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Brenda Shaughnessy: The Octopus Museum W/ Evan James

Apr 26 | Fri | 7:30-8:30PM |
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This collection of bold and scathingly beautiful feminist poems imagines what comes after our current age of environmental destruction, racism, sexism, and divisive politics. Informed by Brenda Shaughnessy's craft as a poet and her worst fears as a mother, the poems in The Octopus Museum blaze forth from her pen: in these pages, we see that what was once a generalized fear for our children (car accidents, falling from a tree) is now hyper-reasonable, specific, and multiple: school shootings, nuclear attack, loss of health care, a polluted planet. As Shaughnessy conjures our potential future, she movingly (and often with humor) envisions an age where cephalopods might rule over humankind, a fate she suggests we may just deserve after destroying their oceans. These heartbreaking, terrified poems are the battle cry of a woman who is fighting for the survival of the world she loves, and a stirring exhibition of who we are as a civilization. Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa, Japan, and grew up in Southern California. She is the author of four books of poetry, including So Much Synth, Human Dark with Sugar--winner of the James Laughlin Award and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award--and Our Andromeda, which was a New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2013. She is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark. She lives in New Jersey. Evan James is an award-winning writer whose personal essays and fiction have appeared in such publications as the Oxford American, Travel + Leisure, and The New York Times, among others. He received an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, The Carson McCullers Center, The Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, The University of Iowa, and the Lambda Literary Writers' Retreat, where he was a 2017 Emerging LGBTQ Voices Fellow. He has taught at The University of Iowa, The Iowa Young Writers' Studio, and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Born in Seattle, he now lives in New York and teaches creative writing and English at Pierrepont School in Westport, Connecticut.

Venue: Books are Magic

225 Smith St. Map