Join poets Lindsay Bernal and GennaRose Nethercott, both winners of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition, and poet and translator Will Schutt, as they read from their award-winning, newly-published poetry collections.
Lindsay will present poems from her first collection, What It Doesn’t Have to Do With, selected by Paul Guest, while GennaRose will read from her first collection, The Lumberjack’s Dove, selected by Louise Glück. Will Schutt is the author of Westerly, selected by Carl Phillips as the 2012 winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize. His new book of poetry in translation is My Life, I Lapped It Up: Selected Poems of Edoardo Sanguineti.
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.
In the ingenious and vividly imagined narrative poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, GennaRose Nethercott describes a lumberjack who cuts his hand off with an axe—however, instead of merely being severed, the hand shapeshifts into a dove. Far from representing just an event of pain and loss in the body, this incident spirals outward to explore countless facets of being human, prompting profound reflections on sacrifice and longing, time and memory, and—finally—considering the act of storytelling itself. The lumberjack, his hand, and the axe that separated the two all become participants in the story, with unique perspectives to share and lessons to impart. Inflected with the uncanny enchantment of modern folklore and animated by the sly shifting of points-of-view, The Lumberjack’s Doveis wise, richly textured poetry from a boundlessly creative new voice.
Will Schutt presents the first comprehensive English translation of one of postwar Italy’s most important poets. My Life, I Lapped It Up reveals Sanguineti’s innovative contribution to Italian poetry, featuring work from his mid- and late career. This period contains his most psychologically probing poems, which tend to be open to personal experience while retaining the wordplay and formal dexterity of his earlier work.
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.
GennaRose Nethercott’s book The Lumberjack’s Dove was selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series for 2017. She is also the lyricist behind the narrative song collection Modern Ballads, and is a Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals and anthologies including The Massachusetts Review, The Offing, and PANK, and she has been a writer-in-residence at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore, Art Farm Nebraska, and The Vermont Studio Center, among others. A born Vermonter, she tours nationally and internationally composing poems-to-order for strangers on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter. She can be found at www.gennarosenethercott.com
Will Schutt is the author of Westerly, selected for the 2012 Yale Series of Younger Poets, and translator, most recently, of My Life, I Lapped It Up: Selected Poems of Edoardo Sanguineti (Oberlin College Press, 2018). He is the recipient of many awards, including an Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, the Reginald S. Tickner Fellowship, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/America. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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