A Reading with Alan Shapiro and Michael Collier

Friday, June 7, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Alan Shapiro & Michael Collier

At this joint reading, Alan Shapiro discusses Against Translation and Michael Collier discusses My Bishop and Others Poems. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

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

About Against Translation: Writing at the limits of language—where “the signs loosen, fray, and drift”—Alan Shapiro probes the startling complexity of how we confront absence, loss, and the ephemeral, as well as things which (like racial prejudice and historical atrocity) are omnipresent and elusive. Through poems that are fine-grained and often quiet, Shapiro tells of subtle bereavements: a young boy is shamed for the first time for looking “girly”; an ailing old man struggles to visit his wife in a nursing home; a woman dying of cancer watches her friends enjoy themselves in her absence. Throughout, this collection traverses rather than condemns the imperfect language of loss—moving against the current in the direction of the utterly ineffable.

About the author: Alan Shapiro has published many books, including Reel to Reel, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About My Bishop and Others Poems: The poems of this collection explore everyday dualities—how the human need for attachment is as much a source of pain as of vitality and how our longing for transcendence often leads to sinister complicities. The title poem tells the conflicted and devastating story of the poet’s friendship with the now-disgraced Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, interweaving fragments of his parents’ funerals, which the Bishop concelebrated, with memories of his childhood spiritual leanings and how they were disrupted by a pedophilic priest the Bishop failed to protect him from. Throughout, this collection pursues a quiet but ferocious need to get to the bottom of things.

About the author: Michael Collier is director of the creative writing program at the University of Maryland and the author of seven collections of poetry, including An Individual History, a finalist for the Poet’s Prize, and The Ledge, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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