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Please join us in welcoming Alicia Jo Rabins to the Ivy, where she will be joined by fellow poets James Arthur and Ailish Hopper. In Alicia Jo Rabins' second collection, Fruit Geode, the terrifying power of maternal love coexists with sorrow for the loss of one's younger self. In lyrical, unflinching poems, Rabins investigates the passages of pregnancy, birth, and early infancy through a constellation of ancient and modern experience: Sumerian storm demons, astronauts, herbal medicine, Neanderthal DNA, Jewish mysticism, climate change. In tracing the ritual mysteries of motherhood, Fruit Geode examines what it means to be transformed, to leave behind our certainties and walk into the unknown. "I regard my former life / With a distant affection, / As an astronaut / Looks through a porthole / At the small green planet / Where she used to live," writes Rabins. This is a book about what it means to live in a human body, how love changes us, and what we pass on from one generation to the next.
Alicia Jo Rabins is a writer, musician, composer, performer and Torah teacher. Her work explores the intersection of ancient wisdom texts with everyday life.
Divinity School, Rabins’ first collection of poetry, won the 2015 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Rabins is the creator and performer of Girls in Trouble, an indie-folk song cycle about the complicated lives of Biblical women, and A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, a chamber-rock opera about the intersection of finance and spirituality, which is currently being made into a feature film.
Rabins is also a coffee drinker, plant lover, DIY bar/bat mitzvah tutor, and ritualist. She tours internationally as a violinist, singer and performer from her home base in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two kids. You can call her Alicia.
James Arthur is a Canadian-American poet and the author of The Suicide’s Son (Véhicule Press 2019), the chapbook Hundred Acre Wood (Anstruther Press 2018), and Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon Press, 2012.) His poems have also appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, The American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and The London Review of Books. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a Visiting Fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. Arthur lives in Baltimore, where he teaches in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.
Ailish Hopper is the author of Dark~Sky Society (2014), selected by David St. John as runner up for the New Issues prize, and the chapbook Bird in the Head (2005), selected by Jean Valentine for the Center for Book Arts Prize. Individual poems have appeared in Agni, APR, Blackbird, Harvard Review Online, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tidal Basin Review, and other places. In addition to page poetry, she performed with the band Heroes are Gang Leaders, and her essays on art and literature that deal with race have appeared in Boston Review, The Volta, and the anthology, A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race, as well as other places.
She has received support from the Baltimore Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, Maryland State Arts Council, and Yaddo. She teaches in the Creative Writing and Peace Studies programs at Goucher College.
TIME & DATE
Sunday, November 25, 2018 - 5:00pm