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A Reading and Conversation with Tina Chang, Ross Gay and Patricia Smith

February 11, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:15 pm

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At this year’s AWP conference, award-winning poets Tina Chang, Ross Gay and Patricia Smith will read from collections that approach history and truth-telling as mysteries to be cracked open by narration, lyricism, traditional forms, and experimentation. Their work celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary, and reveals gratitude, faith in the face of grief, and the many forms that absence takes. At the same time, their texts situate poetry as a space for complex negotiations, both personal and political. Cave Canem Poetry Prize-winner Rickey Laurentiis moderates their conversation.

Washington Convention Center
Ballroom C, Level Three
801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001

Open to AWP pass-holders. For more information on how to register, visit awpwriter.org.

Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses (2004) and Of Gods & Strangers (2011). She is also co-editor of the Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her poems have been published in journals such as American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares.  She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Poets & Writers, among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong, the first low-residency MFA program to be established in Asia.

Ross Gay is the author three books of poetry: Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down and most recently, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award. Along with Patrick Rosal and Karissa Chen, he co-founded the online sports and literary journal Some Call It Ballin’. A gardener, orchardist and a member of a food justice organization, he teaches at the University of Indiana at Bloomington.

Patricia Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and Gotta Go Gotta Flow, a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her next book, Incendiary Art, will be published by Northwestern University Press in February 2017. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, Life According to Motown; the children’s book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir won the Robert L. Fish Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and was featured in the anthology Best American Mystery Stories. She is a Guggenheim fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, as well as an instructor at the annual VONA residency and in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Residency Program.

Visit us at Exhibition Space 307, February 8-11

Browse prize-winning collections, from Natasha Trethewey’s Domestic Work to Donika Kelly’s Bestiary, and our latest anthology, Cave Canem Anthology XIII: Poems 2010-2011. Chat with fellows and buy signed copies of their new and recent books.


February 11, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
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Washington Convention Center
Ballroom C, Level Three, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW
Washington, DC 20001 United States
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(202) 249-3000