Uche Nduka and Sophia Dahlin: Celebrating City Lights Spotlights Series Vol. 19 & 20
Wednesday, September 16, 2020, 6:00 p.m. PT | 9:00 p.m. ET, Event will be held on Zoom. Click the link in the event description for info.


reading from

Facing You/Spotlight #19, by Uche Nduka

Natch/Spotlight #20, by Sophia Dahlin

both published by City Lights Books


This is a virtual event that will be hosted by City Lights on the Zoom platform. You will need access to a computer or other device that is capable of accessing the internet. If you have not used Zoom before, you may consider referencing Getting Started with Zoom.


Event is free, but registration is required.

(Click Here) to register.


(Click Here) to purchase Facing You/Spotlight #19, by Uche Nduka

(Click Here) to purchase Natch/Spotlight #20, by Sophia Dahlin


City Lights celebrates two new books in it Spotlight Reading series

about Facing You

From acclaimed Nigeria-born, Brooklyn-based poet Uche Nduka, a book of love poems written with compact elegance and vivid eroticism.

Facing You is a collection of love lyrics, as well as an exploration of what goes into making the public and private self, from acclaimed Nigerian American poet Uche Nduka. Passionate and erotic, Facing You nonetheless resists being hermetically sealed within the relationship, and is subject to the intrusions of "the dubious world": war, exile, protest, and police violence intrude but cannot defeat Nduka's expressions of desire, where reality and surreality are one. "These poems were written openly and freely about my vision and experience," he writes, "crossing the wires of sex and prophecy."

about Natch

Queer pastoral lyrics take on the romantic sublime in a stunningly assured debut collection.

Sophia Dahlin's first full-length collection, Natch, is a dazzling array of queer erotic lyrics demanding pasture in the romantic sublime. By turns dreamy, hysterical, earthy, and perverse, the poems of Natch speak the dialogue of a person's parts, the dynamism of a queer body desiring something between rest and consumption. In her stunningly assured voice, compounded of bravado and vulnerability, Dahlin outlines the threshold where feeling takes over the body's functioning, desire leads us past deciding, and we are so lustful that we are not dead when we have finished dying.

Uche Nduka is an itinerant poet and professor living in Brooklyn. He was born in Nigeria, was raised bilingual in Igbo and English, and earned his BA from the University of Nigeria. He left Nigeria in 1994 and settled in Germany after winning a fellowship from the Goethe Institute. In 2007, he immigrated to the United States, where he would earn his MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Nduka is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including the U.S.-published books Living in Public (2018), Nine East (2013), Ijele (2012), and eel on reef (2007). His work has been translated into German, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, and Romanian.

Sophia Dahlin earned her BA from Bard College and her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her work has appeared in many journals, including BOMB, Fence, Lambda Literary, Denver Quarterly, and The Recluse. With Jacob Kahn, she edits the chapbook press Eyelet. She lives in Oakland, California, where she teaches with California Poets in the Schools, conducts generative writing workshops, and hosts readings.


Critical Praise for Facing You:

"For decades, Uche Nduka's refulgent poetry has shone out amid the various national and cultural contexts in which he has found himself, from Nigeria to Germany to Brooklyn. The brief poems of Facing You showcase Nduka at his most iconic. Casual and elemental, Surreal and Blue, these poems are like fuses: exactly equal to their tasks. Facing You proves the pliant strength of the lyric, its ability, in a handful of blunt and turning lines, to reverse reality with the ease of an upraised mirror. Nduka's poetry models the principle of agile, flamelike survival amid this most leaden of worlds."––Joyelle McSweeney

"Uche Nduka's lyrical abstractions are razor sharp and lighting fast. Each poem turns several corners in the blink of an eye. A Nigerian-American poet by way of Germany and Holland, Nduka has honed his genius on the whetting stones of a tri-continental cosmopolitanism. His voice is both courtly and sensual, and his poems as frankly sexual as they are defiantly explosive. Like Rimbaud, Nduka sings the pride of exile, the debauchery of imagination, with wile and wit. We are lucky to have him."—Kit Robinson

Books related to this event:

Product image
Facing You
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 19
Uche Nduka
2020 Edition
From acclaimed Nigeria-born, Brooklyn-based poet Uche Nduka, a book of love poems written with compact elegance and vivid eroticism.

Product image
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 20
Sophia Dahlin
2020 Edition
Queer pastoral lyrics take on the romantic sublime in a stunningly assured debut collection.