Joshua Mehigan is an American poet. If he had achieved success in anything other than poetry, “Mehigan” would be a household name. But poetry unfortunately does not occupy the vox populi status of, say, organized sports, so you probably don’t know that Mehigan is not one of those pesky and convoluted “modern” American poets who confuse and confabulate the misery of experience with an otherworldly approach to the lexicon. No, his poetry is more lyrical in nature and approachable in the manner of bygone wordsmiths like Frost and Borges, but with the same sense of lyrical urgency of Philip Larkin and Edgar Bowers, poets who have influenced Mehigan’s work. He’s no stranger to the published pages of prestigious journals such as The Paris Review, Poetry, and The New Yorker, and his first book, The Optimist, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry in 2005. It’s no big surprise, then, that his second book, the aptly titled Accepting the Disaster, continues what Anthony Hecht described before his passing as the “energy, the savagery, and emotional fierceness of Robert Lowell’s early poems” but with the 20/20 vision of having nine years’ worth of experience to better mold his stance.
Sun., Aug. 17, 4 p.m., 2014