Joy Passanante, Through a Long Absence

Joy Passanante launches her new book, the saga of a wartime medical unit, a passionate long-distance love, the making of a surgeon, and first-generation American Italian and Jewish families. More than just a World War II story, Through a Long Absence delves into one man’s past to explore his personal wars: a stint as a child bootlegger, a marriage between newlyweds separated by continents and strained by years apart, and his struggle late in life with his own mind.

2017: Harry Clifton & Alissa Valles: A Reading & Conversation

Irish poet Harry Clifton, author of Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004 and winner of the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, and poet and translator Alissa Valles, author of Orphan Fire and recipient of a Poetry Foundation Ruth Lily Poetry Fellowship, explore the boundaries of language against a backdrop of their personal and national pasts.

2017: Passwords: Sholeh Wolpé on Attar

Written in Persia in the 12th century, The Conference of the Birds by Attar remains a central work in the history of literature, in which the birds of the world have gathered in search of their ideal king. In celebration of her new translation, award-winning poet Sholeh Wolpé takes audiences on a journey through the soul’s search for meaning as she rediscovers the light of Attar, considered by Rumi to be the master of Sufi mystic poetry.

2017: Stand Up: Poetry, Richard Pryor, and Institutional Racism in the Arts with Cathy Park Hong

Using Richard Pryor as a model, New Republic Poetry Editor and Guggenheim Poetry Fellow Cathy Park Hong examines racial conventions in contemporary poetry and fiction and the ways they need to be changed, both on the page and institutionally.

2017: Huddled Masses: Alicia Ostriker on Immigration

Award-winning poet and critic Alicia Ostriker examines the links between poetry and America’s origins as a nation of immigrants and as a beacon of equality, intended to be open and welcoming to all.

2017: Passwords: Margaret Randall on Cuban Poetry

Feminist poet, photographer, and social activist Margaret Randall takes audiences on a linguistic journey through Cuba. Editor of Only the Road ⁄ Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, the most complete bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry available to an English readership, Randall explores Cuban culture and landscape through its poetry and her own photographic documentation.

2017: Canadian Mosaic: A Reading and Conversation

Canada’s foremost poets Colin Browne, Daphne Marlatt, and former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah read from their work, exemplifying the contemporary landscape of Canadian poetry. Poets share insight into how their diverse backgrounds as filmmakers, novelists, and scholars inform their own poetics and contribute to the diverse tapestry of Canadian literature. Moderated by Paolo Javier.

2017: Passwords: Brad Gooch on Rumi

Poet, novelist, and biographer Brad Gooch discusses the life and work of Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi. Author of the new biography Rumi’s Secret, Gooch unearths the mystery behind the legendary poet and his devotion to a “religion of love.” Gooch will read Rumi’s poems, along with his co-translator Maryam Mortaz. Join Gooch and Mortaz as they decode the life of one of the most enigmatic poets of the last eight centuries.

2016: New Literature from Europe - Poetry in Motion

Join us for an intimate discussion about the art of poetry, featuring four very different poetic voices from Europe – Elena Alexieva 
from Bulgaria and the author of Ladder on the Heart and Face of Killer Angel; Ann Cotten whose poetry plays with perspective, an intrinsic part of her poetic process; Immanuel Mifsud who sees similarities between the way his own life is evolving and that of a fish in an aquarium; and Krisztina Tóth whose poetry deals in an emphatic, reflected and sometimes ironic way with ev

2016: Beyond Bhakti: Contemporary Spiritual Poetics Across Europe and The Americas

Join us for a reading and discussion of devotional poetry gleaned across expanses of time and geography with Ravi Shankar, Drunken Boat’s founding editor. Clare Cavanagh reads new work and discusses the articulation of spirit in the Eastern European tradition and the role translation plays. Ellen Doré Watson reads and discusses her translations of the Brazilian poet Adélia Prado. Patty Crane discusses the mysticism at the edges of poet Tomas Tranströmer’s work.

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