Author: Holly Doyel

Event: Reading with Victoria Chang on February 16th, 6pm

Poet, writer, and editor Victoria Chang celebrates her most recent book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything, published by Copper Canyon Press and Corsair Books in the U.K. in 2022, with this reading and a book signing at the Ransom Center. The book was named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker and The Guardian. In the book, Chang reinvigorates language by way of concentration, using constraint to illuminate and free the wild interior. Largely composed in various Japanese syllabic forms called “wakas,” each poem is shaped by pattern and count.

This highly original work innovates inside the lineage of great poets including W.S. Merwin, whose poem titles are repurposed as frames and mirrors for the text, stitching past and present in complex dialogue. Chang depicts the smooth, melancholic isolation of the mind while reaching outward to name—with reverence, economy, and whimsy—the ache of wanting, the hawk and its shadow, our human urge to hide the minute beneath the light.

The Trees Witness Everything will be available to purchase and a book signing will follow the reading.

Seating is limited, please RSVP. This program is in-person only and will not be available online.

Event: Reading with Joy Harjo on November 10th, 7pm

Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate in 2019—first Native American to hold the position and only the second person to serve three terms in the role.

Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American Sunrise, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. She is also the author of two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior, which invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her “poet-warrior” road. Her many writing awards include the 2019 Jackson Prize from the Poets & Writers, the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Board of Directors Chair of the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, and is artist-in-residence for the Bob Dylan Center. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally; her most recent album is I Pray For My Enemies.

For event information click here.

Event: Reading with Uwem Akpan on September 8th

Nigerian writer Uwem Akpan (New York, My Village and Say You’re One of Them) will read from his latest work in this talk co-sponsored by the Michener Center for Writers and the Harry Ransom Center. Akpan’s fiction and autobiographical pieces have appeared in The New Yorker and The Guardian, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. His collection, Say You’re One of Them, was published by Little, Brown in 2008 and has been translated into twelve languages. It won the Commonwealth Prize (Africa Region), the Open Book Prize, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and was the 2009 Oprah Book Club selection.

Akpan, who teaches in the University of Florida’s MFA program, was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria. His first book, Say You’re One of Them made the “Best of the Year” on a number of lists, including those in People magazine and The Wall Street Journal. In his second book and first novel, New York, My Village, Akpan writes with the same promise and pain about New York City as he did about African cities in Say You’re One of Them.

New York, My Village will be available to purchase and a book signing will follow the reading.

Seating is limited, please RSVP. This program is in-person only and will not be available online.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/uwem-akpan-author-reading-and-book-signing-tickets-412190963267