LOCATION: LIVE ON ZOOM
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Virtual poetry reading celebrating Body of Render, the new collection by Felicia Zamora, with special guests Douglas Manuel and Jason Schneiderman
In April 2020, Zamora’s newest book launched amid the pandemic with poems that speak directly to the last and current presidential elections. As November looms and the country prepares to cast ballots, we are reminded that our collective decisions hold the weight of our liberties and humanity in balance. Join Zamora and her special guests as they read their poetry and speak to the necessity of art in a country in turmoil.
Body of Render
explores the internal and external impacts on our humanity when political, national, and societal decisions strip away our basic human rights. What does it mean to be an underrepresented individual in a country where the most powerful seat in the land unashamedly perpetuates racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and classist behaviors? Marian Perales writes:
“This moving collection of poetry by Felicia Zamora covers a range of topics from love, politics, identity, addiction, and the natural world. On one level, Body of Render explores a political theme—the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the author’s navigation through that event from campaigning to the presidency. But on another, the poems deal with the reckoning of life itself: love, body, constellations, universe, and identity all combusting together.”
This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.
ABOUT THE BOOKS
BODY OF RENDER
Body of Render explores the internal and external impacts on our humanity when political, national, and societal decisions strip away our basic human rights. What does it mean to be an underrepresented individual in a country where the most powerful seat in the land unashamedly perpetuates racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and classist behaviors? The voices document a journey before and after the last presidential election. These poems cry out for reconsideration of our broken systems to find common and safe ground rooted in equitable treatment of each other as human beings. How do we exude love when being a person of color or underrepresented person in this country means the dominate white-male-able-bodied-heterosexual narrative continues to threaten our voices? This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.
A brave, brilliant debut about the African-American experience in the American Midwest. A contemplation of race, masculinity, religion, and class, Testify in a very personal way confronts some of the most critical issues in today's society.
A book of elegiac ambivalence, Testify's speaker often finds himself trapped between received binaries: black and white, ghetto and suburban, atheism and Catholicism. In many ways, this work is a Bildungsroman detailing the maturation of a black man raised in the crack-laden 1980s, with hip-hop, jazz, and blues as its soundtrack. Rendered with keen attention to the economic decline of the Midwest due to the departure of the automotive industry, this book portrays the speaker wrestling with his city's demise, family relationships, interracial love, and notions of black masculinity. Never letting anyone, including the speaker, off the hook, Testify refuses sentimentality and didacticism and dwells in a space of uncertainty, where meaning and identity are messy, complicated, and multivalent.
HOLD ME TIGHT
In five poetic sequences, Jason Schneiderman's Hold Me Tight considers life in a new age of anxiety as technology and violence inform new forms of selfhood and apocalypse seems always around the corner. Starting with a long poem about his own struggle to find peace, the collection is searingly grounded in the personal, anchored to Schneiderman's own life. The collection moves to a sequence of parables about wolves, which obliquely consider intractable political conflicts and the emotional fallout of relationships that are structured around predators and prey. The next sequences focus on technology and art, looking at how technologies extend the possibilities of the human body, which alters what it means to be human. A long set of poems about Chris Burden explore the artist's movement from the personal, self-inflicted violence of his early work to the larger questions of political violence that inform his later work. In the final sequence, Schneiderman imagines a series of "last things"--in which finality gives meaning to the people and things in question. In the end, Schneiderman's project invokes a kind of old fashioned humanism, embracing the ruptures in our contemporary ways of living and thinking.
*Our Zoom events are password-protected with wait rooms enabled. The password is entered automatically by clicking the event link when logged in to a Zoom account. We'll admit guests shortly before 6:30pm and throughout the event. If you join late, please be patient—we'll admit you when we see you.
ABOUT THE POETS
FELICIA ZAMORA is the author of the poetry books: Quotient (Tinderbox Editions 2021), Body of Render, winner of the 2018 Benjamin Saltman Award (Red Hen Press 2020), Instrument of Gaps (Slope Editions 2018), & in Open, Marvel (Parlor Press 2018), and Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (University of Notre Dame Press 2017). She's received fellowships and residencies from CantoMundo, Ragdale Foundation, PLAYA, Moth Magazine, and Martha’s Vineyard, authored two chapbooks, won the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize, and was the 2017 Poet Laureate of Fort Collins, CO. Her poems are found or forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, American Poetry Review, Boston Review online, Crazyhorse, Georgia Review, Indiana Review, Lana Turner, North American Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review Poem-of-the-Week, The Nation, West Branch, and others. She received her MFA from Colorado State University where she teaches creative writing courses online and is the Associate Poetry Editor for the Colorado Review. She lives in Arizona and is the Program Manager for the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands at Arizona State University.
DOUGLAS MANUEL was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and an MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has served as the Poetry Editor for Gold Line Press as well as one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His poems are featured on Poetry Foundation's website and have appeared or are forthcoming in Zyzzyva,Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify (Red Hen Press, 2017), won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry. In 2020, he received the Dana Gioia Poetry Award.
JASON SCHNEIDERMAN is the author of four books of poems: Hold Me Tight
(2020), Primary Source
(Red Hen Press 2016); Striking Surface
(Ashland Poetry Press 2010); and Sublimation Point
(Four Way Books 2004). He edited the anthology Queer: A Reader for Writers
(Oxford University Press 2016). His poetry and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including American Poetry Review
, The Best American Poetry
, Poetry London
, Grand Street
, and The Penguin Book of the Sonnet
. An Associate Professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, he lives in Brooklyn with his husband Michael Broder, and teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.