The Bindery hosts a double launch for Taneum Bambrick (Vantage) and Graham Barnhart (The War Makes Everyone Lonely), each celebrating their debut full-length collection of poetry. Reading with them are fiction writer Rita Chang-Eppig and poet Claire Meuschke. Please join us!
Vantage is a fictionalized account of the poet’s real experiences working as the only woman on a six-person garbage crew around the reservoirs of two massive dams. Bambrick began writing poems in order to document the forms of violence she witnessed towards the people and the environment of the Columbia River. While working there she found that reservoirs foster a uniquely complex community – from fish biologists to the owners of luxury summer homes – and became interested in the issues and tensions between the people of that place. The idea of power, literal and metaphorical, was present in every action and encounter with bosses and the people using the river. The presence of a young woman on the crew irritated her older, male co-workers who’d logged, built houses, and had to suffer various forms of class discrimination their entire lives. She found throughout this experience that their issues, while not the same, were inherently connected to the suffering of the lands they worked. Introduction by Sharon Olds.
Taneum Bambrick is the author of Vantage, which was selected by Sharon Olds for the 2019 American Poetry Review/Honickman first book award (Copper Canyon Press). Her chapbook, Reservoir, was selected by Ocean Vuong for the 2017 Yemassee Chapbook Prize. She is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry.
About The War Makes Everyone Lonely
In his first collection of poems, many of which were written during his years as a US Army Special Forces medic, Graham Barnhart explores themes of memory, trauma, and isolation. Ranging from conventional lyrics and narrative verse to prose poems and expressionist forms, the poems here display a strange, quiet power as Barnhart engages in the pursuit and recognition of wonder, even while concerned with whether it is right to do so in the fraught space of the war zone. We follow the speaker as he treads the line between duty and the horrors of war, honor and compassion for the victims of violence, and the struggle to return to the daily life of family and society after years of trauma.
Evoking the landscapes and surroundings of war, as well as its effects on both US military service members and civilians in war-stricken countries, The War Makes Everyone Lonely is a challenging, nuanced look at the ways American violence is exported, enacted, and obscured by a writer poised to take his place in the long tradition of warrior-poets.
A US Army veteran and former Wallace Stegner fellow, Graham Barnhartis the author of The War Makes Everyone Lonely. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and The Blackwell Prize, as well as fellowships from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and Writing Workshops in Greece. He holds an MFA in poetry from The Ohio State University and a BA in English from Allegheny College. His work has recently appeared in, or is forthcoming from 32 Poems, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, and others. Currently he is a PhD candidate at The University of North Texas.
Rita Chang-Eppig received her MFA in fiction from New York University and her PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Calyx, Kenyon Review Online, and Conjunctions. She was recently a VSC/Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center.
Claire Meuschke is from the Bay Area and has lived in New York City, New Mexico, and Arizona. Upend, her debut book of poems, is forthcoming March 2020 by Noemi Press. She is a Wallace Stegner Fellow.
Please note: this event will be held at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event. The bar opens at 7pm; event starts at 7:30pm.
As with all of our events, seating may be limited; you can guarantee a seat by pre-purchasing the book below — when checking out, just be sure to include a note that you’d like to attend the event. If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Vantage, order below and put your request in the comments field. If you’d like to request a signed copy of Graham’s book, order here and do the same.