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Join us in welcoming two of our favorite poets, Elizabeth Spires and Michael Collier, to the Ivy Bookshop for a reading and discussion.
In A Memory of the Future, critically acclaimed poet Elizabeth Spires reflects on selfhood and the search for a core identity. Inspired by the tradition of poetic interest in Zen, Spires explores the noisy space of the mind, interrogating the necessary divide between the social persona that navigates the world and the artist’s secret self. With vivid, careful attention to the minute details of everyday moments, A Memory of the Future observes, questions, and meditates on the ordinary, attempting to make sense of the boundaries of existence.
A critically acclaimed poet and children's book author, Elizabeth Spires lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. She won a 1996 Whiting Award for her volume Worldling and has been praised for her poems that use quotidian moments to ruminate upon universal themes such as happiness, mortality, travel, parent-child bonding, and life stages. Her books for children include With One White Wing, Riddle Road: Puzzles in Poems and Pictures, and The Mouse of Amherst.
Michael Collier’s new collection, My Bishop and Other Poems, will take you back to moments when you’ve feigned courage to make a friend, feigned forgiveness to keep one, or feigned indifference to simply stay out of it. What does it mean for our intimacies to fail us when we need them most?
The poems of this collection explore such everyday dualities—how the human need for attachment is as much a source of pain as of vitality and how our longing for transcendence often leads to sinister complicities. Whether Michael Collier is writing about an airline disaster, Huey Newton’s trial, Thomas Jefferson’s bees, a piano in the woods, or his own fraught friendship with a disgraced Catholic bishop, his syntactic verve, scrupulously observed detail, and flawless ear bring the felt—and sometimes frightening—dimensions of the mundane to life. Throughout, this collection pursues a quiet but ferocious need to get to the bottom of things.
Michael Collier was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1953. He studied with William Meredith as an undergraduate at Connecticut College, and earned his MFA at the University of Arizona. Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2001-2004, Collier is also the director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Maryland. His books of poetry include The Clasp and Other Poems, The Folded Heart, The Neighbor, The Ledge, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Dark Wild Realm.
TIME & DATE
Friday, September 7, 2018 - 7:00pm