Zell Visiting Writers Series: Douglas Kearney

Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 5:30pm

Literati is pleased to be the official book retailer for the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers' Program's Zell Visiting Writers Series. Fall 2021 events will take place at Stern Auditorium on the campus of the University of Michigan. They are also available virtually. Books may be purchased at Literati Bookstore or online.

Click here to attend virtually.

Zell Visiting Writers Series readings and Q&As are free and open to the public, and will be offered both virtually (via Zoom) and in person (in UMMA's Stern Auditorium). Seats at the in-person events are capacity-limited and offered on a first come, first served basis; please arrive early to secure a spot. Please contact kotziers@umich.edu with any questions or accommodation needs.

The dynamic Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist who has published six books that bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African-American culture, masks, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. His most recent book, Sho (Wave Books, 2021), aims to hit crooked licks with straight-seeming sticks.

Navigating the complex penetrability of language, these poems are sonic in their espousal of Black vernacular strategies, while examining histories and current events through the lyric, brand new dances, and other performances.

Kearney is also the author of Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), which was awarded the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, and the silver medal for the California Book Award in Poetry. BOMB says Buck Studies “remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” Kearney describes the non-traditional layout of his poems as “performative typography.” On the relationship between his poetry and politics, he notes: “For me, the political is a part of how I see the world. My art making doesn’t begin without realizing who I am and what it means for me to be writing a poem and not doing something else.” Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess (Noemi Press, 2015), is a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection. In it, Kearney writes, “If my writing makes a mess of things, it’s not to flee understanding, but to map (mis-)understanding as a verb.” Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014), Kearney’s third poetry collection, examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009) is a National Poetry Series selection, which “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues (Subito Press, 2016) collects several of Kearney’s libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. He was the guest editor for the 2015 Best American Experimental Writing.

Kearney has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and the Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, and was named a Notable New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, He has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and The Rauschenberg Foundation. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Indiana Review, and anthologies, including Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky, Best American Poetry, Best American Experimental Writing, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America.

Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family a little west of Minneapolis, MN and teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.

For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email kotziers@umich.edu-- we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Diaper changing tables are available in nearby restrooms. Gender-inclusive restrooms are available on the second floor of the Museum, accessible via the stairs, or in nearby Hatcher Graduate Library (Floors 3, 4, 5, and 6). The Hatcher Library also offers a reflection room (4th Floor South Stacks), and a lactation room (Room 13W, an anteroom to the basement women's staff restroom, or Room 108B, an anteroom of the first floor women's restroom). ASL interpreters and CART services at in-person events are available upon request; please email kotziers@umich.edu at least two weeks prior to the event, whenever possible, to allow time to arrange services.

U-M employees with a U-M parking permit may use the Church Street Parking Structure (525 Church St., Ann Arbor) or the Thompson Parking Structure (500 Thompson St., Ann Arbor). There is limited metered street parking on State Street and South University Avenue. The Forest Avenue Public Parking Structure (650 South Forest Ave., Ann Arbor) is five blocks away, and the parking rate is $1.20 per hour. All of these options include parking spots for individuals with disabilities.

 

Event address: 
525 S. State Street
Helmut Stern Auditorium
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Books: 
Sho Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781950268153
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - April 6th, 2021