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'Poets ReWriting Race:' Jake Adam York

Release date: March 23, 2012

Poet Jake Adam York will give a reading and talk titled "Re/mix: Blue-Shifting Writing Race; or: An Improvisation on Relation; or: Improvised Relations; or: Relative Improvisations" on Friday, March 23, at 4:30 p.m. in the Batza Room of Goucher College's Athenaeum.  

The event is free and open to the public and is part of a two-part series titled "Poets ReWriting Race." For more information, contact Ailish Hopper Meisner, instructor of peace studies and English, at ameisner@goucher.edu or 410-337-6375.

York will read a sampling of his newest poems, which he then will contextualize with remarks and riffs on the Caribbean poet/novelist Edouard Glissant's Poetics of Relation. York's presentation stems from his work this year as a visiting faculty fellow at Emory University's James Weldon Johnson Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, where he is working on a book about images and ideas of the civil rights movement in contemporary art, music, and literature.

York is the author of three books of poems—Murder Ballads (2005), which won the Elixir Press Awards Judge's Prize; A Murmuration of Starlings, which won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Award (2008); and Persons Unknown, an editor's selection in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry (2010). Persons Unknown is a continuation of the poetry collection A Murmuration of Starlings, which is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the civil rights movement. In Persons Unknown, York draws on photographs, articles, legal documents, and other cultural artifacts to weave history and memory into a lyrical tribute for often-overlooked victims of the struggle for civil rights.

He is also the author of The Architecture of Address: The Monument and Public Speech in American Poetry, a book of literary history that examines the relationship between memorial practice, spatial codes, and political vision in American poetry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

York's poems have appeared in Anti-, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, DIAGRAM, Diode, Greensboro Review, New South, Northwest Review, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Southern Spaces, Third Coast, and other journals.

Originally from Alabama, York is an associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Colorado Denver.

This event is sponsored by Goucher's Peace Studies Program, the Kratz Center for Creative Writing, and the Isabelle Kellogg Thomas Lectureship in English Fund.

Also as part of the "Poets ReWriting Race" events series, Martha Collins and Dawn Lundy Martin will read from their recent work on Tuesday, March 27, at 7 p.m., in the Pinkard Room of the Athenaeum. Collins is the author of White Papers and Blue Front, four earlier collections of poems, two books of co-translations from the Vietnamese, and two chapbooks. Martin is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering and Discipline, which won the Cave Canem and Nightboat prizes, respectively, as well as a chapbook, The Morning Hour, which won the chapbook prize from the Poetry Society of America. After both poets read, there will be a book signing and Q&A.