RELEASE DATE: Monday, June 26, 2017 John Tipton - “67P/C-G”
John Tipton looks at the Rosetta Spacecraft’s September 2016 landing on a comet orbiting
John Tipton Biography
John Tipton (b.1964) was born in Alton, Illinois, and grew up in Indiana. After serving in the army, he earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the author of the poetry collections Surfaces (2004) and Paramnesia (2016) and the chapbook clause automata (2001). His translations of Greek tragedies, including Sophocles’s Ajax (2008) and Aeschylus’s Seven Against Thebes (2015), have garnered praise for their “vigor and careful tuning … [and] terse idiomatic grace.”
Tipton was the founder and director of the Chicago Poetry Project, a long-running reading series that ended in 2011. With Peter O’Leary, Tipton founded the small literary press Verge Books in 2013 in an effort to continue and extend the Chicago Poetry Project’s mission. He is currently the press’s publisher and lives in Chicago.
PROGRAM #: PN 1702
RELEASE DATE: Monday, July 3, 2017 Juan Delgado - “La Bestia / The Beast”
Juan Delgado describes a dangerous journey by a series of freight trains that migrants from Central America use to reach the U.S. border.
Juan Delgado Biography
Mexican American poet Juan Delgado (b.1960) first started coming to the United States with his family when he was a child. He attended California State University, San Bernardino, where he studied accounting before discovering writing and majoring in English. He earned an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he was a Regents Fellow. Delgado’s collections of poetry are Green Web (1994), selected by poet Dara Weir for the Contemporary Poetry Prize at the University of Georgia; El Campo (1998); A Rush of Hands (2003); and Vital Signs (2013), a book about his hometown of San Bernardino, winner of the American Book Award, given by the Before Columbus Foundation. His poems have been included in the anthology Touching the Fire: Fifteen Poets of Today’s Latino Renaissance (1998).
Delgado’s work often portrays the realities of the immigrant experience, with its attendant poverty, hardships, and love. In El Campo, Delgado’s poems about Mexican farmworkers and their families are accompanied by paintings by Simon Silva. Rosa Martha Villarreal, reviewing A Rush of Hands for Tertulia, noted the “muted images of personal sorrow and terrified wonder,” adding that Delgado “takes images from the community of shadows, the undocumented immigrants, and gives substance to their being.”
Delgado has been poet-in-residence at the University of Miami. He is a professor of creative writing, Chicano literature, and poetry at the California State University, San Bernardino.
RELEASE DATE: Monday, July 10, 2017 Douglas Kearney - “I Wanna Be Ur Lover (1979)”
Douglas Kearney pays tribute to the late music icon Prince.
Douglas Kearney Biography
Poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney grew up in Altadena, California. He received his BA from Howard University and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is also a graduate and fellow of Cave Canem.
In the Los Angeles Times, poet David St. John observed, “What Doug’s articulating is the fragmentation of the self and sensibility that you see prominently in T.S. Eliot and The Waste Land. He’s at the other end of the century, using a multicultural voice inflected with the concerns of what it means to be a young black man at this time and at this place.”
Kearney’s lyrical poems range across the page, bridging thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. He describes the nontraditional layout of his poems as “performative typography.” As he explained in a conversation with poet Amaud J. Johnson for the Boxcar Poetry Review, “I wanted to take what I knew about poetics and, say, graphic design and try to figure out the dynamics of certain poetic devices.” In the same conversation, Kearney discussed the relationship between his poetry and politics: “For me, the political is a part of how I see the world … my art making doesn’t begin without realizing who I am and what it means for me to be writing a poem and not doing something else.”
Kearney’s full-length poetry collections include Fear, Some (2006), The Black Automaton (2009), which was chosen by Catherine Wagner for the National Poetry Series, and Patter (2014). He has also published many chapbooks. His poetry has appeared in several anthologies, including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007, edited by Nikky Finney), Spoken Word Revolution Redux (2007, edited by Mark Eleveld), Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2005, edited by Sheree R. Thomas), and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Art & Literature (2002, edited by Tony Medina, Samiya A. Bashir, and Quarishi Ali Lansana).
His honors include a Whiting Writers Award, a Pushcart nomination, and commissions for new work from Minneapolis’s Weisman Art Museum and New York’s Studio Museum. In 2007, he was named a Notable New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America. Kearney has also received fellowships and scholarships from Idyllwild Summer Arts Poetry Workshop, Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.
