Brookline Booksmith's Transnational Literature Series: Éireann Lorsung with Khaled Mattawa & Valzhyna Mort

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 7:00pm
Brookline Booksmith
N/A
Brookline, MA 02446
United States

VIRTUAL EVENT

Join Brookline Booksmith's Transnational Literature Series for an evening of poetry, featuring Éireann Lorsung, author of The Century, Valzhyna Mort, and Khaled Mattawa. This event will take place virtually on Zoom at 7pm ET and is free to attend, but registration is required. Register here

About the books and authors:

Éireann Lorsung is the author of two previous collections of poems: Her book and Music for Landing Planes By. She received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 2016. Since completing an MFA at the University of Minnesota, Lorsung has studied printmaking and drawing at Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice and taught high school in rural France. While living in Belgium, she ran a micropress called MIEL Books and a residency space called Dickinson House for writers and artists. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine, Farmington.

In the tradition of witness poetry, The Century tugs apart the quotidian horrors required to perpetuate acts of violence and its lingering aftermath. When Lorsung writes of death and dying it’s the simplicity that’s most haunting. But these poems don’t just witness; they also resist and serve as models for resistant lives. Pushing back against form and grammar, constructions of time and geography, Lorsung traces decades of technological, geopolitical, and cultural shifts through generations and across continents as networks of dominance continue to be stubbornly upheld.

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Valzhyna Mort is the author of Factory of Tears and Collected Body. She has received the Lannan Foundation Fellowship, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, the Amy Clampitt Residency, the Gulf Coast Prize in Translation, and the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award. Born in Minsk, Belarus, she writes in English and Belarusian. 

In Music for the Dead and Resurrected, Valzhyna Mort asks how we mourn after a century of silence and propaganda. How do we remember our history and sing after being silenced? Mort draws on intimate and paradoxical first-hand accounts of a past grandparent generation of the Soviet labor camps, redistribution of land, and massacres of World War II in Belarus. As her country is being run by a dictator, the poet creates a ceremony of myth making for the erased history and family. 

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Khaled Mattawa is the author of five collections of poetry. A MacArthur Fellow, Mattawa teaches at the University of Michigan. 

Fugitive Atlas is a sweeping, impassioned account of refugee crises, military occupations, and ecological degradation, an acute and probing journey through a world in upheaval. Khaled Mattawa’s chorus of speakers finds moments of profound solace in searching for those lost—in elegy and prayer—even when the power of poetry and faith seems incapable of providing salvation. With extraordinary formal virtuosity and global scope, these poems turn not to lament for those regions charted as theaters of exploitation and environmental malpractice but to a poignant amplification of the lives, dreams, and families that exist within them.