A stellar first event for our 2019 series, we're thrilled to welcome Philly's own Raena Shirali, author of the highly praised collection, "GILT". This free public reading also features MFA candidates from the Rutgers-Camden MFA. Come down, Friday, February 22nd at 7pm, to Wooden Shoe Books - South Street Philly. More info here.
new friends, old friends, future friends:
come celebrate the end of aquarius season (my bday is feb 18) + the elemental balances we all need in our lives w/ some of my favorite poets on this planet. ft. cake, wine, + w/e else we end up carrying in!
» emma brown sanders (aries)
» zach blackwood (libra)
» gala mukomolova (scorpio)
» raena shirali (virgo)
» june gehringer (aquarius)
» ivanna barranova (pisces)
More info here.
Speaking on a panel entitled “The Power of Discourse: Women in Media.”
At OWN IT, we are working to combat the leadership gap. By creating a summit that is accessible to college-age women, OWN IT gives young women the opportunity to not just see, but to learn from and connect with female leaders in various fields. OWN IT seeks to provide well-established women with an outlet to give back and share what they have learned with the next generation of women leaders. The passion for and dedication to empowerment that you have exemplified within your work are exactly what OWN IT aims to showcase.
Join us for the recording of an episode of LIVE at the Writers House featuring writers affiliated with Blue Stoop, a new literary hub in Philadelphia. The reading will feature Joshua Demaree, Thomas Devaney, Boston Gordon, Berry Grass, and Raena Shirali, and musical guest Joey Sweeney.
Blue Stoop, named after a poem by Thomas Devaney, which was in turn inspired by a photograph by Zoey Strauss, is a literary space for writers in Philly to meet, work, take or offer high-quality and inclusive writing classes, as well as an organization hosting reading and events. It's currently spearheaded by Joshua Demaree and Emma Eisenburg.
LIVE at the Writers House is a long-standing collaboration of the people of the Kelly Writers House and of WXPN (88.5 FM). Six times annually between September and April, the Writers House airs a one-hour broadcast of poetry, music, and other spoken-word art, along with one musical guest -- from our Arts Cafe onto the airwaves at WXPN. "LIVE" is broadcast on WXPN. "LIVE" is made possible through the generous support of BigRoc. More info here.
Join us for a poetry reading and discussion with Tarfia Faizullah and Raena Shirali!
Tarfia Faizullah’s highly anticipated second collection, Registers of Illuminated Villages, extends and transforms her powerful accounts of violence, war, and loss into poems of many forms and voices—elegies, outcries, self-portraits, and larger-scale confrontations with discrimination, family, and memory. One poem steps down the page like a Slinky; another poem responds to makeup homework completed in the summer of a childhood accident; other poems punctuate the collection with dark meditations on dissociation, discipline, defiance, and destiny; and the near-title poem, “Register of Eliminated Villages,” suggests illuminated texts, one a Qur’an in which the speaker’s name might be found, and the other a register of 397 villages destroyed in northern Iraq. Faizullah, the author of the award-winning collection Seam, is an essential poet, whose work only grows more urgent, beautiful, and—even in its unsparing brutality—full of love.
More info here.
Celebrating the release of Yoon's A Cruelty Special to Our Species. More info here.
In her arresting collection, urgently relevant for our times, poet Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called “comfort women,” women who were forced into sexual labor in Japanese-occupied territories during World War II.
In wrenching language, A Cruelty Special to Our Species unforgettably describes the brutalities of war and the fear and sorrow of those whose lives and bodies were swept up by a colonizing power, bringing powerful voice to an oppressed group of people whose histories have often been erased and overlooked. “What is a body in a stolen country,” Yoon asks. “What is right in war.”
Moving readers through time, space, and different cultures, and bringing vivid life to the testimonies and confessions of the victims, Yoon takes possession of a painful and shameful history even while unearthing moments of rare beauty in acts of resistance and resilience, and in the instinct to survive and bear witness.
Come join us in celebrating the release of Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump's America. THIS IS A FREE EVENT. The poets anthologized in this book bear witness to, rage against, and defy the misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and authoritarian impulses that have always surrounded us, but that are incarnated in the 45th president. Readers include:
Dante Di Stefano
Maria Mazziotti Gillan
More info here.
In blending the found with the invented, and the researched with the lived, poets inhabit speakers that both approximate and diverge from their experiences. Five women poets will share their work and situate their speakers on a spectrum from near self to complete persona. In doing so, they will explore identity and appropriation, examining how to access otherness responsibly in persona poems and how to distill art from mere biography when the speaker is an avatar of the self.
Amie Whittemore is the author of Glass Harvest, an educator, and cofounder of the Charlottesville Reading Series. Her poems have appeared in North American Review, Smartish Pace, Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review poem of the week, and elsewhere.
Ruth Awad is a Lebanese American poet and the author of Set to Music a Wildfire, which won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize from SIR Press. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and she won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize.
Raena Shirali is the author of Gilt and is a Pushcart Prize recipient. Her honors include the spring 2017 Philip Roth Residency, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, and a Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She currently serves as a poetry reader for Muzzle magazine.
Shelley Wong is the author of the chapbook Rare Birds. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Southern Humanities Review, The Volta, Sixth Finch, and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a MacDowell fellowship.
Claudia Cortese is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her first full-length, Wasp Queen, is a hybrid collection of prose poems and stories. Cortese is also the author of two chapbooks: Blood Medals and The Red Essay and Other Histories. Cortese teaches at Montclair State University.
Great readings require great audiences, and at this event, we hope to have everyone sharing work. From 6:00-7:15, join poets Ruth Awad, Katie Condon, Christopher Costabile, Kimberly Grey, Rosalie Moffett, Raena Shirali, Amie Whittemore, Shelley Wong, and Allison Pitinii Davis for brief poetry readings. After, please join in an optional workshop where we’ll continue to share and discuss writing as a collective group. Find the AWP listing here & the Facebook event here.