Daniel Borzutzky & Poupeh Missaghi Live Reading and ConversationTuesday, March 9, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (Run-time 90 min)
National Book Award winner Daniel Borzutzky will read from his newest poetry collection Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018— a provocative and incandescent indictment of capitalism’s moral decay. Borzutzky will share our virtual stage with author and translator Poupeh Missaghi for a live reading, discussion and audience Q&A. This event is in proud partnership with Coffee House Press.
In Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018, Daniel Borzutzky rages against the military industrial complex that profits from violence, against the unjust policing of certain bodies, against xenophobia passing for immigration policy, against hate spreading like a virus. He grieves for children in cages and those slain in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. But pulsing amid Borzutzky’s outrage over our era’s tragedies is a longing for something better: for generosity to triumph over stinginess and for peace to transform injustice. Borzutzky’s strident language juxtaposes the horror of consumer-culture violence with its absurdity, and he masterfully shifts between shock and heartbreak over the course of the collection. Bleak but not hopeless, Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018 is an unflinching poetic reckoning with the twenty-first century.
“These poems apply a clarity of conscience and language to the surreal nightmare born of white supremacy and zero-sum-game capitalism. Borzutzky—like Reznikoff and Rukeyser, and Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, whom he has translated—reminds us that poetry is and has long been a tool of reckoning and refusal, a way of singing for what has been stolen, slaughtered, stifled. These are the songs we must learn to sing.” —Tracy K. Smith
Daniel Borzutzky is the author of several poetry collections, including The Book of Interfering Bodies; In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy; The Performance of Becoming Human, winner of the 2016 National Book Award; and Lake Michigan, a finalist for the 2019 Griffin International Poetry Prize. His translation of Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia received the National Translation Award. He has also translated books by Chilean poets Raúl Zurita and Jaime Luis Huenún. He teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, an editor, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver, an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in translation studies. Her debut novel trans(re)lating house one was published by Coffee House Press in February 2020. Her nonfiction, fiction, and translations have appeared in numerous journals, and she has several books of translation published in Iran. I’ll Be Strong for You, her translation of Iranian author Nasim Marashi’s novel, is forthcoming in spring 2021. As an editor, she worked for many years with Asymptote and is co-editor of Matters of Feminist Practice from Belladonna* Collaborative. She is currently a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; a faculty mentor at the low-residency MFA of Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland; as well as a writing consultant at Baruch College, CUNY, NY.