When: February 16, 2021 @ 5:00 PM PST
Where: This is a virtual event: RSVP and attend here!
ABOUT THE BOOKS
The poems in Jennifer Knox’s darkly imaginative collection, Crushing It, unearth epiphanies in an unbounded landscape of forms, voices and subjects―from history to true crime to epidemiology―while exploring our tenuous connections and disconnections. From Merle Haggard lifting his head from a pile of cocaine to absurdist romps through an apocalypse where mushrooms learn to sing, this versatile collection is brimming with dark humor and bright surprise. Alongside Knox’s distinctive surrealism, Crushing It also reveals autobiography in poems about love, family, and adult ADHD, and Knox’s empathetic depictions of the ego’s need to assert its precious, singular “I” suggest that a self distinct from the hive, the herd, the flock, is an illusion. With clear-eyed spirit, Crushing It swallows all the world, and then some.
In Meg Johnson’s third full length collection, Without: Body, Name, Country, strange experiences become familiar and familiar experiences become strange as a human body, a sense of self, and an entire nation all teeter toward the verge of destruction. In daring poems and intimate flash nonfiction pieces, Johnson portrays a world that is corrupt yet full of possibilities. Sometimes frightening, sometimes funny, one woman’s struggles with health, identity, and politics reveal universal adversity, longing, and wildness. Reading this book is to climb “a spiral staircase in a tower full of fun house mirrors.” Without: Body, Name, Country is the book you didn’t know you needed.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Jennifer L. Knox is the author of four books of poems: Days of Shame & Failure (Bloof Books, 2015), The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway (Bloof, 2010), Drunk by Noon (Bloof, 2007), and A Gringo Like Me (Soft Skull Press, 2005, Bloof, 2007). Known for their dark, imaginative humor, her poems have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The American Poetry Review, Granta, McSweeney’s and four times in the Best American Poetry series. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Jennifer grew up in Lancaster, California—home to Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa, and the Space Shuttle. She studied film and glassblowing at Alfred University, then earned BA in English at the University of Iowa, where she attended the undergraduate Writer’s Workshop. She earned her MFA from New York University. Her honors include three Milwaukee Poetry Slam champion titles and an Iowa Arts Council Fellowship for her crowdsourced poetry project, Iowa Bird of Mouth. Jennifer lives in central Iowa, where teaches at Iowa State University and in a series of private poetry writing classes online.
Meg Johnson is the author of the books Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014), The Crimes of Clara Turlington (Vine Leaves Press, 2015), and Without: Body, Name, Country (Vine Leaves Press, 2020). Without: Body, Name, Country was nominated for the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards.
The Crimes of Clara Turlington won the 2015 Vignette Collection Award. Inappropriate Sleepover was the runner-up for the Rousseau Prize for Literature. Both books were also NewPages Editor's Picks.
Meg's poems have appeared in Hobart, Nashville Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Puritan, Sugar House Review, Verse Daily, and others. Her nonfiction has appeared in BUST, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project, and others.
When: Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6:00pm EST to 7:00pm EST
Where: Join vis Zoom https://tinyurl.com/y6zqdrcu (Attendance is limited to 100 people.)
Having one’s work labeled “experimental” comes with the stigma of being difficult, outlandish, or just plain unpleasant to read while ignoring the potential and innovation these works bring to the literary scene. On the contrary, so-called “commercial” works are often overlooked as cliché, dumbed-down, or lacking in artistic value despite the immense enjoyment they bring to millions of people. The dichotomy between commercial and experimental is ultimately limiting for writers in all genres, who all too often feel pressured to avoid these extremes.
These eight authors from Vine Leaves Press balance experimental and commercial elements in fiction and nonfiction to create work that both entertains and stimulates. How can writers innovate without alienating readers, and how can traditional narrative elements be revitalized to create unique works?
This online Zoom event features five-minute readings from eight prose writers:
A Q&A will follow as time allows. Attendance is limited to 100 people, and we hope to see you there.
Friday, March 5, 2021, 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM EST
As The Guardian reported in 2018, poetry is experiencing a revival throughout the English-speaking world, driven mostly by millennials. And yet, with a few notable exceptions like Rupi Kaur, the American poetry community is still mostly dominated by the same faces and names of the old guard. Moreover, much as it has been throughout its history, the poetic status quo remains cliquish and niche-oriented, whereas millennials themselves are the most egalitarian, most community-oriented generation yet to reach adulthood.
This SMOL online reading, sponsored by Vine Leaves Press, aims to help make American poetry more reflective of its growing readership by bringing together six millennial poets of various styles, backgrounds and geographical origins for a reading of their latest work and a discussion of where they think American poetry is headed. Readers/Panelists will include:
Statement of Merit:
It is often the case that conference readings/panels base themselves around similarities between poets, such as publisher, gender/sex, race, theoretical school, region, socio-economic class, etc. This has the benefit of giving a very acute view of certain corners of poetry, but that view can also be exclusionary in its narrowness. In contrast, this reading/panel will comprise poets who have little, ostensibly, in common except their age group and nationality but who, in true Millennial spirit, value each other’s work and poetry generally, with an eye toward providing their audience with an accurate overview of where American poetry is today. Though they are not all Vine Leaves Press authors, the six poets participating in this reading/panel have been brought together by the publisher in the service of providing a sampling of what’s next for American poetry as the Internet makes communication and collaboration across regions, genres and approaches ever stronger.
Phill Provance is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: SMOL Exclusive: Six Millennials from Across the U.S.
Time: Mar 5, 2021 09:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting: Click Here
Meeting ID: 926 1336 3208
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