Uncanny Valley: Pianist Oni Buchanan & Poet Jon Woodward


Music composed by John Gibson

ONI BUCHANAN holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and an MA in piano performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. As a concert pianist, Buchanan has released three solo piano CDs, and actively performs across the U.S. and abroad. Author of three books of poems, including the recent Must a Violence, she juxtaposes formal invention with emotional intensity, in quirky poems layered with polyphony and an almost mathematical organization. “Beauty and shatter are everywhere,” writes Mark Doty of her work.

Unique artifacts of our moment, JON WOODWARD‘s poems are hypnotic, satiric, and surreal. Mary Ruefle writes of his third collection, the book-length poem Uncanny Valley, which serves as the text for the concert piece of the same name, “These apocalyptic, pixilated poems forge a mythology of our ravaged culture.” Other recent projects include a 40-foot-long möbius strip poem, “Mockingbird,” which was typed on adding machine tape and “Poems to Stare At,” a suite of time-dependent visual poems.

Woodward and Buchanan, who are married and live in Boston, commissioned the music for “Uncanny Valley” from the internationally acclaimed electro-acoustic composer John Gibson.

Presented in collaboration with the Department of Music as part of SmithArtsFest