Author Appearances: Lindsay Bernal & Kyle DarganName: Author Appearances: Lindsay Bernal & Kyle DarganDate: September 16, 2018Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDTWebsite: https://www.bardsalley.comEvent Description:
Poets Lindsay Bernal, author of the National Poetry Series-winning debut collection, What It Doesn’t Have to Do With (University of Georgia Press, 2018), and Kyle Dargan, author of Anagnorisis (Triquarterly Press, 2018), will read from their books at Bards Alley on September 16, 2018.
Lindsay Bernal’s What It Doesn’t Have to Do With explores—through sculpture, painting, pornography, and performance art—changing views on gender and sexuality. The elegiac meditations throughout this collection link the objectification of women in art and life to personal narratives of heartbreak, urban estrangement, and suicide. Haunted by the notions of femininity and domesticity, the protagonist struggles to define the self in shifting cultural landscapes. Ezra Pound, Louise Bourgeois, and Morrissey coexist within the unruly, feminist imagination of these poems. Through quick turns and juxtapositions, Lindsay Bernal navigates the paradoxical states of grief and love, alternating between vulnerability and irony, despair and humor. Her wry, contemporary voice confronts serious subjects with unpredictable wit.
LINDSAY BERNAL‘s poetry collection, What It Doesn’t Have to Do With, published by the University of Georgia Press, was selected by Paul Guest as a winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series competition. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Conjunctions Online, Gulf Coast, OVERSOUND, Tikkun, and other journals. Bernal coordinates the Creative Writing Program and the Writers Here & Now reading series at the University of Maryland.
In Anagnorisis: Poems, the award-winning poet Kyle Dargan ignites a reckoning. From the depths of his rapidly changing home of Washington, D.C., the poet is both enthralled and provoked, having witnessed-on a digital loop running in the background of Barack Obama’s unlikely presidency—the rampant state-sanctioned murder of fellow African Americans. He is pushed toward the same recognition articulated by James Baldwin decades earlier: that an African American may never be considered an equal in citizenship or humanity.
This recognition—the moment at which a tragic hero realizes the true nature of his own character, condition, or relationship with an antagonistic entity—is what Aristotle called anagnorisis. Not concerned with placatory gratitude nor with coddling the sensibilities of the country’s racial majority, Dargan challenges America: “You, friends- / you peckish for a peek / at my cloistered, incandescent / revelry-were you as earnest / about my frostbite, my burns, / I would have opened / these hands, sated you all.”
At a time when U.S. politics are heavily invested in the purported vulnerability of working-class and rural white Americans, these poems allow readers to examine themselves and the nation through the eyes of those who have been burned for centuries.
KYLE DARGAN is the author of four collections of poetry—Honest Engine (2015), Logorrhea Dementia (2010), Bouquet of Hungers (2007), and The Listening (2004). For his work, he has received the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and grants from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. His books also have been finalists for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize. Dargan has partnered with the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities to produce poetry programming at the White House and Library of Congress. He has worked with and supports a number of youth writing organizations, such as 826DC, Writopia Lab, and the Young Writers Workshop. He is currently an associate professor of literature and director of creative writing at American University, as well as the founder and editor of POST NO ILLS magazine.
This event is free to attend with no reservation required. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.
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