Published August 6, 2020

Poets Lauren Alleyne (Honeyfish), Iréne Mathieu (Grand Marronage) and Amy Woolard (Neck of the Woods) read from their most recent collections, discuss writing, and writing in these times.

Honeyfish is a remarkable, timely and timeless collection. Awake and unflinching, it bears witness to our difficult current moment—Tamir Rice, Charlottesville, the Charleston church shooting—and yet, in the face of horror and injustice, the poems celebrate the resilience and persistence of beauty and love, the languages we have lost, the grief unburied, the dream remembered. Lauren K. Alleyne comes into her own here as a voice we must reckon with, and her lyrical powers attest to a necessity we find only in our most valued poets.”—David Mura

“In Irène Mathieu’s Grand Marronage her poems dig beneath the surface of gender, culture, and memory to create a complex multi-layered collection driven by a nuanced cultural lens that is rarely found in contemporary poetry. With poems both visceral and ethereal Grand Marronage attempts its own kind of freedom by highlighting the black body in a localized history and space of intimacy. These are poems that never forget the contexts of human experience and pull us deeper into our understanding of who we are today and how we came to be.” —Matthew Shenoda

”Amy Woolard’s Neck of the Woods is a book that abides between dark humor—’Tornados need to slow their roll & keep their cones tight’—and the kind of disasters rendered so casually that they seem all the more terrifying—‘tremored like seeing a landscape while your elbows/Are hooked onto somebody from the back.’ In all, this is a book about survival, but this speaker is honest enough to say she’s hasn’t been made whole: ‘A demolition after my own heart.’ What a lovely debut!” —Jericho Brown

This webinar is part of our Virginia Festival of the Book’s “Shelf Life” series. Sign up for the Virginia Festival of the Book’s e-newsletter to learn about future discussions as they are announced.

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