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An Afternoon with Timothy Donnelly, Shanta Lee Gander, & Dean Rader (in person at HVWC & via Zoom)

May 21 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Free – $100.00

Join us in person or via Zoom to welcome these three fantastic poets. They will read from their latest works and engage in a lively Q&A.

Timothy Donnelly is the author of The Problem of the Many (Wave Books, 2019), The Cloud Corporation (Wave Books, 2010), which won the 2012 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit (Grove, 2003). His chapbook Hymn to Life was published by Factory Hollow Press. With John Ashbery and Geoffrey G. O’Brien he is the co-author of Three Poets published by Minus A Press in 2012. He is a recipient of The Paris Review’s Bernard F. Conners Prize and the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award as well as fellowships from the New York State Writers Institute and the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He is Director of Poetry in the Writing Program at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and lives in Brooklyn with his family. His book Chariot is forthcoming from Wave Books in May 2023.

Shanta Lee is the author of the poetry collection, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues, winner of the 2020 Diode Press full-length book prize and the 2021 Vermont Book Award.Black Metamorphoses (Etruscan Press, 2023) is a work that Shanta Lee describes as a 2,000+ year-old phone line opened to Ovid, as well as an interrogation of the Greek mythos, while creating her own new language in this work.  Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to the Vermont Humanities Council’s board of directors. She is a Vermont Public producer and reporter including her original series,“Seeing…the Unseen and In-Between within Vermont’s Landscape.” She is also a regular contributor to Ms. Magazine and Art New England. Her contributing work on several investigative journalism pieces for The Commons received a number of New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) awards.

Dean Rader is a poet, art writer, scholar, and critic who has published widely in the fields of poetry, American Indigenous studies, modern and contemporary art, and visual culture.  His debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the Bob Bush Memorial Award for a First Book of Poems, and won the 2010 Writer’s League of Texas Poetry Prize. His follow-up book, Landscape Portrait Figure Form (Omnidawn), was named by the Barnes & Noble Review as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2013Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award and the Northern California Book Award. In 2017, along with Brian Clements and Alexandra Teague, he co-edited Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violenceand he co-authored a book of collaborative sonnets entitled Suture with the poet Simone Muench. His scholarly book Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI (University of Texas Press, 2010) won the Beatrice Medicine Award for Excellence in American Indian Studies. Along with Janice Gould, he edited Speak To Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry (University of Arizona Press) and most recently, with CMarie Fuhrman co-edited the groundbreaking anthology Native Voices: Contemporary Indigenous Poetry, Craft, and Conversations (Tupelo Press). Rader writes and reviews regularly for The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Kenyon ReviewThe Rumpus, PloughsharesThe San Francisco Chronicle, ​and BOMB.  He recently wrote about teaching poetry post-truth and post-Trump and was interviewed by The Washington Post on the convergence of poetry and politics. In 2021, he was a finalist for the Nona Balakaian Award from the National Book Critics Circle. Rader is a professor in The Department of English and in the Honors College at the University of San Francisco, where he has won the University’s Distinguished Research Award and the College of Arts & Sciences’ Dean’s Scholar Award, as well as a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Society of Collegiate Scholars. His new book, Before the Borderless: Dialogues with the Art of Cy Twombly, a collection of poems in which Rader’s poems and Twombly’s work appear side-by-side, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press in 2023. His work has been supported by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Headlands Center for the Arts, Art Omi, Princeton University, and Harvard University. He is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry.


About Chariot:

Timothy Donnelly’s fourth collection of poems, Chariot, ferries the reader toward an endless horizon of questioning that is both philosophical and deeply embodied. “How did we get here?” he asks in his title poem—one of several in conversation with French symbolist Odilon Redon—to which he responds, “Unclear, if it matters; what matters // is we stay—aloft in possible color.” With a similar sensibility to previous collections The Problem of the Many and The Cloud Corporation (winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award), Chariot deepens Donnelly’s inquiry into artistic histories, from Jean Cocteau to The Cocteau Twins, while celebrating the power of poetic imagination to transport us to new zones of meaning and textual bliss. The collection also marks an exciting shift in form for Donnelly, who confines these new poems to twenty lines each, so that to read Chariot is to look through a many-paned, future-facing window, refracting and reflecting, letting all the light in.


Black Metamorphoses pierces a 2,000+ year-old veil inspired by a range of Ovidian myths while resisting a direct conversion of the work. This collection explores the Black psyche, body, soul, through inversion and brazen confrontation of work that has shaped Western civilization. In a poetic range of forms, voices, and rhythms, the reader is bathed in ancestral memory, myth, and sense of the timeless of the shapeshifting, resilient Black body.


forthcoming April 25, 2023 (Copper Canyon Press)

In 2018, I visited a retrospective of drawings and works on paper by the American artist Cy Twombly. Gorgeously presented at the Gagosian’s New York galleries, the exhibit, a life’s work, bore the title: In Beauty It is Finished: Drawings 1951-2008. The title of the exhibit–“in beauty it is finished”–refers to a Navajo prayer, but to me, it signified the end of my father’s life. That evening, I exited the exhibit, walked on the High Line, then went back to my hotel and began working on a poem about Twombly, my father, art, and mortality. That poem led to another poem. And to another. And then another, and then another and many more.

And now this book.

Over the past several years, I have worked closely with the Cy Twombly Foundation to be able to bring this project to fruition. An innovative visual and textual book, Before the Borderless features a Twombly image on the left-hand page, and then the poem I wrote about/in response to/inspired by that Twombly piece, on the right-hand page. So, in almost every instance, you are looking at Twombly and Rader simultaneously. Spoiler alert: he is always better.

Before the Borderless marks the first time the estate of a major U.S. artist has collaborated with a poet and a press to produce a book like this. Before the Borderless: Dialogues with the Art of Cy Twombly will be published on April 25, 2023 on what would have been Twombly’s 95th birthday.


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May 21
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Free – $100.00
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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