This September, we are throwing a Bookswap for the (art) history books. Join us and our special guest authors, nationally acclaimed local poets Dean Rader and Melissa Stein, as we come together to celebrate the first Bookswap of Autumn. What better to curl up on the couch with than a brilliant book of poetry? Absolutely nothing. If you didn’t know, now you know.
Bring a book that strikes you as poetic. It doesn’t have to be an actual collection of poetry. Anything that you love, that you deem poetic, will do. If you can’t find anything poetic, bring something about art, whether you consider it a literary work of art or art is the topic itself. As long as you love it, bring it to Bookswap. You’ll talk about it in groups and hear about the books that other people brought. We’ll drink a bunch of free wine and get to know our guest author. At the end, we’ll have a big, rowdy, white elephant swap, and you’ll leave with a new favorite
>>> Tickets are $10 and MUST BE purchased in advance. They do sell out! You can purchase them HERE.
**** Admission includes an open bar, swag, and 20% off everything you buy that night.
Named one of the Best Books of Poetry of the year by the Barnes & Noble Review, Dean Rader’s Landscape Portrait Figure Form is a sharp, moving collection about the collision of photography, poetry, and painting; art and reality; and Frog and Toad. What? Yes. The collection also includes a choose-your-own-adventure poem and a poem written as a Wikipedia article. Fascinated yet?
A frog and a toad walk into a book of poems. They meet Paul Klee, Hieronymus Bosch, Adrienne Rich, Sesshu Toyo, Mark Twain, all of them escorted by Dean Rader. There are adventure poems, landscapes, assassins, self portraits, there are what some might call ‘ideas’ mixed with some very funny moments, and what we might quite seriously call ‘emotions.’ This collection will engage those interested in innovative, arresting, humorously engaging poetry.
Of Melissa Stein's Rough Honey, Major Jackson writes:
“In her piercing debut collection, in language that is seductively alert and textured enough to evoke rarely contemplated worlds, Melissa Stein appraises splendor and terror with a lyricism that feels dangerous and original. Such a passionate vision deserves our attention.”
Rough Honey is suffused with a dark tenderness. These poems speak of fragility and power, the contradictions of pleasure, the bruises we bear. With remarkable range, they carry us from a whitewater rafting calamity to the “torrents of wheat” on a family farm; from a bathysphere’s color-starved depths to a butcher’s blood-soaked counter; from a peepshow’s “manageable storm of boredom and sex” to a passionate fall from grace in an orchard... struggles are rendered in language so radiant, so mellifluous, it can’t help but hint at the possibility of transcendence, the sheer sweetness in being alive.
Dean Rader’s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize. His recent collection Landscape Portrait Figure Form was named by the Barnes & Noble Review as one of the Best Books of Poetry of the year. He has won numerous awards for his writing including the 2015 George Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Distinguished Research Award from the University of San Francisco, where he is a professor. Rader is also the editor of 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry, which in August of 2014, reached #1 on the Small Press Distribution Poetry Best Seller List. He has also written, authored, and co-authored three scholarly books, and he reviews poetry regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, The Huffington Post, and, The Kenyon Review. Two new books of poems will be published next year—a book of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench, entitled Suture and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry from Copper Canyon Press.
Melissa Stein is the author of the poetry collection Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Yale Review, New England Review, Harvard Review, Best New Poets, and many other journals and anthologies. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a freelance editor in San Francisco.
If you cannot attend the event, but would like to request a signed copy of one of Dean or Melissa's books, order below and put your request in the comments field.