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This event has been postponed, watch this space for a new date.
The Ivy is excited and delighted to welcome Ryan Black and Diana Khoi Nguyen for a wonderful evening of poetry.
Ryan Black's The Tenant of Fire is about Queens, NY—its history, public and personal, real and imagined. Many of the people who populate this book—Irish Catholics, Italian-Americans—were once considered ethnic but now fall wholly under the banner of white. And from their anxieties a man like Donald Trump emerges. Born and raised in Queens, Trump is both the product and purveyor of a localized nativist politic.
The young white speaker of these poems works to record his parents’ and neighbors’, both white and of color, and his own attempts at navigating a shifting landscape. In poems on the homecoming of Vietnam vets, or the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or the firebombing of Malcolm X’s house, The Tenant of Fire explores how and why the plurality of a place like Queens, where now nearly two hundred languages are spoken, is viewed as a threat to national security.
Diana Khoi Nguyen's Ghost Of is a mourning song, not an exorcism or un-haunting of that which haunts, but attuned attention, unidirectional reaching across time, space, and distance to reach loved ones, ancestors, and strangers. By working with, in, and around the photographs that her brother left behind (from which he cut himself out before his death), Nguyen wrestles with what remains: memory, physical voids, and her family captured around an empty space.
Ryan Black is the author of Death of a Nativist, winner of the 2016 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, selected by Linda Gregerson. He has published previously or has work forthcoming in The Berkeley Poetry Review, Blackbird, Ninth Letter, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, and has received fellowships from the Adirondack Center for Writing, The Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Queens Council on the Arts. He is the Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Queens College of the City University of New York, and lives in Jackson Heights.
A poet and multimedia artist, Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. In addition to winning the 92Y "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Contest, 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Colorado Book Award, she was also a finalist for the National Book Award and L.A. Times Book Prize. A Kundiman fellow, she is currently a writer-in-residence at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and teaches in the Randolph College MFA.
TIME & DATE
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 7:00pm