Join us for an evening with three acclaimed poets as they explore a spectrum of identity.
Liza Katz Duncan's debut collection is a poignant exploration of the unpredictable shifts that shape our lives. Given considers the notions of home and family and how to survive the changes and losses associated with both. Duncan conjures her home, the New Jersey Shore, in clear and unsentimental lines: "Call of the grackle, / whine of the turkey vulture. Blighted clams, // raw and red in their half-shells." Duncan's poems also explore the devastation brought to this place and its community by Superstorm Sandy and the continued impacts of climate change. Interwoven into this thread is the narrator's miscarriage; the parallels between the desecrated landscape and the personal catastrophe further contribute to the layers of tenderness in this collection, as Duncan urges us to remember and to witness. Despite tragedy and loss, Given is imbued with persistent, dogged hope, showing how survival persists amongst the wreckage, and from this debris is a path towards healing our grief.
Liza Katz Duncan is the author of Given (Autumn House Press, 2023), which won the Autumn House Press Rising Writer Award. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, About Place, the Kenyon Review, Poem-a-Day, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Liza grew up in New Jersey and holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She teaches English as a Second Language in New Jersey public schools.
Sarah Audsley's debut poetry collection, Landlock X, joins a growing body of adoptee poetics. By examining the consquences of the international transracial adoptee experience--her own--Audsley's collection finds more questions than solid answers. Employing a variety of poetic forms, co-opting the pastoral tradition to argue for belonging to the rural landscape--despite the inheritance of displacement and removal from a country of origin--Landlock X tries to solve for all of the (adoptee's) variables and knows it is an impossible task that the 'I', 'you', and 'we' of the poems only approximate.
Sarah Audsley is the author of Landlock X (Texas Review Press, 2023). A Korean American adoptee, a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and a member of The Starlings Collective, Audsley lives and works in northern Vermont. Photo credit: Carolyn Kehler.
Set on a remote island on the Maine coast, GHOST: : SEEDS incorporates elements of magical realism and myth to explore and trouble conceptions of gender and identity. The central tension of this book-length poem is a dialogue between a trans speaker and his "ghost," the "girl-ghost" of the self that he left behind to become the man he is today. Putting a queer spin on the myth of Persephone, the girl-ghost speaks from underworld lit by glowworms, cut through by dark rivers, and connected to the world above through a sea cave. Alternating between prose-like elements and lyric meditations, the book's expansive form makes full use of the page from margin to margin, creating space and breathing room for complicated investigations of memory, gender, and grief.
Sebastian Merrill’s debut collection GHOST :: SEEDS was selected by Kimiko Hahn as the winner of the 2022 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize from Texas Review Press. The winner of the 2022 Levis Prize for Poetry from Friends of Writers, Sebastian was selected as a member of the 2023 Get the Word Out inaugural poetry cohort for debut writers from Poets & Writers. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan.
A tender poetry collection considering home, family, and personal and ecological loss.
Liza Katz Duncan’s debut collection is a poignant exploration of the unpredictable shifts that shape our lives. Given considers the notions of home and family and how to survive the changes and losses associated with both.
Sarah Audsley’s debut poetry collection, Landlock X, joins a growing body of adoptee poetics. By examining the consequences of the international transracial adoptee experience—her own—Audsley’s collection finds more questions than solid answers.
Winner of The 2022 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, selected by Kimiko Hahn
Set on a remote island on the Maine coast, GHOST :: SEEDS incorporates elements of magical realism and myth to explore and trouble conceptions of gender and identity.