Archive for poetry

SKYLIT: Kazim Ali, “THE VOICE OF SHEILA CHANDRA” w/ Kiki Petrosino

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry, skylit by skylightbooks on October 14th, 2020

Titled for the influential singer left almost voiceless by a terrible syndrome, The Voice of Sheila Chandra brings sweet melodies and rhythms as the voices blend and become multitudinous. There's an honoring of not only survival, but of persistence, as this part research-based, pensive collection contemplates what it takes to move forward when the unimaginable holds you back.

Author Kazim Ali is in conversation with fellow poet Kiki Petrosino.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Rory Waterman, “SWEET NOTHINGS” w/ Andre Naffis-Sahely

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on September 12th, 2020
Sweet Nothings is about absences, how they tempt us, and sometimes what they make us do. An absence is a conjuration, not palpably present in longing, imagination or dream. We are lured on by absences, and how they call to us, in Thomas Hardy's memorable phrase.

Rory Waterman's poems sometimes come in sequences; always they are in dialogue with one another, responding, echoing - within and between the book's two sections. At times, the leitmotifs are apparently personal, exploring divisions and painful losses. But we also encounter the largely invented academic Dr Bob Pintle, promoted at work since his cameo in Waterman's previous book, an anti-hero of the modern university system. In this book we also find the zero football score, the zero scores in life's more significant conflicts, and an obverse: the desire to settle at nothing, or for nothing less than what life might offer. Sweet Nothings is in fact a book of hopes and passions - quiet and lyrical at times, but also fiercely witty and bold.

 
Waterman is in conversation with fellow poet Andre Naffis-Sahely.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Dena Igusti, “CUT WOMAN” w/ Ray Jordan Achan

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry, skylit by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2020

Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Middle Eastern Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. Women Studies. "One of the things I love most is when a poetry book forces me to slow down, to linger in every pause between breaths and reckon with the awareness that Reading is, itself, an act of consumption. CUT WOMAN does just this. From 'night // fall' to 'day // break, ' Dena Igusti's speaker forces readers to linger in the spaces both within and between words, bodies, and countries, even when those spaces do not yet exist: 'altar of my body did i give you // a forever // i could not promise? // ... // an altered kind of grief?' These poems slice, piece, project only to gut open. These poems remember despite Memory: 'i purposely forget // the prayer for when someone dies // inna-illahi-something // i always remember how to start // grieving // but // never when or how to let it out of my mouth.'

Igusti is in conversation with actor, director, writer, producer, and executive director of the Exiled Tongues Theater Company Ray Jordan Achan.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Adam O. Davis, “INDEX OF HAUNTED HOUSES”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on August 31st, 2020

This is a book of ghost stories, and for the most part, ghosts are jealous monsters, intent upon our destruction. They never appear overtly here, yet we gradually become aware of the spirits in haunted houses in the way they tread over creaky floors, slam doors, and issue sudden gusts of wind. These poems are Koan-like—the fewer the words, the more charged they are. The engine driving the sense of haunting and loss is money, which Adam O. Davis describes as “federal bone” boiling around us. Bison in Nebraska are reduced to bones, “seven/standing men/tall” fodder for the fertilizer used by farmers in the 1800s. There is, too, an equality to the hauntings—every instance has its moment, and persists, despite being in the past, present, or future. Index of Haunted Houses is spooky and sad—a stunning debut, one that will surprise, convince, and most of all, delight. 

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Ahrm Choi Wild & Muriel Leung

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on July 29th, 2020

Join us for a conversation with poets Ahrm Choi Wild and Muriel Leung!

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




LIVE ON ZOOM: Charles Flowers, “THE IDEA OF HIM” w/ Blas Falconer

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 19th, 2020

"Charles Flowers' long-awaited collection, The Idea of Him, evokes the implacable power of desire, from its earliest appearance in boyhood to the ache of adult experience. These wrenchingly honest, beautifully felt poems make clear nothing less than the soul hunger that lies deep in the body's dreams."—Joan Larkin

Flowers is in conversation with Blas Falconer, the author of Forgive the Body This FailureThe Foundling Wheel,  A Question of Gravity and Light, and The Perfect Hour.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Tess Taylor, “RIFT ZONE” w/ Stephanie Danler

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 15th, 2020

Tess Taylor’s previous book of poetry, Work & Days, was named one of the best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Now, with her extraordinary new collection, Rift Zone, Taylor presents her most powerful and timely work yet. Rift Zone shows a critically acclaimed poet—known to many as the on-air Poetry Reviewer for NPR’s “All Things Considered”—at work on a one-of-a-kind endeavor, mapping a California and a country at the brink. Addressing issues of gun violence, homelessness, and climate change, Taylor reveals the fault lines, literal and figurative, in her Northern California hometown and our country as a whole. At the same time, Rift Zone is a deeply intimate and tender book about parenting, specifically about becoming a parent in a fraught time.

Taylor is in conversation with novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter Stephanie Danler.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




LIVE ON ZOOM: Tin House Poetry Night

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 8th, 2020

Join us for the best reading in all of time and space, featuring the poets of Tin House: Jenny Zhang, Tommy Pico, Morgan Parker and Khadijah Queen!

