Ilya Kaminsky and Tess Taylor
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
celebrating the release of Tess Taylor's
published by Red Hen Press
published by Museum of Modern Art Books
about Rift Zone
RIFT ZONE, Taylor's much-anticipated third book traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor's hometown—an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault—these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls, strip malls, redwood trees, and the painful history of Japanese internment. Taylor's ambitious and masterful poems read her home state's historic violence against our world's current unsteadinesses—mass eviction, housing crises, deportation, inequality. They also ponder what it means to try to bring up children along these rifts. What emerges is a powerful core sample of America at the brink—an American elegy equally tuned to maternal and to geologic time.
about Last West
Last West is a book-length commission from the Museum of Modern Art. It will be published by the Museum of Modern Art (NYC) this February and part of the Dorothea Lange Words & Pictures exhibit. The book revisits the work of Dorothea Lange in California in contemporary poems examining issues of migrancy, shelterlessness, and climate change as they appear in Lange’s work and continue to affect us today.
about Ilya Kaminsky's Deaf Republic
Deaf Republic opens in an occupied country in a time of political unrest. When soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, Petya, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear―they all have gone deaf, and their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Ilya Kaminsky’s long-awaited Deaf Republic confronts our time’s vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.
Tess Taylor is a poet and the poetry critic for NPR’s All Things Considered. Her books include Work & Days (Red Hen Press, 2016), named one of the best poetry books of 2016 by The New York Times; The Forage House (Red Hen Press, 2013), a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award which The San Francisco Chronicle called "stunning," and the chapbook The Misremembered World, which was selected by Eavan Boland for the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural chapbook fellowship. In February 2020, Last West, an exciting book length commission from the Museum of Modern Art, will be published in conjunction with the MOMA show, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures. In his introduction to the collection, Ilya Kaminsky calls Taylor’s voice "invaluable" and a "poet for our moment." Her work explores California and the American West, her life as a critic, and the intersection of poetry and journalism.
Ilya Kaminsky is the author of the widely acclaimed Deaf Republic (Graywolf, 2019), a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry, which Kevin Young, writing in The New Yorker, called a work of "profound imagination." Poems from Deaf Republic were awarded Poetry magazine's Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. He is also the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004), and Musica Humana (Chapiteau Press, 2002). Kaminsky has won the Whiting Writer's Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and the Foreword Magazine’s Best Poetry Book of the Year award. Recently, he was on the short-list for the Neusdadt International Literature Prize. His poems have been translated into numerous languages and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Holland, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize. His poems have been compared to work by Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsvetaeva.