Matthew Dickman and Emily Strelow
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

 

Matthew Dickman celebrates the release of a new poetry collection

Wonderland

from W.W. Norton

Emily Strelow celebrates the release of her new novel

The Wild Birds

from Rare Bird Lit

about Wonderland

Luminous and hypnotic, this dynamic collection explores the dark edges of childhood, violence, race, class, and masculinity, by one of the most fearless poets of his generation.

"Known for poems of universality of feeling, expressive lyricism of reflection, and heartrending allure" (Major Jackson), award-winning poet Matthew Dickman returns with a collection that engages the traces of his own living past, suffusing these poems with ghosts of longing, shame, and vulnerability. In the southeast Portland neighborhood of Dickman's youth, parents are out of control and children are in chaos. With grief, anger, and, ultimately, understanding, Dickman confronts a childhood of ambient violence, well-intentioned but warped family relations, confining definitions of identity, and the deprivation of this particular Portland neighborhood in the 1980s. Wonderland reminds us that, while these neighborhoods are filled with guns, skateboards, fights, booze, and heroin, and home to punk rockers, skinheads, poor kids, and single moms, they are also places of innocence and love.

Luminous and hypnotic, this dynamic collection explores the dark edges of childhood, violence, race, class, and masculinity, by one of the most fearless poets of his generation.

"Known for poems of universality of feeling, expressive lyricism of reflection, and heartrending allure" (Major Jackson), award-winning poet Matthew Dickman returns with a collection that engages the traces of his own living past, suffusing these poems with ghosts of longing, shame, and vulnerability. In the southeast Portland neighborhood of Dickman's youth, parents are out of control and children are in chaos. With grief, anger, and, ultimately, understanding, Dickman confronts a childhood of ambient violence, well-intentioned but warped family relations, confining definitions of identity, and the deprivation of this particular Portland neighborhood in the 1980s. Wonderland reminds us that, while these neighborhoods are filled with guns, skateboards, fights, booze, and heroin, and home to punk rockers, skinheads, poor kids, and single moms, they are also places of innocence and love.

about The Wild Birds

Cast adrift in 1870s San Francisco after the death of her mother, a girl named Olive disguises herself as a boy and works as a lighthouse keeper's assistant on the Farallon Islands to escape the dangers of a world unkind to young women. In 1941, nomad Victor scours the Sierras searching for refuge from a home to which he never belonged. And in the present day, precocious fifteen year-old Lily struggles, despite her willfulness, to find a place for herself amongst the small town attitudes of Burning Hills, Oregon. Living alone with her hardscrabble mother Alice compounds the problem―though their unique relationship to the natural world ties them together, Alice keeps an awful secret from her daughter, one that threatens to ignite the tension growing between them.

Emily Strelow's mesmerizing debut stitches together a sprawling saga of the feral Northwest across farmlands and deserts and generations: an American mosaic alive with birdsong and gunsmoke, held together by a silver box of eggshells―a long-ago gift from a mother to her daughter. Written with grace, grit, and an acute knowledge of how the past insists upon itself, The Wild Birds is a radiant and human story about the shelters we find and make along our crooked paths home.

Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012), Wish You Were Here (Spork Press, 2013), 24 HOURS (One Star Press, Paris, France, 2014), Brother (Faber&Faber UK, 2016), and the forthcoming poetry collection Wonderland (W.W. Norton & Co, 2018) He is the recipient of The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and a 2015 Guggenheim. His poems have appeared in Poetry London, McSweeny’s, The London Review of Books, Esquire Magazine, Best American Poetry and The New Yorker among others.

Emily Strelow was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley but has lived all over the West and now, the Midwest. For the last decade she combined teaching writing with doing seasonal avian field biology with her husband. While doing field jobs she camped and wrote in remote areas in the desert, mountains and by the ocean. She is a mother to two boys, a naturalist, and writer. The Wild Birds is her first novel.


Books related to this event:

Product image
Wonderland
Poems
Matthew Dickman
2018 Edition
Luminous and hypnotic, this dynamic collection explores the dark edges of childhood, violence, race, class, and masculinity, by one of the most fearless poets of his generation.