Nobody Wants an Unraveling Woman: Raena Shirali and Laura Rogalsky - with Marty McConnell

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Raena Shirali


Celebrate the release of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017) with poets Raena Shirali and Laura Rogalsky in conversation with Marty McConnell. 

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: Raena Shirali’s collection, GILT, fiercely unveils its first generation, East Indian speakers’ reconciliation of her identity as it engages with and critiques both Indian and American culture’s treatment and expectations of women. Laura Rogalsky’s poems draw from her experience of parenting through working as a caregiver, and how parenting, even at its best, is set up for someone to be hurt or left behind. By performing their poems in conversation with each other, these two poets pose questions such as: how do we define ourselves through external and intimate forces--be they romantic, familial, platonic, or cosmic? How do longing and pop culture alter our tiny rituals, our domestic lives? How do capitalistic, patriarchal systems infiltrate our intimate spaces, even as we will them away? 

About the authors: Raena Shirali is the author of GILT (YesYes Books, 2017). Her honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Poetry Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, & a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She has also been recognized as a finalist for the 2016 Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize & a 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship. Her poems & reviews have appeared in Blackbird, Ninth Letter, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Four Way Review, & elsewhere. She has performed at Indiana University, Wright State University, Slam Free or Die!, Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, Columbus College of Art & Design, & elsewhere. Born in Houston, Texas, & raised in Charleston, South Carolina, the Indian American poet earned her MFA from The Ohio State University. Most recently, she was the Philip Roth Resident at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry. She currently lives in Philadelphia & serves as a poetry reader for Muzzle Magazine.

Laura Rogalsky is a writer in Chicago who doesn’t want to move to New York. When she is not reading or writing she is working as a social worker or trying to seem more chill than she is. Her work has been featured in FORTH, Deluge, Hooligan Magazine, and Entropy. She is a former participant in the Home School and Tin House Writer’s workshops.

About the interlocutor: Marty McConnell transplanted herself from Chicago to New York City in 1999, after completing the first of three national tours with The Morrigan, an all-female performance poetry troupe she co-founded. She received her MFA in creative writing/poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and for nearly a decade, co-curated the flagship reading series of the New York City-based louderARTS Project. She returned to Chicago in 2009 to launch Vox Ferus, an organization dedicated to empowering and energizing individuals and communities through the written and spoken word. McConnell’s work has been published in numerous anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2014, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Movement, as well as journals including Bellevue Literary Review, Willow Springs, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Crab Orchard, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among many others. McConnell's second book, "when they say you can't go home again, what they mean is you were never there," won the 2017 Michael Waters Poetry Prize and is forthcoming in 2018 on Southern Indiana University Press. Her first nonfiction book, “Gathering Voices: Creating a Community-Based Poetry Workshop,” is forthcoming in 2018 on YesYes Books. 

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