Poet Lindsay Bernal at Scuppernong Books

Megan Pociask
Staff Writer

Author and poet Lindsay Bernal stopped by Scuppernong Books on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. to read a few pieces from her latest publication, “What It Doesn’t Have to Do With.”

Lindsay Bernal holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Maryland and her latest book was selected by poet Paul Guest as a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition.

Bernal was welcomed to Scuppernong by quite a large audience, many of whom were M.F.A students themselves. They welcomed her, still standing contently with red wine in hand.

In a dimly lit room, Bernal was introduced to the crowd by Claire, a UNCG student remarking on her “intellectually engaging, and yet unpretentious” poetry, stating that Bernal’s words “seamlessly [weave] together the classical, the modern and the contemporary.”

During the short welcome, deep insight was given into the details of Lindsay Bernal’s work. The audience was made aware that, in creation for over a decade, “What it Doesn’t Have to Do With” maintains focus on the messy fundamental facts of life, particularly from a woman’s perspective.

As Bernal claimed her place at the podium, she began by first stating humbly into the microphone, “I feel so many spirits here, because I’ve read so many books by the faculty and the alumni and it’s a really nurturing place for writers.” From there, after appearing to quickly gather her thoughts, she immediately jumped into reading her poems.

True to Claire’s words, Bernal’s writings from “What it Doesn’t Have to Do With” did not shy away from perhaps what some would consider daunting reflections on everything from sexuality, with a poem entitled “The Pre-Raphaelite Effect” to suicide with the poem “No Echo.”

It became increasingly obvious that through her writings, Bernal explores the objectification of women in art, with allusions to art and literature itself. Her art has references to a lot of pop culture and literature influences such as Ezra Pound, Kerouac, Modest Mouse, Lady of Shalott and many more.

Bernal uses these popular works and people to convey meaning in the sometimes harsh but true reality and situations that exist within her poetry.

Towards the end of her reading, Bernal surprised the audience with a new poem, yet to be published, that was still on her phone. As she was accessing it, she mentioned that the piece, “was inspired by the day that I watched the Kavanaugh-Ford testimonies, and that’s where I really started thinking about the poem.”

Once she was finished with sharing her poetry, a well-deserved eruption of applause followed. After sharing her insightful pieces, she walked away and disappeared into the crowd.

You can learn more about Lindsay Bernal and her book “What It Doesn’t Have to Do With” at lindsaybernal.com.

Categories: Features

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