Reginald Gibbons - "Renditions" - Ed Roberson and Angela Jackson

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Reginald Gibbons

Join us for a book release and reading celebrating Reginald Gibbons' latest poetry collection, Renditions. The night will also feature readings from Ed Roberson and IL Poet Laureate Angela Jackson.

Presented in partnership with The Guild Literary Complex

Virtual event


About the book: In Renditions, Reginald Gibbons conducts an ensemble of poetic voices, using the works of a varied, international selection of writers as departure points for his translations and transformations. The collection poses the idea that all writing is, at least abstractly, an act of translation, whether said act “translates” observation into word or moves ideas from one language to another. Through these acts of transformation, Gibbons infuses the English language with stylistic aspects of other languages and poetic traditions. The resulting poems are imbued with a sense of homage that allows us to respectfully reimagine the borders of language and revel in the fellowship of idea sharing. In this tragicomedy of the human experience and investigation of humanity’s effects, Gibbons identifies the “shared underthoughts that we can (all) sense:” desire, love, pain, and fervor.

About the author: Reginald Gibbons has published 11 books of poems, most recently Renditions (Four Way Books, 2021). His novel Sweetbitter won the Anisfield-Wolf Award, and his book of poems Creatures of a Day was a Finalist for the National Book Award. He edited Triquarterly magazine from 1981 to 1997 and oversaw its transformation into an online literary journal in 2010. He taught in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College for more than two decades, and since 1981 has been teaching at Northwestern University. He was a co-founder of The Guild Literary Complex.

About Ed Roberson: Ed Roberson is the author of many books of poetry, including the newly released Asked What Has Changed (Wesleyan University Press, 2021) and the forthcoming MPH and Other Road Poems (Verge Books, 2021). A former special programs administrator at Rutgers University’s Cook Campus, Roberson has lived in Chicago since 2004 and is an emeritus professor in Northwestern University’s MFA creative writing program. He has also held posts at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Cave Canem retreat for black writers. His honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and the African American Literature and Culture Association’s Stephen Henderson Critics Award. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Roberson has worked as a limnologist’s assistant (conducting research on inland and coastal fresh water systems in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and in Bermuda), as a diver for the Pittsburgh Aquazoo, in an advertising graphics agency, and in the Pittsburgh steel mills.

About Angela Jackson: Angela Jackson was born in Greenville, Mississippi and raised on Chicago’s Southside and educated at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. She was a 20-year member of the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) Writers Workshop, succeeding the late Hoyt W. Fuller as its Chair. Of Ms Jackson’s volumes, Dark Legs and Silk Kisses: The Beatitudes of the Spinners was awarded the Carl Sandburg Award and the Chicago Sun-Times/Friends of Literature Book of the Year Award. And All These Roads Be Luminous: Poems Selected and New was nominated for the National Book Award. It Seems Like a Mighty Long Time was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Pen/Open Book Award, a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and a finalist for the Milt Kessler Poetry Prize. Jackson has received the Shelley Memorial Award of the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, the Illinois Center for the Book Heritage Award, the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Fuller Award, and the Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent from Chicago State University. In additional to her poetry, Jackson’s novels and plays have also been widely recognized and she has received two American Book Awards. Recently named the Poet Laureate for the State of Illinois, Ms. Jackson joins only four other esteemed poets who have previously held this coveted title. The first Illinois Poet Laureate, Howard B. Austin, was named in 1936. The three other poets who have held the title are Carl Sandburg (1962-67), Gwendolyn Brooks (1968-2000), and Kevin Stein (2003-2017). In June, Gov. Pritzker posthumously named John Prine an honorary Poet Laureate.

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