Lucie Brock-Broido Reads “Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room”
March 7, 2018
Many of us awoke to the sad news this morning that beloved poet Lucie Brock-Broido has passed away.
Brock-Broido, the Director of Poetry and a professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia, once said during her 2014/15 SAL Poetry Series reading: “A poem goes driving, then hunting. I’m willing to go anywhere to find them.” And find them she did. Brock-Broido was the author of four beautiful collections: Stay, Illusion—a 2013 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist—which followed her three earlier works: A Hunger (1988), The Master Letters (1995), and Trouble in Mind (2004).
Often likened to a spell-caster, her poems dazzled with the many ways they resisted categorization: eerie and warm, luminous and dark, brocaded and plain, archaic and new. Today, we remember Brock-Broido with a recording of her reading “Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room,” which has also, very fittingly, appeared in The New Yorker under the title “Noctuary,” meaning a journal of things written at night. “These are poems to read while falling in and out of sleep,” Rebecca Hoogs advised in her introduction to Brock-Broido’s SAL event. “They are filled with arboretums of lush and exotic language, bestiaries of imagery both newly discovered and utterly ancient. They are poems for the edges of the brain.”
She will be missed.