AAC Poetry Reading: Jan LaPerle with Taylor Dawson

October 5 2022
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Art Academy of Cincinnati | Liberal Arts Studio

The Art Academy of Cincinnati is proud to welcome visiting poet, Jan LaPerle for a free public reading of her work at 6:30PM on Wednesday, October 5th in the AAC’s Liberal Arts Studio. LaPerle will be joined by AAC Class of 2022 graduate Taylor Dawson, who will also be reading from her work. Please see bios for both featured readers below and a poem by Jan LaPerle.

This is the first reading of the 2022-23 AAC Creative Writing Reading Series. The event is sponsored by the AAC’s Department of Liberal Arts and the AAC chapter of Poems While You Wait.

Immediately following the featured readers, there will be a short OPEN MIC for anyone who’d like to share their work. As always, coffee and other light refreshments will be served.

Hope to see you at the reading!


JAN LAPERLE’s new book of poetry, Maybe The Land Sings Back, was published in Spring 2022 from Galileo Books. Her other books include: a book of poetry, It Would Be Quiet (Prime Mincer Press, 2013); an e-chap of flash fiction, Hush(Sundress Publications, 2012); a story in verse, A Pretty Place To Mourn (BlazeVOX, 2014), and several other stories and poems. She completed her MFA from Southern Illinois University. The Tennessee Arts Commission awarded her an individual artist grant, and now she lives in Kentucky with her husband and daughter where she serves on active duty at Fort Knox as an Army master sergeant.

TAYLOR DAWSON is a surrealist poet, perpetrator of bird riots, and parking ticket conspiracy theorist. She is also a recent graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati having obtained a BFA in Creative Writing. When she isn’t writing complete nonsense, she can be found making friends with the local wildlife of Vine St and dodging parking enforcement officers.


Jan LaPerle

Sometimes it’s the ghost of my husband
after he’s left me in the house alone,
his boots on the top shelf in his closet
looking caught when I open the door.
I always remember to button the top button
of his clean shirts when I hang them
so they don’t fall in a wrinkly heap to the floor.
This morning from bed, the click of his hand flipping on
the nightlight in the dark bathroom made me feel
more loved than anything he’s been trying these days,
and he’s been trying. Like giving me the house
to myself this morning, just me and the old balloons
left over from our daughter’s birthday party.
They drift silently across the floor. They hover
above the air vents and gather under the table
and chairs. This morning he said it is time
for the balloons to go. Hours later, after
all this time alone with them, I said I wasn’t ready.
Earlier this year, after working out the details
of divorce, I said the same thing about leaving
and remember now how endings really are
that sudden. During one of our fights, I watched
our daughter from across the yard, edging
slowly along the honeysuckle bushes, picking flowers,
eating the honey, drops so small you can hardly
taste them. I remember her look as she glanced
back at us. That night, a heavy summer storm,
and in the morning I found the wildflowers
asleep on the grass. I cut them awake,
placed a jar of them next to the kitchen sink.
It was all I could do right then to look at them.

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