Kearney teaches at CalArts and lives in Altadena, California, with his family.
In January 2011, Kearney was a featured writer on Harriet.
PROGRAM #: PN 1704
RELEASE DATE: Monday, July 17, 2017 Amanda Nadelberg, “Real Complex Key Shifts”
Amanda Nadelberg reflects on life accomplishments and what has been left unachieved.
Amanda Nadelberg Biography
Amanda Nadelberg is the author of three books of poetry: Songs from a Mountain (Coffee House Press, 2016), Bright Brave Phenomena (Coffee House Press, 2012), and Isa the Truck Named Isadore (2006), winner of the Slope Editions Book Prize. She earned a BA from Carleton College and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was selected as one of Poetry Society of America's New American Poets (2011) and has received a grant from The Fund for Poetry. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Nadelberg lives in Oakland, California.
Sunnylyn Thibodeaux is the author of Universal Fall Precautions (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), As Water Sounds (Bootstrap, 2014), and Palm to Pine (Bootstrap, 2011). She is also the author of over a dozen small books, including 20/20 Yielding (Blue Press), 88 Haiku for Lorca (Push Press), Against What Light (Ypolita), Room Service Calls (Lew Gallery Editions), and What’s Going On (Bird & Beckett). In 1999 she moved from Louisiana to the San Francisco Bay area to attend the now-defunct New College of California.
Thibodeaux coedits Auguste Press and Lew Gallery Editions. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, poet Micah Ballard, and their daughter Lorca.
RELEASE DATE: Monday, July 31, 2017 Francisco Aragón - “Keough Hall”
Francisco Aragón describes a threatening incident against a college student after the 2016 election.
Francisco Aragón Biography
Poet, translator, essayist, editor, and San Francisco native Francisco Aragón studied Spanish at the University of California at Berkeley and New York University. He earned an MA from the University of California at Davis and an MFA from the University of Notre Dame.
Exploring how language and genre both connect and diverge, Aragón’s poems locate personal experience within a wider cultural and historical conversation. Aragón’s debut poetry collection, Puerta del Sol (2005), appears in a bilingual edition, pairing poems originally composed in English with their Spanish-language “elaborations.” As Craig Santos Perez observed in his review for Jacket, “The poems in Francisco Aragón’s Puerta del Sol resemble gates of light as they capture the shifting hues of the poet’s experience living abroad in Spain and the memories of his native California.” In an interview with Connect Savannah, Aragón spoke of his writing process, noting, “Oftentimes I have the experience of sound or smell or song—some sort of sensory sensation jars some memory I thought had long been forgotten.”
Aragón’s multi-genre book Glow of Our Sweat (2010) includes poems, translations, and an essay. His translations appear in Federico García Lorca’s Selected Verse: A Bilingual Edition (1996). The editor of Bilingual Press’s Canto Cosas poetry book series and the anthology The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry (2007), Aragon has seen his own poetry appear in many anthologies, including Inventions of Farewell:A Book of Elegies (2001) and Mariposa: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (2008).
The winner of an Academy of American Poets Prize, Aragon has served on the board of directors of the Association of Writers &Writing Programs. At the University of Notre Dame, Aragón directs Letras Latinas, the literary program of the Institute for Latino Studies, and edits for Momotombo Press, which he founded.
PROGRAM #: PN 1707
RELEASE DATE: Monday, August 7, 2017 Nikki Wallschlaeger - “All Kinds of Fires Inside Our Heads”
Nikki Wallschlaeger meditates on issues of accountability.
Nikki Wallschlaeger Biography
Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of Houses (Horse Less Press, 2015), and the chapbooks, I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel (graphic chapbook from Bloof Books, 2015), I Would Be the Happiest Bird (Horse Less Press, 2014) and Head Theatre (Insect Catapult, 2007). She is currently at work on a book of sonnets called Crawlspace, some of which can be found in the Brooklyn Rail, Fanzine, Elective Affinities, the Account, the Inquisitive Eater, and many more. She lives in Milwaukee with her spouse and sons.
PROGRAM #: PN 1708
RELEASE DATE: Monday, August 14, 2017 Sara Deniz Akant - “Perihan”
Sara Deniz Akant considers the virtues and meaning of one’s name.
