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An evening of poetry w/ Hass, Manuel, + Hood
June 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
DIESEL, A Bookstore in Oakland welcomes Robert Hass, Douglas Manuel, and Charles Hood to the store to discuss and sign their latest works on Wednesday, June 7th at 7:00 pm.
In addition to his magisterial poetry, Robert Hass is beloved for his incisive, meditative criticism. A Little Book on Form takes up the central contradiction between poetry as genre and the poetics of the imagination. A wealth of vocabulary exists with which to talk about, map, and explain poetry in rigorous formal terms, but the more intuitive, creative aspects of a poet’s work and processes are more elusive: if the most interesting parts of form are those expressive, essential gestures inside it, how can we come to a better understanding of form as passion, as art?
A Little Book on Form brilliantly synthesizes Hass’s formidable gifts as both a poet and a critic. In suggestive, informal notes, Hass breaks the idea of a poem down to its barest building blocks, from the one line haiku to the villanelle and sonnet. His approach singularly employs postmodern perspectives on shape, thought, feeling, content, and movement, calling on Catullus and Allen Ginsberg, Issa and Czeslaw Milosz. Begun as a project for students of poetry, Hass investigates the ancient roots of the poetic impulse, taking a wide-ranging look at the most intense experience of human thought and feeling in language.
A Little Book on Form is a rousing reexamination of our most enduring mode of literature from one of our greatest living poets, who writes prose every bit as zestful, penetrating, and sure-footed as his poetry.
Robert Hass was born in San Francisco. His books of poetry include The Apple Trees at Olema, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner Time and Materials, Sun Under Wood, Human Wishes, Praise, and Field Guide, which was selected by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series. Hass also co-translated several volumes of poetry with Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz and authored or edited several other volumes of translation, including Nobel Laureate Tomas Transtromer’s Selected Poems and The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa. His essay collection Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hass served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 1995 to 1997 and as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in California with his wife, poet Brenda Hillman, and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.
A brave, brilliant debut about the African-American experience in the American Midwest. A contemplation of race, masculinity, religion, and class, Testify, in a very personal way, confronts some of the most critical issues in today’s society.
A book of elegiac ambivalence, Testify’s speaker often finds himself trapped between received binaries: black and white, ghetto and suburban, atheism and Catholicism. In many ways, this work is a bildungsroman detailing the maturation of a black man raised in the crack-laden 1980s, with hip-hop, jazz, and blues as its soundtrack. Rendered with keen attention to the economic decline of the Midwest due to the departure of the automotive industry, this book portrays the speaker wrestling with his city’s demise, family relationships, interracial love, and notions of black masculinity. Never letting anyone, including the speaker, off the hook, Testify refuses sentimentality and didacticism and dwells in a space of uncertainty, where meaning and identity are messy, complicated, and multivalent.
Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He was a recipient of the Chris McCarthy Scholarship for the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference and has been Poetry Editor for Gold Line Press as well as one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, Many Mountains Moving, and elsewhere.
Brimming with natural history and bright flashes of language, the poems in Partially Excited States take us from Paleolithic caves to modern movie theaters, and along the way we fix time machines with Tom Hanks, enter a Rousseau painting, and collect diamonds from the moons of Neptune.
Charles Hood is a writer of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, a photographer, and an artist. His many books include Mouth, South x South, Rio de Dios: 13 Histories of the Los Angeles River, The Half-Life of Salt: Voices of the Enola Gay, and Red Sky, Red Water: Powell on the Colorado. A longtime animal spotter, he has seen more than six hundred mammal species and more than five thousand species of wild birds. In his global travels, he has trekked to the South Pole, been lost in a Tibetan whiteout, and recovered from bubonic plague. He lives in Palmdale, California.