Mónica Gomery - "Might Kindred" - Hilesh Patel

Monday, April 17, 2023 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Mónica Gomery

Mónica Gomery will discuss Might Kindred. She will be joined in conversation by Hilesh Patel. Poet Rocío Franco will give a reading.

This event will be held in person at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. At this time, masks are required for in-store events.


About the book: The poems of Might Kindred wonder aloud: can we belong to one another, and “can a people belong to a dreaming machine?” Conjuring mountains and bodies of water, queer and immigrant poetics, beloveds both human and animal, Mónica Gomery explores the intimately personal and the possibility of a collective voice. Here anthems are sung and fall apart midsong. The speaker exchanges letters with her ancestors, is visited by a shadow sister, and interrogates what it means to make a home as a first-generation American. The poems in Might Kindred are rooted in the body and its cousins, seeking the possibility of kinship, “in case we might kindness, might ardor together.” Belonging and unbelonging are claimed as part of the same complicated whole, and Gomery’s intersections reach for something divine at the center. Into this collection’s longing arms Gomery gathers all matter of kin and all kin of matter: landscapes, stones, ‘unsiblings,’ creation myths, God, language, home, bodies, soil, dignity, ‘jagged verges,’ mirrors, and eyes. She grapples: What are we to do in a world where loss is certain, time is defiant, and the self aches to transcend its borders? Instead of offering us synthetic answers Gomery’s poems arrive ‘bare skinned on the bridge between thinking / and knowing.

About the author: Mónica Gomery is the author of Might Kindred, winner of the 2021 Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize, judged by Kwame Dawes, Amy Nezhukumatathil, and Hilda Raz. Her work explores queerness, diaspora, ancestry, theology, and cultivating courageous hearts. She is also the author of Here is the Night and the Night on the Road (Cooper Dillon Books, 2018), and the chapbook Of Darkness and Tumbling (YesYes Books, 2017). Her poems have been awarded the 2022 Sappho Prize for Women Poets and the 2020 Minola Review Poetry Contest. She has been a nominee for Pushcart Prizes and Best of the Net, and her poems can be found most recently in Four Way Review, Muzzle, Adroit Journal, Iowa Review, Poet Lore, and Poetry Northwest. She serves as a rabbi at Kol Tzedek Synagogue, on unceded Lenape land in Philadelphia, and as a faculty member of SVARA: A Traditionally Radical Yeshiva. Read more at www.monicagomerywriting.com.

About the interlocutor: Hilesh Patel is a writer, consultant, educator, artist and member of the art group The Chicago ACT Collective. His writing investigates immigration, healing, memory and the idea of living memorials. He was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and has called Chicago home for most of his life. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter at @hilesh.

About Rocío Franco: Rocío Franco is a Chicana warrior poet from Chicago. She holds fellowships from Roots, Wounds, Words and Periplus Collective. She’s also an alum of Jericho Brown and VONA. Her poems have appeared in The Acentos Review, the Chicago Reader, the Exposition Review, New City Magazine, and others.

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