Valerie Wallace - "House of McQueen" - Stephanie Brooks

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Valerie Wallace

“Wallace’s fearless yet humble reverence gives way to virtuosity in House of McQueen, ennobling the iconic designer and his creations through an inventive and arresting combination of Rococo excesses (“He sips, & ships. Handel slows it to a drawing room vibrato / In plain sight of stays & crushed blossoms”); blunt concision (“aluminum coiled corset | Ndebe | Cossak | worn like a shield”); and emaciating delirium (“I feel / deep / anarchy / the calm / part / getting into it / captures / dying before / your heart / misses / a / beat /”). These poems function like tourniquets but this collection is anything but bloodless. Like its tortured subject, it confesses, “Armorless, I am threaded with blades.” --Kevin Simmonds, author of Bend To It and Mad For Meat 

Valerie Wallace discusses her new book House of McQueen. She will be joined in conversation by Stephanie Brooks.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note your RSVP is requested, not required) 

About the book: Selected by Vievee Francis for the Four Way Books Intro Prize, Valerie Wallace’s House of McQueen is a glittering debut by an assured new voice. Inhabiting the life and work of Alexander McQueen, Wallace builds a fantastical world using both original language and excerpts drawn from interviews, supermodels, Shakespeare, and more. At turns fierce and vulnerable, here is a collection that leaps from runway to fairytale to street with wild, brilliant grace.

About the author: Valerie Wallace is the author of House of McQueen, selected by Vievee Francis for the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook The Dictators’ Guide to Good Housekeeping (dancing girl press 2011). Her work was chosen by Margaret Atwood for the 2012 Atty Award, and she has received an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award and the San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference Award in Poetry. She earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is Associate Director, Communications for the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life at the University of Chicago and teaches courses and workshops in Chicago and elsewhere.

About the interlocutor: The incisive work of Stephanie Brooks engages the discourse encompassing conceptual art, textuality, affect theory, humor, and minimalism. Building on disparate references including makers, thinkers, and writers, her practice is fueled by objects in the built world, literature, writing, politics, and popular culture. Brooks received her BFA degree from Ohio University and her MFA degree from University of Illinois Chicago. Her work is exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally and is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Microsoft Corporation, Phillip Morris Corporation, the MacArthur Foundation, and many others. Her work has been published by Virginia Commonwealth University Press, Green Lantern Press, Illinois State University Press, and University of Chicago Press. She is an assistant professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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