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May 22 2018

#PoetryNearYou Pick of the Week: A Reading by Lyn Hejinian

Join acclaimed poet, essayist, teacher, and translator Lyn Hejinian as she reads from her work at the Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Cambridge, MA, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 7 p.m.

Lyn Hejinian is the co-director (with Travis Ortiz) of Atelos, a literary project commissioning and publishing cross-genre work by poets. Her academic work is addressed principally to modernist, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, with a particular interest in avant-garde movements and the social practices they entail. In addition to her literary and academic work, she has in recent years been involved in anti-privatization activism at the University of California, Berkeley, where she serves as the John F. Hotchkis Professor of English.
Hejinian's The Unfollowing (Omnidawn, 2016) is a sequence of elegies, mourning public as well as personal loss. The grief is not coherent. Though the poems are each fourteen lines long, they are not sonnets but anti-sonnets. They are composed entirely of non-sequiturs, with the intention of demonstrating, if not achieving, a refusal to follow aesthetic proprieties, and a rejection of the logic of mortality and of capitalism. As the author sees it, outrage, hilarity, anxiety, and ribaldry are not easily separated in the play of human emotions. And they are all, and sometimes equally, the proper, anarchic medium for staying alive.
Grolier Poetry Book Shop
6 Plympton St
02138 Cambridge, Massachusetts
May 21 2018

April Gibson & Nikki Wallschlaeger

April Gibson is a poet, essayist, and educator whose work has appeared in Pluck!, Valley Voices, Tidal Basin, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She is a fellow of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, The Watering Hole Poetry Retreat, and a VONA/Voices Writing Workshop alum. Her chapbook, Automation (2015), was published by Willow Books as part of their emerging writer series. Her current project is a full-length poetry collection titled The Black Woman Press Conference.
Nikki Wallschlaeger is the author of the full-length collections Crawlspace (Bloof Books, 2017) and Houses (Horseless Press, 2015), as well as the graphic chapbook I Hate Telling You How I Really Feel from Bloof Books (2016). Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in the Brooklyn Rail, LIT, jubilat, Apogee, Georgia Review, Witness, Denver Quarterly, Spoon River Review, and others. She was an editor for Bettering American Poetry Anthology 2015, a project promoting the work of marginalized writers. She lives in Wisconsin.
Admission fee: $8.00
The Poetry Project
131 E 10th Street
10003 New York, New York
May 22 2018

Jenny Xie

Reading from award-winning poetry collection Eye Level

Published by Graywolf Press

Winner of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera

City Lights Books
261 Columbus Ave.
94133 San Francisco, California
May 23 2018

May U35

U35 is a bi-monthly reading series for poets under 35, held once each January, March, May, July, September, and November. The series seeks to promote and bolster Massachusetts poets under 35 while giving them a venue to share their work and connect with other poets under 35. If you are a poet under the age of 35, sign up to read! U35 ran for four years under its founder Daniel Evans Pritchard, before Mass Poetry adopted the series in May 2014.
7:00pm to 8:30pm
Newsfeed Cafe
700 Boylston St.
Boston Public Library
02116 Boston, Massachusetts
May 23 2018

Anne Boyer & Gail Scott

Anne Boyer is the inaugural winner of the Cy Twombly Award for Poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2018). Her most recent book is A Handbook of Disappointed Fate (UDP 2018), a collection of essays and fables. Boyer’s other books include The Romance of Happy Workers (Coffee House 2008), My Common Heart (Spooky Girlfriend 2011), and the 2016 CLMP Firecracker award-winning Garments Against Women (U.S., Ahsahta 2015; U.K, Mute 2016). Boyer is now in the final stages of a book called The Undying, forthcoming from FSG in August 2019. She lives in Kansas City, where she is a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Gail Scott is an experimental prose writer. Her goal is to write sentences which have the function of poetry. She is the author of the novels The Obituary (Coach House/Nightboat), and My Paris (Dalkey Archive), among others. She is completing a work called Furniture Music, in part an ode to the downtown Manhattan poetry scene. She has taught Creative Writing for a decade at Universite de Montreal and has also worked as a literary translator.
Admission fee: $8.00
The Poetry Project
131 E 10th Street
10003 New York, New York



Their language rolls out,
soft carpet in front of them.
Strolling slowly beneath trees,
men in white shirts,
belts, baggy trousers,
women in scarves,
glinting cigarettes in the dusk.
What they left to be here, in the cold country,
where winter lasts forever,
haunts them


Death chase me down
death’s way
uproot a breast
infest the lymph nodes
crack a femur
rip morale
to shreds

Death chase me down
death’s way
tilt me off-kilter
crutch me slow
nobody show me
you make a cup of coffee
with no hands


I smashed a hot dog into her face
because she refused to pass
the catsup because ... I forget why.
So she ran after me and shook me
then took the seven dollars and my keys
and her card and went out to the movies
and I took out my butcher knife
and slammed it on her table and made
four dents in it and then threw