Reading and Conversation with the Spring 2021 Phoenix Poets

Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Peter Campion, Karen Fish, Jason Sommer

Peter Campion, Karen Fish, and Jason Sommer will discuss One Summer Evening at the FallsNo Chronology, and Portulans

Presented in partnership with Phoenix Poets

Virtual event


About One Summer Evening at the Falls: The poems in this collection capture the fantastic feeling of falling in love, all while keeping eyes on its lifecycles of crashing aftermaths, lingering regrets, guilt, and renewal. Campion’s poems introduce us to a range of people, all of whom are rendered with distinctiveness and intimacy. Their voices proliferate through the collection, with lyric folding into speech, autobiography becoming dramatic monologue, and casual storytelling taking on a ritualistic intensity. The poems in One Summer Evening at the Falls show how each character and each moment can be worthy of love and that this love both undoes us and makes us who we are.

About Peter Campion: Peter Campion is the author of Radical as Reality: Form and Freedom in American Poetry and of four collections of poems, Other People, The Lions, El Dorado, and One Summer Evening at the Falls. His poems have appeared in publications including Poetry, Slate, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, and New Republic, among others. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, he teaches in the graduate creative writing program at the University of Minnesota.

About No ChronologyIn No Chronology, Karen Fish’s third collection of poems, she investigates those moments when the boundary of everyday life merges with history, imagination, and art. Throughout this collection, Fish seeks truths about memory and loss, shame and redemption. She faces uncomfortable questions arising from our individual and collective actions, asking whether we are complicit in extinctions of species and how we reduce the humanity of prisoners by tying their identity to their crime. But these poems are also about naming life’s particular joys: driving in spring, walking through the woods with dogs, or hearing a child speak through the mail slot. They offer a space to encounter lyrical meditation as an experience in and of itself. 

About Karen Fish: Karen Fish is an associate professor and past chair in the Writing Department at Loyola University Maryland. She is the author of three poetry collections: The Cedar CanoeWhat Is Beyond Us, and No Chronology. Fish has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, a fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines including The New YorkerNew Republic, Paris ReviewYale Review, American Poetry ReviewPoetry, and Slate

About PortulansTaking inspiration from medieval sea charts—portulans—the poems in Jason Sommer’s collection bring a fresh variation to the ancient metaphor of life as a journey. Through this collection, Sommer takes us to the ocean floor, into the basement, out the front door, through multiverses, and in and out of dreams. Along the way, he considers whether art—the beauty of the map—can provide momentary meaning against a backdrop of oblivion. These are poems of searching. Like ancient cartographers who lent lavish decoration to their maps, the poems in Portulans illuminate possibilities of beauty in each journey.

About Jason Sommer: Jason Sommer is the author of five books of poetry, including The Laughter of Adam and Eve and three in the Phoenix series: PortulansOther People's Troubles, and The Man Who Sleeps in My Office. He has also published English versions of Irish language poems and two collaborative book-length translations of contemporary Chinese fiction, and he is the recipient of several awards, including a fellowship from the Whiting Foundation. His poems have appeared in publications such as the New RepublicPloughsharesChicago ReviewAgniRiver Styx, and TriQuarterly, among others. Taking cues from medieval sea charts, the poems in Portulans bring a fresh variation to the ancient metaphor of life as a journey.

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