PAUL HARDING will read from
Monday, July 19 at 7 PM
Meet Paul Harding, the man whose "little book from a little publisher that was hand-sold from start to finish" won the Pulitzer Prize.
Harding, an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate simply hoping to get his quiet novel published, was turned down by every major publisher over the course of several years. Tinkers was finally published by Bellevue Literary Press, embraced by editorial director Erika Goldman, who said: "It was so exquisite that I found myself - and this has never happened - weeping for the beauty of the prose."
Tinkers intertwines the deathbed memories of a New England clock repairer, George Washington Crosby, with episodes about the dying man’s father. The book wanders through time and consciousness, with beautiful descriptions of rural Maine that alternate with the epileptic fits of George’s father, Howard, an old-time tinker who traveled the countryside by wagon. The story was inspired by Harding’s own grandfather, who grew up in rural Maine and whose epileptic father abandoned the family when he learned that his wife (Harding’s great grandmother) planned to send him to an asylum.
POETS ALEXANDRA TEAGUE and SANDY TSENG will read from
Mortal Geography and Sediment
Thursday, July 22 at 7 PM
Alexandra Teague's Mortal Geography, winner of the 2009 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, is a smart and accessible debut that explores how language alternately empowers and fails us. A master of using poetry's formal possibilities to convey what we feel most deeply, Teague draws on a variety of sources, such as ESL classroom discussions, a colonial travelogue, and the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook to reveal the landscape of our emotional geography. Her poetry has appeared in Best New Poets 2008, Best American Poetry 2009, and The Yale Anthology of Younger American Poetry, as well as journals including The Missouri Review, The Iowa Review, and New England Review.
Sediment, Sandy Tseng's first collection, explores transition and all its pleasures and terrors. She shows how leaving is both what remains and the act of going to another place, a different lifestyle, an unknown afterlife. Her poems explore how the sediment of our lives - received traditions, half-recalled memories, accumulated possessions - might also be the fragments by which we recognize our future life, here or elsewhere. Her writing is vivid and clear, creating strong moods.
"Tired of a world of short attention spans and frenetic entertainment, I was pleased to totally immerse myself into these quiet, patient, well-crafted poems. It's been a long time since I have encountered a work of art that has so viscerally invoked my own painful memories of separation, abandonment and exile. This is a wonderful compelling first book." — Marilyn Chin