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Rosemurgy evokes laughter, solemnity with turbulent tales

Professor Catie Rosemurgy’s poetry turned a satirical eye on adolescence. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)
Professor Catie Rosemurgy’s poetry turned a satirical eye on adolescence. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

By Ivy Hollander

The satirical life of Ms. Peach enraptured the audience at the semester premiere of ink’s Professor Reading Series on Feb. 4.

“We had one of the largest turnouts in ink history,” said ink president and senior English major Rebecca Suzan.

The Library Auditorium teemed with students and faculty alike to hear professor of poetry and creative writing Catie Rosemurgy give the first reading of 2010. Rosemurgy read select poems from her new book “The Stranger Manual,” a series of poems following the troubled and consistently inconsistent Ms. Peach, published in December 2009 by Greywolf Press.

Ink secretary and English major Enrico Bruno introduced Rosemurgy, saying, “Home is what Catie builds in ‘The Stranger Manual.’”

Rosemurgy humbly thanked all those in attendance, especially her students, for “keeping it fun,” then went on to introduce her creation — the thoroughly female and satiric Ms. Peach. Rosemurgy gave the audience an enticing glance into her character’s unstable life, as Ms. Peach experiences eating disorders, addictions and doctors galore.

Through her turmoil, Ms. Peach mocks reality, pointing out the ironies of high school. “Though no one joined the clubs, we made many logos,” she read.

She also takes it upon herself to describe sexual relations to a toddler, explaining that two blocks “want to go further across the carpet.”

While poignant images such as “I run and I sharpen the bones in my face” brought the audience to a meditative silence, other poems made the audience laugh as they were bombarded with images of “materialism and consumerism that continues unabated.”

When asked what she thought about laughter amidst the poetry, Rosemurgy said laughing was her favorite part, even lightheartedly mentioning her inspiration for the name Ms. Peach — the Rolling Stones lyric, “Hannah honey was a peachy kind of girl.”

“Professor Rosemurgy pleased her audience with an animated reading of a few select pieces,” freshman English education major Joanna Bosek said. “She invited those present to accompany the adventures of Ms. Peach and her explorations of the self, society and everything in between. I was thoroughly impressed.”

Judging by the audience’s reception, ink’s first professor reading was a definite success.

“Catie is a wonderful reader. It was a great event,” Suzan said.

Literary enthusiasts can look forward to ink’s next event on Feb. 25 with poet Juliana Spahr.


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