Milwaukee writer Jenny Benjamin transported readers between 21st Century Milwaukee and 18th Century Italy in her 2013 novel, This Most Amazing. But Benjamin's latest books take readers on a much more intimate trip, into her heart and her mind. Benjamin is an award-winning poet and frequent poetry contributor to Lake Effect, and has two new collections that are now on shelves.
Many of the poems in Midway (which earned second prize in the No Chair poetry contest) deal with loss, while More Than a Box of Crayons uses color and imagery in portraying a variety of emotions, from joy to sorrow. Benjamin wrote the poems over a wide swath of time, which makes sense, since she has been looking at the world through poetic eyes for most of her life.
"I wonder," Benjamin says, "did I always have the mind of a poet, even as a small child? The way I would play and think? But very much how I'm looking at the world [today] - I can't help but think that it turns into a line or an image. It's very much a way of looking at the world."
Benjamin will read from both new collections of poems on Friday evening, April 27th, at Boswell Book Company.