Find their works on the Event Page, here.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Porsha Olayiwola, “I SHIMMER SOMETIMES, TOO”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on April 1st, 2020

Porsha Olayiwola is from the future! Black, poet, queer-dyke, hip-hop feminist, womanist: Porsha is a native of Chicago who now resides in Boston. Olayiwola is a writer, performer, educator and curator who uses afro-futurism and surrealism to examine historical and current issues in the Black, woman, and queer diasporas. She is an Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and the artistic director at MassLEAP, a literary youth organization. Olayiwola is an MFA Candidate at Emerson College and is the current poet laureate for the city of Boston.

Her debut poetry collection soars with the power and presence of live performance. These poems dip their hands deep into the fabric of black womanhood, pulling out all of its threads. This book establishes Porsha O firmly in the lineage of black queer poetics, pulling equally from Audre Lorde and Danez Smith. This is a book of gentle breaking and inventive reconstruction. This is a book of self-care, and community-care--the pursuit of building a world that will keep you alive.




WRITEGIRL 4 Group Reading

Posted in skylight books, poetry, fiction, Feminism, Short Stories, nonfiction, anthology, essays by skylightbooks on March 10th, 2020

WriteGirl is an innovative nonprofit organization that empowers teen girls through creative writing. Join us for this special chance to hear WriteGirl teens speak their minds and read their original poetry and prose. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be surprised—you won’t want to miss it! 

In WriteGirl’s new award-winning anthology, This Moment: Bold Voices from WriteGirl, 180 teens share stories, poems, memoirs, scripts and songs about their hopes and fears, loves and losses, amigas and pan dulce, as they navigate a challenging present and uncertain future with determination and grace. Their words inspire reflection and ignite action. The book includes a Creativity Starter Kit with 15 fresh writing activities to inspire young writers. This Moment is available for purchase at Skylight Books.




A Tribute to Holly Prado

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on March 5th, 2020

"The last time I saw Holly Prado, whom I’d known forty years, we were part of a group performance of Song of Myself at Beyond Baroque. Now we have her experiment in the long poem, Weather, a single, book-length poem in the larger tradition of Whitman’s personal epic, presenting the account of a voyage, lasting from fall 2015 to fall of 2018, through the inner seasons of a mythically conscious woman’s Los Angeles. 

"In a more specific tradition, Prado’s work is in the line of Diane Wakoski, Anais Nin, Diane DiPrima, Lyn Hejenian, and other women who have written with wisdom and courage about their resonantly three-dimensional inner lives. Sadly, it is her last book; but a near-compensation is, it is her best. Farthest and deepest in reach, a modernist collage orchestrated by a expressive hand, the poem is open enough to be entered virtually anywhere, yet organically shaped by a mature mythic awareness to have narrative momentum and coherence. Beautifully turned phrases, sentences, and lines abound. An example: "Out in the huge autumn sky, / leonid meteors give us their message: Don’t think too much / of your human pursuits. Don’t think you won’t be / dissolved in everything wilder than you. Enter / your myths with your open-palmed hands on your knees."

“Dissolved in everything wilder than you” — that is the state of feeling and vision Prado’s imagination makes available to us. It is also the promise all real poetry makes: that our veil of pursuits be lifted, that we see the wild truth."

—James Cushing, joined in conversation and readings by Harry E. Northup and Phoebe MacAdams.




Michael Lee, “THE ONLY WORLDS WE KNOW” and Morgan Parker “MAGICAL NEGRO”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on March 2nd, 2020

Join poets Morgan Parker (Magical Negro) and Michael Lee (The Only Worlds We Know) as they read from their respective collections.




André Naffis-Sahely and Fred D’Aguiar, “A STRANGER”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, anthology by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2020

Exile lies at the root of our earliest stories. Charting varied experiences of people forced to leave their homes from the ancient world to the present day, The Heart of a Stranger is an anthology of poetry, fiction and non-fiction that journeys through six continents, with over a hundred contributors drawn from twenty-four languages.

Highlights include the wisdom of the 5th century Desert Fathers and Mothers, The Flight of the Irish Earls, Madame de Staël’s thoughts on Napoleon’s tyranny, Emma Goldman’s travails in the wake of the First Red Scare, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s tales of European colonial settlers in Kenya and the work of the contemporary Eritrean poet Ribka Sibhatu.

Edited by poet and translator André Naffis-SahelyThe Heart of a Stranger offers a uniquely varied look at a theme both ancient and urgently contemporary.

Naffis-Sahely is in conversation with Fred D'Aguiar, poet, novelist, playwright, born in London of Guyanese parents and raised in Guyana.




Franny Howe, “LOVE AND I” w/ Martha Ronk

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on November 19th, 2019

Set in transit even as they investigate the transitory, the cinematic poems in Love andmove like a handheld camera through the eternal, the minds of passengers, and the landscapes of Ireland and America. From this slight remove, Fanny Howe explores the edge of “pure seeing” and the worldly griefs she encounters there, cast in an otherworldly light. These poems layer pasture and tarmac, the skies above where airline passengers are compressed with their thoughts, and the ground where miseries accumulate, alongside comedies, in the figures of children in a park.

Love can do little but walk with the person and suddenly vanish, and that recurrent abandonment makes it necessary for these poems to find a balance between seeing and believing. For Howe, that balance is found in the Word, spoken in language, in music, in and on the wind, as invisible and continuous lyric thinking heard by the thinker alone. These are poems animated by belief and unbelief. Love and I fulfills Howe's philosophy of Bewilderment.

Howe is in conversation with Martha Ronk, author of 11 books of poetry and one book of short stories, Glass Grapes.





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