Sara Deniz Akant Biography
Turkish-American poet and performer Sara Deniz Akant was born and raised in New York. She is the author of Babette (Rescue Press, 2015), selected by Maggie Nelson; Parades (Omnidawn, 2014), selected by Gillian Conoley; and Latronic Strag (Persistent Editions, 2015). Her poetry has appeared most recently in the Bennington Review, Lana Turner, and the Brooklyn Rail.
Akant earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a doctoral candidate in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has taught poetry at the University of Iowa, composition at Baruch College, and is currently an adjunct lecturer at Medgar Evers College. She has been the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets, and she has been an artist in residence at Yaddo, Art Farm, and MacDowell. Akant lives in Brooklyn.
Kimberly Lyons interrogates the purchase of second-hand clothes and the writing of poetry.
Kimberly Lyons Biography
Kimberly Lyons is the author of the poetry collections Approximately Near (Metambesendotorg, 2016), Calcinatio (Faux Press, 2014), Rouge (Instance Press, 2013), The Practice of Residue (Subpress, 2012), Phototherapique (Ketalanche Press/Yo Yo Labs, 2007), Saline (Instance Press, 2005) and Abracadabra (Granary Books, 2000). Her chapbooks and chaplets include Asterisk 12 (fewer and further Press, 2011), Soonest Mended (Belladonna*, 2015), and From Restorative Analects (Envelope #9). Her poems have appeared in The Doris, New American Writing, Pallaksch Pallaksch, Vanitas, Peaches and Bats, the Poetry Project Newsletter, Eoagh, Bone Bouquet, Ladowich, The Hat, Zen Monster, and Unarmed.
Lyons grew up in Chicago and participated in the Urban Gateways poetry workshop for high school students, which afforded Lyons and other students in the program to read with Gwendolyn Brooks. Lyons attended Columbia College where she studied poetry with Paul Hoover, and Bard College where she studied with Robert Kelly. She moved into the NYC’s East Village in the early 1980s, where she was a part of the poetry community at the Poetry Project, the Ear Inn, Biblios Bookstore, the Zinc Bar, and the Bowery Poetry Club. She assisted Mitch Highfill with his press Prospect Books; a series of perhaps the last poetry books printed on a mimeo machine.
Lyons served as the program coordinator at the Poetry Project from 1987 to 1991. Her essays on poets Bernadette Mayer, Joe Ceravalo, and George Quasha have been published in Aufgabe, Jacket 2, and Talisman. She has co-organized all day conferences on the poetics of Robert Kelly, Basil King, and George Quasha at Anthology Film Archives. Lyons worked in publishing and as a social worker since 1993. She now lives in Chicago where she publishes Lunar Chandelier Press.
PROGRAM #: PN 1710
RELEASE DATE: Monday, August 28, 2017 Eileen R. Tabios - “Mom Betty Addresses the Nature of Proportion”
In the voice of her mother, Eileen Tabios reflects on the accomplishments and tragedies of her mother’s children.
Eileen R. Tabios Biography
Poet and writer Eileen Tabios (b.1960) was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States when she was 10. She earned a BA in political science from Barnard College and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Founder and editor of the online poetry review journal GALATEA RESURRECTS (A POETRY ENGAGEMENT), Tabios has authored essays, fiction, and collections of mixed-genre writing. Her collections of poetry include Beyond Life Sentences: Poems (1998), Ecstatic Mutations: Experiments in the Poetry Laboratory (2000), Reproductions of the Empty Flagpole (2002), and Footnotes to Algebra: Uncollected Poems 1995–2009 (2009).
Her mixed-genre works include I Take Thee,English, for My Beloved (2005); the political and semiautobiographical The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes: Our Autobiography (2007), which deals with her father’s life; and The Blind Chatelaine’s Keys: Her Biography through Your Poetics (2008), a biography of Tabios based on other writers’ critiques of her work (the title references her blogging name, Chatelaine).
Tabios invented the “hay(na)ku,” a poetic form in which the first line contains one word, the second line contains two words, and the third line contains three words, for a total of six words. Often considered an experimental writer, Tabios discussed what she terms her “abstract poetry” in an interview with Purvi Shah, editor of the Asian Pacific American Journal: “In poetry, I try to create an emotion that transcends the dictionary sense of what words mean or what they typically evoke in the current cultural context. There are words that are beautiful outside their meaning, like azure or jasmine or cobalt.… For me, this is partly the place of abstract poetry, in addition to what’s happening in that space between, words, lines, sentences and paragraphs.”
