Monday, June 23, 2008

Shameless Utah Arts Festival Plug #2: Melissa Bond

Fans of the spoken word should make sure to catch Melissa Bond’s reading on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Big Mouth stage.

Bond, who is ready to give birth any day, says that, baby situation permitting, she will read selections she has previously done for a live show at Ken Sanders last month called “Blood, Fertility & Magic,” about the process of being pregnant and giving birth, which she did with other pregnant Utah artists (including photographer Cat Palmer—see video).

Bond, who founded the Salt Lake Poetry Slam, and is the literary arts coordinator for the festival, says she’s a big proponent of performance, and of people reading their own work because she was so afraid of that experience.

“I was a hard core closet poet for a long time,” said Bond. “It’s beautiful to share, to connect with the community,” she added.

Bond, who describes herself as an “unrequited doctor,” says she loves the human body and almost went to medical school.

“What the cosmos are to a physicist, the body is to me,” said Bond. “Being pregnant demonstrates the mysteries of its infinite landscape.”

Bond says she’s interested in the definition of ecstasy as being “outside of oneself,” and has written articles about the artist’s state of ecstasy, as well as on evolutionary biology and beauty.

Bond has previously published “Hush” a collection of poems about addiction and ecstatic states, which is available at Ken Sanders Rare Books.

Bond says her interest in addiction began with a family history of the disease. Then when Bond was teaching creative writing at substance abuse facilities, she saw patterns. “[Addicts] are searching for something beyond themselves,” said Bond.

Bond is a lifelong writer, and says she was always journaling and writing poetry. “I used to write on my mattress as a kid,” she says, and she branched out to short stories and essays in her 20s. Bond’s work has also been featured in Catalyst and in the Wasatch Journal, where she works as an associate editor/poetry editor. (Esther Pomeroy)

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