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12

FRIDAY

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You have to peel away an unfortunate metaphor involving Sid Vicious (“Should we, too, aspire to a life/one step ahead of death’s getaway car”) and some reckless name-dropping (Kafka, Joyce, Stevens) in order to get to the tangy parts of Jane Satterfield’s Shepherdess With an Automatic. Inside thoughtfully rendered poems like “Anthem for Doomed Youth,” “Hooliganism,” and “Composition for the Promise of Fire,” Satterfield considers history as a flame engulfing groves of twisted trees (“the blaze up ahead/seemed a life at the start/we meant to lead”) and hints that she is not above combustion herself. “Let them burn,” she writes, with the furor of a woman led to the stake. “It will take everything to envision/another history in the absence of troubadours.” Satterfield and fellow Washington Writer’s Publishing House Poetry Competition winner Dean Smith (American Boy) read from and sign copies of their new books at 7:30 p.m. at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. $5. (301) 654-8664. (Colin Bane)