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Jan 19 2018

#PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week: Reasons for Smoking by Xandria Phillips

Come celebrate the release of the new chapbook, Reasons for Smoking, by poet Xandria Phillips on January 19, 2018, 7:30 p.m., at Women & Children First in Chicago, IL. Reasons for Smoking is the winner of the the Seattle Review’s 2016 Chapbook contest, which was judged by Claudia Rankine. Rankine said of Phillips’ work, “The poems in Reasons for Smoking articulate how living, touching, noticing, speaking, and remembering are necessary and subversive acts.” For this event, Xandria will be joined by Chekwube Danladi.
 
Xandria Phillips is a poet who hails from rural Ohio but currently lives in Chicago. Xandria received her BA from Oberlin College, where she studied creative writing and Africana Studies. She has received fellowships from Cave Canem and Callaloo. Xandria’s poetry is present or forthcoming in Callaloo, Transition, Nepantla, and elsewhere.
 
Chekwube O. Danladi was born in Lagos, Nigeria and raised in Washington DC and West Baltimore. Their chapbook, Take Me Back, was recently included as part of the New-Generation African Poets: Nne. They have received support from Callaloo, Kimbilio, the Vermont Studio Center, and Hedgebrook, and their work has been nominated for a Pushcart. They are currently at work on a novel about queers living in Abuja, Nigeria. They live in Urbana, Illinois.
 
 

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7:30pm
Women & Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago, Illinois
Jan 18 2018

A Poetry Reading by Simone White

Simone White is the author of Dear Angel of Death (coming later this year from Ugly Duckling Presse), Of Being Dispersed, and House of Envy of All the World, the poetry chapbook, Unrest, and the collaborative poem/painting chapbook, Dolly, with Kim Thomas. Her poetry and prose have been featured in NYTimes Book Review, Harper's Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Chicago Review, and Harriet: The Blog. In 2017, she received the Whiting Award for poetry. She works as Program Director at The Poetry Project and, this spring, is Visiting Associate Professor of Creative Writing at The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

6:30pm
Kelly Writers House
3805 Locust Walk
19104 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 18 2018

A Celebration of Derek Walcott

With Hilton Als, Carolyn Forche, Lorna Goodison, Jamaica Kincaid, Yusef Komunyakaa, Glyn Maxwell, Caryl Phillips, and more.

“What better way is there to memorialize a writer than to read what he has written and remember who he was in all those worlds of words he was brave and confident enough to imagine in the first place?” These words from Hilton Als’s remembrance of Derek Walcott, who died earlier this year, inspire this tribute to the poet, hailed “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision” when awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992.
 
Co-presented by the Academy of American Poets, Cave Canem Foundation, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Poets House and the Poetry Society of America.
 
 
Admission fee: $22.00
7:30pm
Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Ave
10128
Jan 18 2018

Poetry Flash Presents Chris Olander & Kim Shuck

Poetry Flash presents a poetry reading by Chris Olander, author of River Light, and San Francisco Poet Laureate Kim Shuck, author of Sidewalk NDN.

Chris Olander's debut book of poems is River Light. Kirk Lumpkin says, "What has always impressed me about Chris Olander's poetry is how present, how kinetically alive the energies of Nature (birds, oaks, rivers, etc.) are in it and of how the words dance in the breath and sinew of it." Chris Olander is a performance poet, teacher, and naturalist, and a California Poets in the Schools poet-teacher and Poetry Out Loud coach. 
 
Kim Shuck is the current Poet Laureate of San Francisco. Her latest publication is the chapbook Sidewalk NDN. Her other books include the books of poems Smuggling Cherokee, for which she won the Diane Decorah first book award by the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, Clouds Running In, and the prose work Rabbit Stories.
 
7:30pm
Moe's Books
2476 Telegraph Ave
94704 Berkeley, California
Jan 19 2018

Maggie Smith at the Piper Writers House

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for an evening with poet Maggie Smith on Friday, January 19th, 2017 at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281) at 7 pm. Smith will be reading from her latest collection Good Bones, whose title piece was named the Official Poem of 2016 by Public Radio International. An informal q&a and book signing will follow the reading. This event is open to the public and free. 
 
About the Book
 
The title poem of Good Bones went viral internationally after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and the murder of MP Jo Cox in England. To date the poem has touched more than a million readers and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Bengali, Korean, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. It was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio International, but the poem has continued to be shared widely around the world in these tumultuous times. In April 2017 “Good Bones” was featured on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary—in an episode also called “Good Bones”—and Meryl Streep read the poem at the 2017 Academy of American Poets gala at Lincoln Center. The Telegraph (London) wrote that the poem is “a beautiful elegy for an imperfect world marked by tragedy, exploring the difficulty of finding positivity in the face of suffering…. The poem is a call for us all to improve the world, even if it might just this moment seem beyond repair.” 
 
Good Bones is Maggie Smith’s most intimate and direct book yet. Smith writes out of the experience of motherhood, inspired by watching her own children read the world like a book they’ve just opened, knowing nothing of the characters or plot. These are poems that have a sense of moral gravitas and personal urgency, poems that stare down darkness while cultivating and sustaining possibility. Ada Limón writes, “Truthful, tender, and unafraid of the dark, the poems in Good Bones are lyrically charged love letters to a world in desperate need of her generous eye.”
 
About the Author
 
Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, Fall 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Lamp of the Body won the 2003 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison won the 2012 Dorset Prize, selected by Kimiko Hahn, and the 2016 Gold Medal in Poetry for the Independent Publishers Book Awards.
 
 
7:00pm
Piper Writers House
450 E Tyler Mall
85281 Tempe, Arizona

poems

poem

Prison is the sinner’s bouquet, house of shredded & torn
               Dear John letters, upended grave of names, moon
               Black kiss of a pistol’s flat side, time blueborn
& threaded into a curse, Lazarus of hustlers, the picayune
Spinning into beatdowns; breath of a thief

poem
How about an oak leaf
if you had to be a leaf?
Suppose you had your life to live over
knowing what you know?
Suppose you had plenty money

"Get away from me you little fool."

Evening of a day in early March,
you are like the smell of drains
in a restaurant where paté maison
is a slab of cold meat loaf
damp and
poem
No one says it 
anymore, my darling, 
not to the green leaves 
in March, not to the stars 
backing up each night, certainly 
not in the nest
of rapture, who 
in the beginning was 
an owl, rustling 
just after silence, whose 
very presence drew 
a mob of birds--flickers, 
finches, chickadees, five