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Lisa Olstein’s book launch for Dream Apartment with special guest Diane Seuss (via Zoom)

September 13, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $100.00

Please join Jennifer Franklin & Diane Seuss as they help Lisa Olstein launch her fifth poetry collection, Dream Apartment (September, 2023, Copper Canyon).

NB: This reading will take place on Zoom. The link will be sent to the email that you use to register as soon as you reserve a spot. (Please check your spam folder and save the link to your calendar.) It will also be sent to you the day of the reading for your convenience. Our readings are free and open to the public. Please consider making a donation towards the poets’ honorarium and, if you like their work, buying their book.

Lisa Olstein is the author of five poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), Lost Alphabet (2009), Little Stranger (2013), Late Empire (2017), and Dream Apartment (2023). Her nonfiction includes Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press 2020), a book-length lyric essay exploring the intersection of pain, perception, and language; and Climate (Essay Press 2022), an exchange of epistolary essays with the poet Julie Carr. Olstein is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Writing Residency Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Hayden Carruth Award, Sustainable Arts Fellowship, Writers League of Texas Book Award, and Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, among other awards. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and periodicals including The Nation, A Public Space, PBS News Hour, and Boston Review. She is a member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. She is also the lyricist for the rock band Cold Satellite, fronted by acclaimed songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, and serves as an associate editor at Tupelo Quarterly where she curates an interview series with poets. Previously, she co-founded and for ten years directed the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she also served as associate director of the MFA program. Olstein earned a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, undertaking additional studies at the Aegean Center for Fine Arts and Harvard Divinity School.

Devoted equally to the long arc and the sharp fragment, Lisa Olstein’s fifth collection maps the lucid ache at the center of night where “darkness stands in / for light,” certain heartbreaks never end, and love dovetails with losing. Immersed in ode as much as elegy, Dream Apartment employs a dynamic range of forms. Prayer-like spells cascade down the page with precision and abandon. Arrow-shot elegies explore the shock of suicide and find echoes in other kinds of grief—individual and communal, animal and ecological, sudden and creeping. Agile narratives mirror the dazzling associative movement of unselfconscious thought, the dreaming mind, “bodiless memory.” Whether watching a stranger carry his dead dog out of a vet’s exam room or offering bouquets of peonies to night-foraging rabbits, Dream Apartment is propelled by the way poems, like dreams, unfold new dimensions of time and space. Casting their lines toward wish and repair, recognition and reckoning, these poems reveal how any meditation on loss is an exploration of love, promising that in “dreaming, something wakes.”

Diane Seuss needs no introduction. She is the author of six books of poetry. Her most recent collection is frank: sonnets (Graywolf Press 2021), winner of the PEN/Voelcker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press 2018), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Four-Legged Girl (Graywolf Press 2015) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (University of Massachusetts Press), received the Juniper Prize. Her sixth collection, Modern Poetry, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in March 2024 and is available for preorder now. Seuss was a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow. She received the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021. Seuss was raised by a single mother in rural Michigan, which she continues to call home.

Diane Seuss’s signature voice―audacious in its honesty, virtuosic in its artistry, outsider in its attitude―has become one of the most original in contemporary poetry. Her latest collection takes its title, Modern Poetry, from the first textbook Seuss encountered as a child and the first poetry course she took in college, as an enrapt but ill-equipped student, one who felt poetry was beyond her reach. Many of the poems make use of the forms and terms of musical and poetic craft―ballad, fugue, aria, refrain, coda―and contend with the works of writers overrepresented in textbooks and anthologies and those too often underrepresented. Seuss provides a moving account of her picaresque years and their uncertainties, and in the process, she enters the realm between Modernism and Romanticism, between romance and objectivity, with Keats as ghost, lover, and interlocutor.

In poems of rangy curiosity, sharp humor, and illuminating self-scrutiny, Modern Poetry investigates our time’s deep isolation and divisiveness and asks: What can poetry be now? Do poems still have the capacity to mean? “It seems wrong / to curl now within the confines / of a poem,” Seuss writes. “You can’t hide / from what you made / inside what you made.” What she finds there, finally, is a surprising but unmistakable love.

 

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Details

Date:
September 13, 2023
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Cost:
Free – $100.00
Event Categories:
, , ,

Venue

Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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Phone
914.332.5953
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Organizer

HVWC
Phone
914.332.5953
Email
ask@writerscenter.org
View Organizer Website