Gail Mazur and Rachel DeWoskin - "Land's End" and "Two Menus" - Virtual Event

Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Gail Mazur and Rachel DeWoskin

Gail Mazur and Rachel DeWoskin will discuss Land's End and Two Menus.

Presented in partnership with the University of Chicago Press

Virtual event



About the books: In Land’s End, we see Mazur writing with the kind of lyric authority, ever-deepening emotional range, and intellectual and social scope that her readers have come to expect in her poetry. Beautifully crafted elegies meet with reflections on her own life, her family, and artists who have come and gone. In this space of remembrance, Mazur also charges us with the responsibility of nurturing art and artists of the future, especially in the face of the disheartening absurdities of contemporary politics. Contemplating the growth and decay so entwined in life, these poems invite us to consider both inevitable brokenness and necessary hope.

There are two menus in a Beijing restaurant, Rachel DeWoskin writes in the title poem, “the first of excess, / second, scarcity.” DeWoskin invites us into moments shaped by dualities, into spaces bordered by the language of her family (English) and that of her new country (Chinese), as well as the liminal spaces between youth and adulthood, safety and danger, humor and sorrow. The poems in Two Menus offer insights into the layers of what it means to be human, to reconcile living as multiple selves. DeWoskin dives into the uncertain spaces, showing us how a life lived between walls is murky, strange, and immensely human. These poems ask us how to communicate across the boundaries that threaten to divide us, to measure and close the distance between who we are, were, and want to be.

About the authors: Gail Mazur is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College and Founding Director of the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, a weekly poetry reading series she ran for 29 years. Mazur’s poems have been widely anthologized and included in 2 Pushcart Prize Anthologies. She is author of several books of poetry, including Nightfire, The Pose of Happiness, The Common, and They Can’t Take That Away from Me.

Rachel DeWoskin is an Associate Professor of Practice in Creative Writing and affiliated faculty member of Jewish Studies and East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. Her most recent novels, Banshee and Someday We Will Fly, were both published to critical acclaim in 2019.

Event Location: