s last stanza, Carrino writes:

“While Manhattan blazed above it all,

Sloan painted what he could:

New York, by available light.”

Carrino gives a reading of his new collection at 8 tonight in the Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center at Plattsburgh State. 

The 96-page book is broken into chronological sections from Carrino’s previous collections: “Some Rescues” (1994), “Under the Combustible Sky” (1998), “Café Sonata” (2003), “Autumn’s Return To The Maple Pavilion” (2008) and “New Poems” (2008 to 2011).

His continued presence on the literary front prompted his decision to do a collection in this manner.

“I had been writing right along,” said Carrino, a native New Yorker and retired adjunct instructor and lecturer of composition and poetry at Plattsburgh State.

“I had written some new poems, more than appears in this edition. I was writing. I said, ‘What’s next? Should I do another chapbook?’ Quite practically, I realized all four books were out of print. I realized I will be out of print. I have a few copies of each of the books. That’s me and not the rest of the world.”

As a writer of a certain age, Carrino started late. He earned his master of fine arts in writing from Vermont College of Norwich University in 1984. He had his first poem published around the same time.

“I don’t have a huge collection,” he said. “I was not thinking much about new and selected works. Usually, people have seven, eight or nine books. I had four books and all these new poems.” 

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