The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
David Biespiel, Brenda Shaughnessy, KMA Sullivan, Crystal Contreras
Three new poetry collections that confront our modern times by looking at once to the past and to the future, of the world, nation and the self. A rejection of imposed identity and reclamation of self; imagining a heartbreaking, terrifying future that is an elegy for the present; and a celebration of the importance of human memory as well as forgetting. A single poetry sequence, David Biespiel’s Republic Café details of the experience of lovers in Portland, Oregon, on the eve and days following September 11, 2001; a meditation on love in a time of violence, and a tally of what appears and disappears in every moment. Brenda Shaughnessy’s The Octopus Museum is a collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poems that imagine what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. In her second collection, Included to Riot, KMA Sullivan offers lyric, fluid, sensual images as the poet walks through art galleries across the United States and Europe responding to classical and contemporary art, resisting the silencing and erasure of women as anything other than mother, daughter, compliant lover. Moderated by the Willamette Week’s Crystal Contreras.
Presented by the 2019 Portland Book Festival.