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Valerie Wallace, Daniel Handler and Kevin Simmonds
September 21, 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Valerie Wallace discusses her new poetry collection, House of McQueen with Daniel Handler and Kevin Simmonds.
Praise for House of McQueen
“How does a writer begin to capture the wild glory and talent of someone like Lee Alexander McQueen, the high-octane designer of the House of Givenchy and then of his own unmistakable label? One only has to look to Valerie Wallace’s debut collection House of McQueen for an answer. Wallace begins with an in-depth, intuitive knowledge of the designer’s life gleaned from interviews, studies of his ground-breaking collections, visits to exhibitions of his visionary work, and by collecting fragments of words spoken by the man himself as well as some of the famous people he dressed. But it is more than that. The mastery of Wallace’s own poetic art is what rips into the heart of a man who defied all odds by moving from a working class boyhood to the center of 21st century haute couture and the brutality of that game. Wallace captures the genius of McQueen not to memorialize his tragically short life (although she does) or to write a biography or history of the designer, but rather to transform art—his art into a maelstrom of her own poetic brilliance. In the process, we find a book that captures the flair of Valerie herself—as poet, soothsayer, designer, and seeker of the strange and wonderful manifestations of what art can be. This is a book inspired by McQueen, but one that rises into its own thing of beauty and myth.”~ Andrea Witzke Slot, author of TO FIND A NEW BEAUTY
“I cut / a path to / the sacred” and “I am | you are / the voyeur | the mirror.” So declares Alexander McQueen amid these poems of a richly sounded sensorium: of the texture of cloth, the silhouette of a waist, the smell of orange peels, the hook of a fang. If McQueen’s work resulted from the designer thinking with his bare hands, Valerie Wallace’s poems in this arresting collection result from the poet speaking with all five of her senses fully engaged. House of McQueen is a remarkable book.”~ Peter O’Leary, author of THICK AND DAZZLING DARKNESS, THE SAMPO, and others
About House of McQueen
From the publisher: Selected by Vievee Francis for the Four Way Books Intro Prize, Valerie Wallace’s HOUSE OF MCQUEEN is a glittering debut by an assured new voice. Inhabiting the life and work of Alexander McQueen, Wallace builds a fantastical world using both original language and excerpts drawn from interviews, supermodels, Shakespeare, and more. At turns fierce and vulnerable, here is a collection that leaps from runway to fairytale to street with wild, brilliant grace.