Alex Dimitrov and Randall Mann
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
reading from new poetry
Together and by Ourselves
by Alex Dimitrov
from Copper Canyon Press
by Randall Mann
from Persea Press
About Together and by Ourselves:
Together and by Ourselves, Alex Dimitrov's second book of poems, takes on broad existential questions and the reality of our current moment: being seemingly connected to one another, yet emotionally alone. Through a collage aesthetic and a multiplicity of voices, these poems take us from coast to coast, New York to LA, and toward uneasy questions about intimacy, love, death, and the human spirit. Dimitrov critiques America's long-lasting obsessions with money, celebrity, and escapism—whether in our personal, professional, or family lives. What defines a life? Is love ever enough? Who are we when together and who are we by ourselves? These questions echo throughout the poems, which resist easy answers. The voice is both heartfelt and skeptical, bruised yet playful, and always deeply introspective.
Alex Dimitrov is the author of Together and by Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), Begging for It (Four Way Books, 2013), and the online chapbook American Boys (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2012). He is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review and a Pushcart Prize. His poems have been published in Poetry, The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Slate, Tin House, Boston Review, and the American Poetry Review. He is the Senior Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets where he edits the popular online series Poem-a-Day and American Poets magazine. He has taught creative writing at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Marymount Manhattan College, Bennington College, and lives in New York City.
About Proprietary: Poems:
In Proprietary, Randall Mann critiques corporate culture, depicting (and slyly rebuking) the American materialism that erupted in the 1980s and has metastasized ever since. For years, Randall Mann has been hailed as one of contemporary American poetry's most daring formalists, expertly using craft as a way of exploring racy subjects with trenchant wit and aplomb. His new collection, Proprietary, depicts with the insights of a longtime insider the culture of corporate America, in which he’s worked for years, intertwined with some of his tried-and-true subjects, including gay life in the wildly disparate worlds of San Francisco and northern Florida.
Randall Mann is the author of Complaint in the Garden (2004), which won the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry; Breakfast with Thom Gunn (2009), finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the California Book Award; Straight Razor (2013), also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award; and Proprietary (2017). He is co-author of the textbook Writing Poems (2007). Mann received the 2013 J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry.