Bruce Willard - "Violent Blues" - Christina Pugh and Valerie Wallace

Bruce Willard reads from Violent Blues. He will be joined by Christina Pugh and Valerie Wallace.

At the Co-op

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About the book: Violent Blues is a blues-harp album of words, a soundtrack of loss, introspection and renewal– one man’s search for intimacy and enduring music. Its poems are rooted in the natural world and tethered by concrete experience.

About the author: Bruce Willard’s poems have appeared in 5 A.M., African American Review, Agni Online, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Salamander, NPR’s Writer’s Almanac, and numerous other publications. His first collection of poems, Holding Ground, was published by Four Way Books in 2013. Willard is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a MFA from Bennington College’s Writing Seminars program. He spends his time in Maine, Colorado, and California. In addition to his work as a poet, Willard currently runs 32 Bar Blues and oversees several other clothing businesses.

About Christina Pugh: Christina Pugh’s books of poems include Grains of the Voice (Northwestern University Press, 2013), Restoration (Northwestern University Press, 2008) and Rotary (Word Press, 2004), which received the Word Press First Book Prize; and the chapbook Gardening at Dusk (Wells College Press, 2002). Pugh’s fourth book of poems, Perception, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2017.  Her poems have appeared widely.  Pugh was recently awarded a 2015 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship to complete her fifth book of poems, Stardust Media.  Her honors have also included the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, an individual artist fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, the Grolier Poetry Prize, an AWP Intro Journals Award, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry. She lives in Evanston, IL and is a professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to her teaching, she is Consulting Editor for Poetry magazine.

About Valerie Wallace: Valerie Wallace is the author of House of McQueen, selected by Vievee Francis for the 2016 Four Way Books Intro Prize, and the chapbook The Dictators’ Guide to Good Housekeeping. Her work has been awarded the Atty Award (selected by Margaret Atwood), an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award, and the San Miguel Writers’ Conference Poetry Award. She is the recipient of grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Barbara Deming Fund for Women, and has received fellowships from Midwest Writers, the Ragdale Foundation, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Vermont Studio Center, Writers in the Heartland, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She was an editor and webmaster with RHINO from 2010-2016 and mentor/assistant with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project for 5 years. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches with the City Colleges of Chicago, the Newberry Library, and works in communications at the University of Chicago.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637