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Event Details

Mason Jar Press poetry reading: celeste doaks, Tafisha Edwards, Matthew Falk and Stephen Zerance

The Ivy Bookshop

An evening of poetry from Mason Jar Press, an independent press based in Baltimore, specializing in handmade, limited edition chapbooks and full-length publications by both established and emerging writers. Mason Jar is dedicated to finding new and exciting work by writers that push the bounds of literary norms. Readers will be celeste doaks and Tafisha Edwards (Not Without Our Laughter), Matthew Falk (Nihilist Kitsch) and Stephen Zerance (Caligula's Playhouse).

The Black Ladies Brunch Collective’s Poetry Anthology, Not Without Our Laughter, (Mason Jar Press, 2017) is a collection of humorous and joyful poems, riffing on Langston Hughes’s novel Not Without Laughter. It explores topics of family, work, love and sexuality. The women of BLBC believe that, like Hughes, even in these currently tense racial times, laughter and the celebration of life is crucial. Historically, it is what African Americans have done and will continue to do, no matter what challenges face them.

Poet and journalist celeste doaks is the author of Cornrows and Cornfields, and most recently the editor of, and contributor in, Not Without Our Laughter. Cornrows was listed as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2015” by Beltway Poetry Quarterly. Her poems have appeared in numerous on-line and print journals such as Chicago Quarterly Review, Asheville Poetry Review, and The Rumpus. Doaks is the recipient of a 2017 Rubys Grant in Literary Arts and is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Delaware. For more visit www.doaksgirl.com

Tafisha Edwards is the author of The Bloodlet, winner of Phantom Books’ 2016 Breitling Chapbook Prize. Her work is also featured in: Not Without Our Laughter: Poems of Humor, Sexuality, and Joy by the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. You can find more of her work in The Offing, PHANTOM, Bodega Magazine, The Atlas Review, The Little Patuxent Review, and other print and online publications. She currently serves as the Assistant Poetry Editor for Gigantic Sequins, and is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Jiminéz-Porter Writers’ House. She is a Cave Canem Graduate fellow and a former educator with the American Poetry Museum. She has received a Zoland Poetry Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and in addition to scholarships to The Juniper Summer Writing Institute, The Minnesota Northwoods Writers’ Conference and other writing workshops and conferences. She is currently writing her first full length collection of poetry, RIOT / ACT.

Deliberately lacking a cohesive theme or grand design, Matthew Falk’s Nihilist Kitsch instead functions as an artifact of certain points in time. It is his “out-takes and b-sides” of familial, societal and personal introspection and stillness. Born in Wisconsin in the 1970s, Matthew Falk has lived in Baltimore since 2010. He is a musician, editor, college writing instructor, armchair phenomenologist, and cat person.

In Stephen Zerance’s Caligula’s Playhouse, sex and satyrs dominate a collection of poems dealing with the body. Zerance’s poems have appeared in West Branch, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Assaracus, and Knockout, among others. His first book, Safe Danger is out in June 2018. He has also been featured on the websites of Lambda Literary and Split This Rock. He received his MFA from American University, where he received the Myra Sklarew award. He lives in Baltimore.







Event Details

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 7:00pm


The Ivy Bookshop
6080 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut