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4:00pm | Airea D. Matthews | Chelsea Clocktower Commons

By |2017-02-18T10:25:12-04:00February 13th, 2017|

Airea D. Matthews first collection of poems, simulacra (2017), is the Winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets. The prize, the oldest annual literary award in the United States, is awarded by Yale University Press, and is open to emerging poets who have not previously published a book of poetry and who reside in the United States. Previous winners of the Yale prize include such talents as Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Jack Gilbert, Jean Valentine and Robert Hass. Critically acclaimed poet Carl Phillips selected Matthews as the winner of the competition, who describes it as “rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant”.

Matthews holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at University of Michigan, where she is now the assistant director. Both a Cave Canem Fellow and Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, she also serves as executive editor of The Offering and is the recipient of a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her poems have appeared in American Poets, Best American Poetry 2015, The Baffler, Callaloo, Indiana Review, WSQ, Muzzle, Vinyl, Kinfolks and elsewhere. Matthews’ prose has appeared in SLAB, Michigan Quarterly Review and Vida: Her Kind.  Matthews lives in Detroit, and was just named Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, beginning in Fall 2017.

WINNER 2016 YALE SERIES OF YOUNGER POETS, WINNER 2016 RONA JAFFEE FOUNDATION WRITERS AWARD

A fresh and rebellious poetic voice, Airea D. Matthews debuts in the acclaimed series that showcases the work of exciting and innovative young American poets. Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America, where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication. In his foreword, series judge Carl Phillips calls this book “rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant.” This is poetry that breaks new literary ground, inspiring readers to think differently about what poems can and should do in a new media society where imaginations are laid bare and there is no thought too provocative to send out into the world.

Praise for simulacra:

“Rebellion is the first word that comes to mind, when reading simulacra, Airea Matthews’s rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant debut. The main rebellion here is against all formal expectations of what a book of poetry is or ‘should’ be – Narcissus communicates by Tweets, Anne Sexton sends texts from death to a recipient who may or may not be dead; there’s a miniature opera; there are upended nods to the epistolary tradition, prose poems, even a Barthes-influenced calculus. The subject matter is no less various – from miscegenation to Gertrude Stein, from estranged love to Wittgenstein — but a particular constant is the theme of wanting: on one hand, wanting as desire, for safety, for faith, for a way to know the self; and on the other hand, wanting as lack, lack both as emptiness and as a motivating force behind the quest for an end to emptiness. And if language itself is empty, and all we have, when it comes to knowing? This is the governing, haunting question behind these always meaningfully provocative poems – poems, yes, but very much, also, poems as epistemology.” –Yale Series judge Carle Phillips on simulacra:

 

 

 

 

ML Liebler | Chelsea Alehouse

By |2017-02-01T09:29:47-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

ML Liebler is an internationally known and widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer. He is the author of 13 books including the award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else’s Dream. The Coyote Monk Poetry Band features Grammy winning Eminem producer and bassist Steve King, The Blue Room guitarist Charlie Palazzola , Frankie the K of Black Hat on the keys, and from The Dangerous Diane Band, The Ghost Band, and 54 Sound session, drummer Leonard Johnson.

Bonnie Jo Campbell | Chelsea Alehouse

By |2017-02-01T09:30:17-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the bestselling novel Once Upon a River (July 2011, W.W. Norton) and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. She was a 2009 National Book Award finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for her collection of stories, American Salvage. Campbell is also author of the novel Q Road and the story collection Women & Other Animals. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan with her husband and two donkeys.

Diane Seuss | River Gallery

By |2017-02-01T09:30:49-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Diane Seuss’s most recent collection of poems, Four-Legged Girl, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2015. Her second book, Wolf Lake, White Gown Blown Open (2010), won the Juniper Prize for Poetry. A poem that originally appeared in Blackbird received a Pushcart Prize in 2013, and Seuss’s poem Free Beer was selected by guest editor Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Best American Poetry anthology. Seuss is Writer in Residence at Kalamazoo College.

Mona Jean Cedar | Chelsea District Library

By |2017-02-01T09:31:21-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Mona Jean Cedar attended Julliard School for Theatrical Interpreting and the National Theater of the Deaf’s Actors’ Academy and currently lives Los Angeles. She composes poetry with American Sign Language and choreographs with foreign sign languages. She has competed at the 1996 Poetry Slams Nationals; interpreted at the 2003 Nationals Poetry Slams and represented the United States at the 2011 international slam in Paris, France. She is the recipient of the 2013 Spirit of the Slam award.

Matt Bell | River Gallery

By |2017-02-01T09:31:51-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Matt Bell’s debut novel In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods was selected as a 2014 Michigan Notable Book and longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. He is also the author of two previous books, How They Were Found and Cataclysm Baby. He teaches creative writing at Northern Michigan University.

Mardi Jo Link | River Gallery

By |2017-02-01T09:32:25-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Mardi Jo Link is the author of a memoir, Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm, and the true crime books, When Evil Came to Good Hart and Isadore’s Secret. She is the recipient of the 2013 Booksellers Choice Award from the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association and two Michigan Notable Book Awards. She studied journalism at Michigan State University and creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. She lives with her family in Traverse City, on The Big Valley, the small farm featured in her memoir.

Garret Potter | Purple Rose Theatre

By |2017-02-01T09:32:57-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

Garret Potter is a touring performance poet, published author, and writing workshop facilitator. He is the current host of the Ann Arbor Poetry Slam, winner of numerous poetry slams across the country, and competitor in the 2012 and 2013 individual World Poetry Slams. His work has appeared in sixteen publications including Indeefeed, The Promethean, and GroundCover News.

ML Liebler & Coyote Monk | River Gallery

By |2017-02-01T09:34:12-04:00January 23rd, 2017|

ML Liebler is an internationally known and widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer. He is the author of 13 books including the award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else’s Dream. The Coyote Monk Poetry Band features Grammy winning Eminem producer and bassist Steve King, The Blue Room guitarist Charlie Palazzola, Frankie the K of Black Hat on the keys, and form The Dangerous Diane Band, The Ghost Band, and 54 Sound session, drummer Leonard Johnson.

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