BOOKSMITH: Terese Svoboda / Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet

Monday, September 17, 2018 - 7:30pm

Booksmith hosts a special evening with NY-based Terese Svoboda, in town as a Headlands Artist In Residence and to celebrate the publication of Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet. Joining her is Dean Rader (Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry). We'd love to see you there!


Anything That Burns You is the first full-length biography of Lola Ridge, a trailblazer for women, poetry, and human rights. Terese Svoboda takes the reader on a fascinating journey that follows Ridge's life from her childhood as an Irish immigrant in the mining towns of New Zealand to her years as a budding poet and artist in Australia, and then to San Francisco, Chicago, and New York, where she flourished as a poet and editor of the avant-garde journals Others and Broom. By the 1920s, Ridge was at the center of modernism: good friends with William Carlos Williams and Marianne Moore, while promoting the careers of Hart Crane and Jean Toomer, in addition to writing brilliant socially critical poems. At one time considered one of the most popular poets of her day, Ridge later fell out of critical favor due to her impassioned verse that looked head-on at the major social woes of society, infused with a radical belief in freedom that she gleaned from her mentors Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger. Certain to revive the legacy of this unique artistic figure-as unforgettable as Virginia Woolf or Frida Kahlo-this lively portrait gives a veritable who's who of all the key players in the arts, literature, and radical politics of her time, in which Lola Ridge stood front and center.




"Svoboda resurrects the fascinating life and work of Lola Ridge. A lively, complex portrait emerges ... of a talented, driven woman for whom 'art and activism were one' and who deserves remembrance not just as 'a fulcrum of modernism' but a premier poet in her own right." Publishers Weekly


"Radical, modernist, fiery, glamorous, feminist- adjectives and categories can only gesture toward the enduringly significant life and works of the poet Lola Ridge, whose story has been gracefully told, with her poems lucidly understood, by Terese Svoboda." – Robert Pinsky, Poet Laureate Consultant to the Library of Congress


"Anything That Burns You tells the riveting story of Lola Ridge, a revolutionary and influential poet of her time, now (like so many female artists) lost to history. Terese Svoboda has written a brilliant biography, as original as it is compelling, and a fascinating exploration of literary legacy... A poet herself, Svoboda's insights are startling and apt, and she constructs a colorful, well-researched background for re-considering Ridge's considerable achievements. We need more books like this one." – Rene Steinke, Author, Holy Skirts


"Magisterial" – Ted Galloway, Washington Post



A Guggenheim fellow, Terese Svoboda is the author of 18 books, including seven books of poetry. Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship (poetry) is her most recent. Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet (biography) appeared in paper in 2018, and Great American Desert (stories) will be published next year. She has won the Bobst Prize in fiction, the Iowa Prize for poetry, an NEH grant for translation, the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, a Jerome Foundation prize for video, the O. Henry award for the short story, a Bobst prize for the novel, and a Pushcart Prize for the essay. She is a three time winner of the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship, and has been awarded Headlands, James Merrill, Hawthornden, Yaddo, McDowell, and Bellagio residencies. Her opera WET premiered at L.A.'s Disney Hall in 2005. "Terese Svoboda is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.” –Bloomsbury Review.

Dean Rader published three books in 2017: Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon Press); Suture, a collection of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench (Black Lawrence) and the anthology Bullets Into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence, with Brian Clements & Alexandra Teague (Beacon Press). He writes regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and The Huffington Post and is a professor at The University of San Francisco. In their review of Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, Publishers Weekly wrote: “few poets capture the contradictions of our national life with as much sensitivity or keenness.”



RSVP appreciated but not required.


If you cannot attend the event but would like to request a signed copy of Anything That Burns You, and/or any of the authors' books, order below and put your request in the comments field.


This visit to the Bay Area by Terese Svoboda is made possible in part by Headlands Center for the Arts.

Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet Cover Image
By Terese Svoboda, Molly Crabapple (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781943156573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schaffner Press, Inc. - April 2018

When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected and New Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781934695456
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Anhinga Press - November 2015

Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship Cover Image
ISBN: 9781911335184
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Eyewear Publishing - September 29th, 2016

Bohemian Girl (Flyover Fiction) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803226821
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - September 2011

Pirate Talk or Mermalade: Scientific Advice and Practical Ideas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780982631805
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dzanc Books - October 12th, 2010

Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence Cover Image
By Gabrielle Giffords (Foreword by), Colum McCann (Introduction by), Brian Clements (Editor), Alexandra Teague (Editor), Dean Rader (Editor)
ISBN: 9780807025581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - December 5th, 2017

Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556595080
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - February 21st, 2017

Suture Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625579737
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Black Lawrence Press - June 20th, 2017

99 Poems for the 99 Percent Cover Image
By Dean Rader (Editor)
ISBN: 9780988266223
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: 99: The Press - July 17th, 2014

Landscape Portrait Figure Form Cover Image
ISBN: 9781890650735
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Omnidawn - February 4th, 2014

Works & Days (New Odyssey) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935503095
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Truman State University Press - September 2010