Poets of Freedom, Poets of Death Rites

Fri. March 23, 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Meade Hall, Christ Episcopal Church

120 West High Street, Charlottesville, Va. 22902


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Nin Andrews (Miss August), Tyehimba Jess (Olio), and David Wojahn (For the Scribe) read from their recent collections.

Why should you attend?

“In Miss August, Nin Andrews reminds us that poets tell the terrible stories, the ones we’d much rather ignore or sweep under the rug. Nin doesn’t shy away from past. In this extraordinary book of prose poems, she is at her best, opening the door to childhood to examine life in the desegregated South in the late ‘50’s. Her poems—about race, class, childhood, place—are complicated, never simple, but always engaging, always coming from a place of love. As Nin says, “racism is like arsenic—you can become de-sensitized to it when you’ve sipped it over time.” Here there is black, white, and every shade of gray in between. Here Nin shines a light on a difficult time our collective history.”—January Gill O’Neil

“Tyehimba Jess’s second book, is a book without rules, blues on the page. It weaves new and reimagined facts with poetry, prose, and biographies of first-generation freed slaves who performed in minstrel shows… Olio enchants in its willingness to take risks, to toy with failure. Jess’s work is a determined web of strategic resistance and humble persistence. Above all, it is a documentation of hope where each individual plays a crucial role in the plight of the whole.  is a sorrowful nostalgia of insurmountable empowerment. A proud and haunting, yet celebratory, story of survival.”—Tupelo Quarterly

“Recipient of numerous accolades and author of nearly a dozen books, Wojahn delivers a sophisticated, meticulously erudite collection. Most prominent is a series of baroque mash-ups, in which he mediates on two seemingly disparate yet intricately connected entities or ideas: ‘Paradise Lost’ and a history of the noose; music producer turned murderer Phil Spector and Incan death rites; the evolution of wolves into dogs and drones over Waziristan.”—ALA Booklist