Cosmic Collaboration: October 20th Reading

At the October 20th Sunday Salon, a cosmic collaboration with six compelling poets and writers featured in The Common and St. Petersburg Review. Prepare to be transported. You won’t want to miss this event! There will be issues of these sterling literary magazines for sale.


Formerly Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books, most recently the novel Song of the Shank, which is loosely based on the life of Blind Tom, a nineteenth century African American piano virtuoso and composer. Allen has received numerous accolades for his work, including The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Fiction, The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, a grant in Innovative Literature from Creative Capital, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a Bellagio Residency. His collection of stories, Fat Time, will be published in 2020. He lives in Johannesburg.


Polina Barskova was born in Leningrad. She published her first book of poetry Christmas in 1991. At the moment her tenth book of poetry, a collected volume, A Sunny Morning in the Square, is out in Petersburg. Barskova received her BA from St. Petersburg State University in Classics for diploma on Catullus, and her MA and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley where she arrived in 1998 and studied cultural history of Petrograd-Leningrad 1921-1943. Her scholarly publications include articles on Nabokov, Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and, lately, on culture of the besieged Leningrad. Barskova put together a bilingual anthology Written in the Dark: 5 poets during the Siege of Leningrad. Now Polina lives in Amherst, MA with her daughter Frosia where she is teaching Russian literature at the Five Colleges. At the end of 2015, Barskova received the Andrey Bely Prize for her book of prose Living Pictures.


Vievee Francis is the author of three books of poetry: Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize for a second collection, Northwestern University Press, 2016) and Forest Primeval (winner of the Hurston Wright Legacy Award and the 2017 Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award). Her work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, textbooks, and anthologies, including PoetryBest American Poetry 201020142017, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. She has been a participant in the Cave Canem Workshops, a Poet-in-Residence for the Alice Lloyd Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, and teaches poetry writing in the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop (USA, UK, and Barbados). In 2009 she received a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award, and in 2010, a Kresge Fellowship. She serves as an associate editor of Callaloo and an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH.


Lawrence Joseph was born and raised in Detroit, the grandson of Lebanese and Syrian Catholic immigrants. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, most recently So Where Are We, published in 2017 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. A Certain Clarity: Selected Poems is forthcoming with FSG in March 2020. He is Tinnelly Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law and lives in New York City.


John Murillo is the author of the poetry collection, Up Jump the Boogie, finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award.  His honors include the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Times, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Cave Canem Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing.  Recent poems have been published inBest American Poetry 2017, Jubilat, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and in the anthology Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of African-American Poetry.  He teaches at Wesleyan University and in the low residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College.  His second full-length collection, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, is forthcoming from Four Way Books.

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