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First Books: Destiny O. Birdsong with Tarfia Faizullah
October 19 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Two brilliant poets meet in conversation on their respective first books. Cave Canem fellow Destiny O. Birdsong will read from her recent debut, Negotiations (Tin House, 2020), of which Elizabeth Acevedo says “for all of its ferocity in how it grapples with womanhood, sexuality, assault, and race, this collection is also full of wonder. Of forgiveness.” Tarfia Faizullah reflects on her own first book, Seam (SIU Press 2014), described by Natasha Tretheway as containing “brave and unflinching vision” and “elegant and wise restraint.”
This program is presented in partnership with Bowery Poetry and will be broadcasted on Bowery Poetry’s Facebook Live.
Destiny O. Birdsong is a Louisiana-born poet, essayist, and fiction writer whose work has either appeared or are forthcoming in the Paris Review, Catapult, African American Review, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry collection, Negotiations, is out now from Tin House Books. She has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, Pink Door, MacDowell, the Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House, where she was a 2018 Summer Workshop Scholar. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, and now lives and works in Nashville, TN.
Tarfia Faizullah is the author of two poetry collections, Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf, 2018) and Seam (SIU, 2014). The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, three Pushcart prizes, and other honors, Tarfia has been featured in periodicals, magazines, and anthologies both in the United States and abroad. Tarfia presents work at institutions and organizations worldwide, and collaborations include photographers, producers, composers, filmmakers, musicians, and visual artists, resulting in several interdisciplinary projects. In 2016, Tarfia was recognized by Harvard Law School as one of 50 Women Inspiring Change. Tarfia is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Bangladeshi immigrants and raised in Texas, Tarfia currently lives in Dallas.