Storm Towards Monday: Poet Malachi Black’s Upcoming Visit

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Shirley Xu ('23)

Next Monday, November 15th, Malachi Black will be reading off his first book, Storm Toward Morning. As pictured on his website, his award-winning debut book explores “the openness of free verse with an uncompromising precision.”

Shirley Xu, Staff Writer

On Monday, November 15th at 4 pm, award-winning poet Malachi Black will be visiting the Bishop’s campus for a poetry reading and Q&A session. Author of the book “Storm Towards Morning” and Professor at USD, Malachi Black will be joining the list of renowned poets that have visited under the Robert Mulgrew Poetry Series, which have previously included Pulitzer Prize and National Book award winning authors.  

English Teacher and organizer of the Robert Mulgrew Poetry Series Mr. Adam Davis said Malachi Black is “very interested in how sounds work throughout a poem.” He mentioned that it is particularly special to be able to hear a poet “as sonically in-tune as he is”, and to have the opportunity to interact with poets like Malachi Black is something the Bishop’s students especially should take advantage of. “To hear him read it out loud gives us an entirely new understanding of how it might be composed, not just on the page for the eye and the brain, but also for the ear,” Mr. Davis described. “You gotta remember that the roots of poetry have a musical component. That’s why we call it verse.” However, he described that Malachi Black enjoys reinterpreting classical aspects of style, including rhyme, into a modern context for the contemporary age. 

The first in-person poetry reading at Bishop’s in exactly two years, Malachi Black’s visit will make its mark as a re-entry of sorts of the Robert Mulgrew Poetry Series. As a local author, Malachi Black’s upcoming event is “kind of like a warm-up for the spring poetry series where we’ll be having two poets at once, Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson, reading together here and bringing them in from out of town,” Mr. Davis explained. 

All students are encouraged to bring their family and friends to the public event on Monday. Being able to work with creatives in their prime is a rare opportunity for high school students, Mr. Davis mentioned. “At the risk of not being humble, Bishop’s is fortunate in the sense that we run one of the very best poetry reading series in San Diego. I might argue we have one of the best poetry reading series in Southern California too, in terms of the equality of poets we bring, and also the access that students get.” He wraps up, “It’s pretty incredible that not only can we study the work, but then the poet can come into the classroom and explore with us, and we can ask questions about it.”