Tabios is the author of the short-story collection Behind the Blue Canvas (2004). She co-edited the anthology Babaylan: An Anthology of Filipina and Filipina American Writers (2000) with the poet Nick Carbo.
Tabios has received many awards and commendations for her work, including the PEN Open Book Award, the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, the PEN Oakland–Josephine Miles National Literary Award, the Philippines’ Manila Critics Circle National Book Award for Poetry, and a Witter Bynner Poetry Grant.
RELEASE DATE: Monday, September 4, 2017 Kiki Petrosino - “Nursery”
Kiki Petrosino imagines an escape from a fairy house.
Kiki Petrosino Biography
Poet Kiki Petrosino was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of an African American mother and an Italian American father. She earned a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of Fort Red Border (2009), Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013), and Witch Wife (2017).
Fort Red Border—the title is an anagram of “Robert Redford”—addresses love, intimacy, food, race, and contemporary culture. The first section of the book is a series of imaginative lyrics spoken by a woman engaged in a relationship with Robert Redford. In a Rain Taxi conversation, Haines Easton commented: “Petrosino’s speaker seeks to untangle sense, to make sense, to perceive and revel in sense—and seeks to do so free of the trappings of an at-large, hegemonic culture intent on bending her impulses to its will.”
Petrosino spent two years teaching English and Italian at a private school in Switzerland. She co-edits Transom and currently teaches at the University of Louisville.
PROGRAM #: PN 1712
Gerard Malanga responds to the poaching and endangerment of elephants.
Gerard Malanga Biography
Poet and photographer Gerard Malanga (b.1943), the son of Italian immigrants, was raised in the Bronx borough of New York City. Malanga began writing poetry as a teenager, and has published numerous books of poetry, including chic death (1971), Mythologies of the Heart (1996), and No Respect: New And Selected Poems 1964-2000 (2001). Influenced by poets Paul Blackburn, Charles Olson and Charles Simic, Malanga’s expansive, free-verse poetry often engages themes of perception and intimacy. As he notes in a 2002 interview with Richard Marshall for 3am Magazine, “I've always thought of poetry as an introverted process whereas photography has always been an extroverted process. But they both involve the eye to a certain extent -- both the inner eye and the outer eye.”
Malanga was the chief assistant for artist Andy Warhol in the mid-1960s, with whom he founded the magazine Interview in 1969. Malanga was also featured in several of Warhol’s films, collaborated with Warhol on his “Screen Tests” project, and was a member of Warhol’s cross-genre undertaking, “The Exploding Plastic Inevitable.”
Malanga has also published the photography books Good Girls (1994) and Resistance to Memory (1998). He served as the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation’s first photo archivist, and edited a study on the link between photography and voyeurism, Scopophilia: The Love of Looking (1985). With Victor Bockris, Malanga co-authored Up-Tight: The Velvet Underground Story (2003).
He lives in New York City.
Ocean Vuong remembers Tamir Rice, the 12-year old boy killed by police in Cleveland, OH in 2014.
Ocean Vuong Biography
Born in Saigon, poet and editor Ocean Vuong was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned a BFA at Brooklyn College (CUNY). In his poems, he often explores transformation, desire, and violent loss. In a 2013 interview with Edward J. Rathke, Vuong discussed the relationship between form and content in his work, noting that “Besides being a vehicle for the poem’s movement, I see form as … an extension of the poem’s content, a space where tensions can be investigated even further. The way the poem moves through space, its enjambment or end-stopped line breaks, its utterances and stutters, all work in tangent with the poem’s conceit.” Acknowledging the ever-increasing number of possible directions each new turn in a poem creates, Vuong continued, “I think the strongest poems allow themselves to collapse completely before even suggesting resurrection or closure, and a manipulation of form can add another dimension to that collapse.”
Vuong is the author of the poetry collections Night Sky With Exit Wounds (2016) and the chapbooks No (2013) and Burnings (2010), which was an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association. His work has been translated into Hindi, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. His honors include fellowships from the Elizabeth George Foundation, Poets House, Kundiman, and the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize, an American Poetry Review Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets, a Pushcart Prize, and a Beloit Poetry Journal Chad Walsh Poetry Prize.
In 2014, Vuong was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He received a Whiting Award in 2016. He lives in Queens, New York, where he serves as managing editor for Thrush Press.