Join us for an afternoon of poetry by these two extraordinary writers.
Described in The New York Times as “passionate, quirky, and righteously outraged,” Or What We’ll Call Desire is a heartrending, darkly playful new collection of poems that respond to patriarchal culture and a family history of mental illness and loss. In poems that mix high art and popular culture (from Cubism to Freudian Disney dolls), Alexandra Teague interweaves self-reflection with mythic and historic female figures, such as the dangerous-wise witch Baba Yaga and early-20th-century sculptors’ model Audrey Munson--calling across time and place to explore desire, grief, and the representation and misrepresentation of the female form.
Alexandra Teague is most recently the author of Or What We’ll Call Desire (Persea, 2019). Her prior books are The Wise and Foolish Builders and Mortal Geography, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and the California Book Award, and the novel The Principles Behind Flotation, as well as the co-edited Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. A former Stegner and NEA fellow, and recent fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Alexandra is a professor at University of Idaho.
Endangered [Animal] by Elizabeth Vignali gives us beauty and captivity, survival and extinction. We are asked to pay attention to “that inconvenient / time of vulnerability between nest and flight.” It is there—between home and sky, between childhood and adulthood—Vignali’s poetry soars. Vignali leads us through relationships and the natural world. She projects our humanity against the wild and asks “why some lives are considered worth saving.” And even though she warns of the danger in believing “those who are easy to love are worth the loving,” these poems are easy to love, hard to forget, and just the right amount of dangerous to make our heartbeat quicken.
Elizabeth Vignali is the author of Object Permanence (Finishing Line Press 2014) and Endangered [Animal] (Floating Bridge Press 2019) and coauthor with Kami Westhoff of Your Body A Bullet (Unsolicited Press 2018). Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Cincinnati Review, Mid-American Review, Tinderbox, The Literary Review, and others. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she works as an optician, co-produces the Bellingham Kitchen Session reading series, and serves as poetry editor of Sweet Tree Review.
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