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Charif Shanahan + Sam Sax
December 5, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Charif Shanahan and Sam Sax read from their latest poetry collections.
About Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing
Winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award
In this affecting poetry debut, Charif Shanahan explores what it means to be fully human in our wounded and divided world. In poised yet unrelenting lyric poems, Shanahan–queer and mixed-race–confronts the challenges of a complex cultural inheritance, informed by colonialism and his mother’s immigration to the United States from Morocco, navigating racial constructs, sexuality, family, and the globe in search of “who we are to each other . . . who we are to ourselves.”
Winner of the 2016 National Poetry Series CompetitionIn
In this powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet’s personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax’s innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.