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SHP Presents: Kimiko Hahn, Mervyn Taylor, and Nick Makoha

August 23, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Free – $5

Join Slapering Hol Press’s advisory committee member and award-winning poet, Suzanne Cleary, as she introduces Kimiko Hahn, Mervyn Taylor, and Nick Makoha.

During this difficult time when everyone is deprived of contact with our beloved poetry community, we hope that the SHP virtual reading series will connect and inspire us until we can meet again in person at the Hudson Valley Writers Center. This reading is free and open to the public, via Zoom, but there is a $5 suggested donation. You may always donate more if your budget allows. Thank you for your generosity in assisting to keep HVWC open.

NB: When you sign up online, you will immediately receive an automated reservation with the Zoom link. Please make sure you type your email address correctly when you sign up for your free tickets otherwise you will not receive the zoom link. If you do not receive the link immediately, please check your spam and promotions folders and it it’s not there, please email [email protected] the day before the reading. Remember, you will be muted upon entry and should remain muted throughout the reading until the Q&A.

Kimiko Hahn is the author of ten books of poems, including: Foreign Bodies (W. W. Norton, 2020); Brain Fever (WWN, 2014), and Toxic Flora (WWN, 2010), both collections prompted by science; The Narrow Road to the Interior (WWN, 2006) a collection that takes its title from Basho’s famous poetic journal; The Unbearable Heart (Kaya, 1996), which received an American Book Award; Earshot (Hanging Loose Press, 1992), which was awarded the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and an Association of Asian American Studies Literature Award. As part of her service to the CUNY community, she initiated a Chapbook Festival that became an annual event co-sponsored by major literary organizations. Since then, she has added chapbooks to her publication list: Write it!, Brittle Process, Brood, Ragged Evidence, A Field Guide to the Intractable, Boxes with Respect, The Cryptic Chamber, and Resplendent Slug. In 2017, she and Tamiko Beyer collaborated on the chapbook Dovetail: Poems in Conversation and a Conversation (SHP). Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/Voelcker Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the N.Y. Foundation for the Arts. She has taught in graduate programs at the University of Houston and New York University, and is a distinguished professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Queens College, The City University of New York; she has also taught for literary organizations such as the Fine Arts Work Center, Cave Canem, and Kundiman.

Mervyn Taylor is a Trinidad-born poet who divides his time between Brooklyn, NY, and his native island. A St. Mary’s old boy, he is a graduate of Howard and Columbia Universities, where he had the opportunity of being under the tutelage of such luminaries as the great folk poet Sterling Brown, and Nobel laureates Derek Walcott and Joseph Brodsky. Taylor went on to teach at many institutions, including Bronx Community College, The Young Adult Learning Academy, The New School University, and in the NYC public school system, being nominated best teacher several times over. Now retired, he devotes most of his time to his writing, having published six collections of poetry to date. They are: An Island of His OwnThe GoatGone AwayNo Back Door, which won the Paterson Poetry Prize for sustained literary achievement, The Waving Gallery, and Voices Carry. Once a member of the infamous Bud Jones Poets, he has read widely to diverse audiences, and was responsible, together with his friend and colleague the journalist Dawad Philip, for the long-running “Flash & Thunder” reading series at Brooklyn’s Restoration Center, and together with Esther Louise and Paul Gibson, the series ‘Soirees,” in Fort Greene. More recently, in Trinidad, he has conducted workshops for incarcerated youth as part of a program run by columnist Debbie Jacob, a champion in helping young men successfully reach academic goals. In his poems, for which he received two New York State Council on the Arts grants, Taylor returns consistently to themes that deal with ordinary folk, with family and friends, finding the heroic quality of their lives as they face the difficulties of survival. He speaks of a cousin, now blind, who looks after his mother, also blind, taping on the clothes she insists on tearing off. He plays music as she complains, “there’s no one to dance with!” He writes about the terrible earthquake in Haiti, about the resilient people whom, “freedom eludes, like a goat that has run into the sea.” He recalls his father, in the old days a Trinidad Railway conductor, who “lost his thumb to the trains.” Currently, he serves on the Advisory Committee of Slapering Hol Press. His new collection, Country of Warm Snow, will be published in August 2020 by Shearsman Books.

Nick Makoha’s chapbook, The Second Republic, was published by Slapering Hol Press as part of the first Seven New Generation African Poets Box Set edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani. Makoha was shortlisted for the 2017 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection for his debut Kingdom of Gravity. He is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, Malika’s Kitchen Fellow, and Complete Works Alumni. He won the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry prize and is the 2016 winner of the Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize for Resurrection Man. His poems appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Review, Rialto, Poetry London, Triquarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo, and Wasafiri.

Born in Uganda, Nick Makoha fled the country with his mother, as a result of the political overtones that arose from the civil war during the Idi Amin dictatorship. He has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia and currently resides in London. He has presented his work at many international events and toured for the British Council in Finland, Czech Republic, the US, and the Netherlands.


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August 23, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Free – $5
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States