An evening with Barry Gifford and Willy Vlautin
Thursday, May 31, 2012, 7:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco

two artistic dynamos in an evening of song and verse celebrating friendship

on the occasion of the release of

Imagining Paradise
New and Selected Poems

by Barry Gifford

published by Seven Stories Press

Published in the New Yorker, La Nouvelle Revue Française, and in nearly a hundred magazines and poetry journals from Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Lawrence, Kansas to Rome, Madrid, Paris, London, Beijing and Bucharest, poems by Barry Gifford have been describing and changing our world for nearly half a century. Here in one volume for the first time is the poet's own choices from his nine previous collections, as well as a rich selection of new poems. Altogether, Imagining Paradise represents the tremendous achievement of an underground poet who lasted.

These poems describe a universe that is as populous and diverse as it is ephemeral and evanescent. They are born of the world and of books and art in equal measure, and tell of the unyielding granite truths of people's roller-coaster lives. And always there is the poet looking back, facing life and death and everything in between with equanimity, holding a steady hand to the quivering breast wherever there is breath.

About Barry Gifford:

The author of more than forty published works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into twenty-eight languages, Barry Gifford writes distinctly American stories for millions of readers around the globe. He is literary heir of Conrad, of Hemingway, of Algren and Camus, exposing the underbelly of the American Dream in ever surprising twists and turns. His novel Wild at Heart was made into a film by David Lynch, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and his novel Perdita Durango was made into a feature film by Alex de la Iglesia. He cowrote, with David Lynch, the film Lost Highway, and with Matt Dillon, the film City of Ghosts. Gifford has received awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the Premio Brancati in Italy.

For more information, visit www.barrygifford.com.

About Willy Vlautin:

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver's Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published three novels, THE MOTEL LIFE (2007) and NORTHLINE (2008) and LEAN ON PETE (2010).

Vlautin founded the band Richmond Fontaine in 1994. The band has produced nine studio albums to date, plus a handful of live recordings and EP's. Driven by Vlautin's dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe.

Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon. An avid fan of horseracing, Vlautin can often be found writing behind a closed circuit monitor at Portland Meadows racetrack.

visit: www.willyvlautin.com