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Readings by Aaron Shurin and Gillian Conoley
April 16, 2020 @ 7:00 pm PDTFree
Booksmith hosts a special evening with beloved Bay Area writers Aaron Shurin (The Blue Absolute) and Gillian Conoley (A Little More Red Sun on the Human: New and Selected Poems). Please join us for a night of readings!
About The Blue Absolute
Urban and pastoral, highly figured and fragmented, grieving and dreaming, the prose poems of The Blue Absolute set people moving and thinking amidst a flurry of dashes, dots, perspective shifts, and the fragmented action of San Francisco, the great city on the edge.
The Blue Absolute’s prose poems are hot boxes of lyrical language combusting with daily life. People move and think amidst a flurry of dots and dashes in a constant shift of perspective and action—urban and pastoral, highly figured and fragmented, grieving and dreaming—each poem a compressed but fluid zone of almost psychedelic intensity. The book closes with “Shiver,” an American epic, at once a lament for and vision of a great city on the edge: San Francisco past, present, and future.
Aaron Shurin is the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, most recently Flowers & Sky: Two Talks (Entre Rios Books, 2017), The Skin of Meaning: Collected Literary Essays and Talks (University of Michigan Press, 2015), and two books from City Lights: Citizen (poems, 2012) and King of Shadows (essays, 2008). His work has appeared in over forty national and international anthologies, from The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry to Italy’s Nuova Poesia Americana: San Francisco, and has been supported by grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, The San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. A pioneer in both LGBTQ studies and innovative verse, Shurin was a member of the original Good Gay Poets collective in Boston, and later the first graduate of the storied Poetics Program at New College of California. He has written numerous critical essays about poetic theory and compositional practice, as well as personal narratives on sexual identity, gender fluidity, and the AIDS epidemic. A longtime educator, he’s the former director and currently Professor Emeritus for the MFA Writing Program at the University of San Francisco.
About A Little More Red Sun on the Human
A selection of poems by celebrated poet Gillian Conoley that spans her arresting body of work: from the idiosyncrasies of Texas girlhood toward an encompassing inquiry into spirit and matter, individual and state.
Gillian Conoley’s new and selected poems assemble a shockingly varied body of work, comprising narrative, lyric, and fragmented forms. Her coruscating vibrant poems are informed by visual art and film, political engagement and playful linguistic constructions. Throughout, one can trace Conoley’s obsessions and concerns: democracy, metaphysics, motherhood, gender and race, futurity and history.
Gillian Conoley was awarded the 2017 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. A Little More Red Sun on the Human: Selected Poems is forthcoming with Nightboat Books in Fall 2019. Her seventh poetry collection, PEACE, was named an Academy of American Poets Standout Book for 2014 and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Conoley’s work has received the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and a Fund for Poetry Award. Her translations of Henri Michaux, Thousand Times Broken, appeared with City Lights in 2014. Conoley is Poet-in-Residence and Professor of English at Sonoma State University, where she edits Volt.
This event is free and all ages.
If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of The Blue Absolute and/or A Little More Red Sun on the Human, click on the appropriate title(s) in this sentence and be sure to put your request in the special field.