Join us for an evening of poetry as we welcome two authors: James Crews & Camille Guthrie.
About James Crews
James Crews will be reading from several of his collections of poetry, but we will especially be highlighting his new volume, Every Waking Moment, as well as the anthology he edited, How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude.
James Crews is the editor of the best-selling anthology, How to Love the World, which has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition, in the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post, and is the author of four prize-winning collections of poetry: The Book of What Stays, Telling My Father, Bluebird, and Every Waking Moment. His poems have been reprinted in the New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, The New Republic, and The Christian Century, and in former US poet laureate Ted Kooser's weekly newspaper column, "American Life in Poetry," and featured on Tracy K. Smith's podcast, The Slowdown. He worked with Ted Kooser on "American Life in Poetry," which reaches millions of readers across the world. Crews holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in writing and literature from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He teaches poetry at the University at Albany and lives with his husband in Shaftsbury, Vermont.
More and more people are turning to poetry as an antidote to divisiveness, negativity, anxiety, and the frenetic pace of life. How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope offers readers uplifting, deeply felt, and relatable poems by well-known poets from all walks of life and all parts of the US, including inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ross Gay, Tracy K. Smith, and others. The work of these poets captures the beauty, pleasure, and connection readers hunger for. How to Love the World, which contains new works by Ted Kooser, Mark Nepo, and Jane Hirshfield, invites readers to use poetry as part of their daily gratitude practice to uncover the simple gifts of abundance and joy to be found everywhere. With pauses for stillness and invitations for writing and reflection throughout, as well as reading group questions and topics for discussion in the back, this book can be used to facilitate discussion in a classroom or in any group setting.
In Every Waking Moment, James Crews plumbs his past and family life for insights, yet always returns to the moment at hand, approaching the world with mindfulness, openness, and clarity. He finds the miraculous in a shaft of sunlight while waiting for the subway, in an eagle glimpsed from a train along the Hudson, or in the fields of sweet corn surrounding his house. Crews reminds us over and over in this meditative new collection: "You must / put yourself in the path of joy / to find it."
About Camille Guthrie
Camille Guthrie will be reading from her new poetry collection, Diamonds. Diamonds presents a woman in midlife on the edge. In hilarious and heartbreaking poems, Camille Guthrie writes about the trials and surprises of divorce, parenting, country life--and the difficulties and delights of being alone, looking at art, and falling in love.
Witty resilience abounds in these irreverent poems about grief and desire--in which the poet meditates upon gender roles, history, pop culture, and academia. Guthrie subverts and teases traditional forms in an elegy about Sylvia Plath's prom dress, a dating profile for Hieronymus Bosch, a sestina about beauty and power--with radical dramatic monologues in the voices of Madame du Barry, a Pict Woman, and more. Unlike Virgil, who refuses to guide this poet through her journey at midlife, Guthrie leads readers by the hand into a provoking, affecting journey of a break-up and a reconciliation with love.
"The poems in Diamonds were written by a tiger who survived divorce, single motherdom, middle age, and sleepless nights worrying about money and what clothes to wear, one who knows it could be worse but wants her revenge, which is--surprise--the revenge of an angel who possesses such intelligence, knowledge, charm, and wit that these poems, from Björk to Bosch, pay us in diamonds and bless us all."
--Mary Ruefle, Author of My Private Property and Madness, Rack, and Honey
"Camille Guthrie's Diamonds is a glorious feminist midlife scream, screed, and ode to the 'paradoxes and oxymorons' of a divorced mother's struggles. With the dark formal wit of Philip Larkin and cutting rage of Sylvia Plath, Guthrie goes there, with hilarious piss and vinegar, on the Sisyphean defeats of an academic stranded; a mother burdened; a consumerist broke; a woman who's had enough. Plundering the wisdom from Shakespeare, Keats, and Butler, along with the wisdom of online flotsam, Guthrie creates a fresh ribald collection that is all too relatable and unputdownable."
--Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning and Engine Empire
Camille Guthrie is the author of three books of poetry: Articulated Lair: Poems for Louise Bourgeois (Subpress, 2013), In Captivity (Subpress, 2006), and The Master Thief (Subpress, 2000). Her poems have appeared in such journals as At Length, Boston Review, Green Mountains Review, The Iowa Review, The New Republic, Poem-A-Day, and Tin House, as well as in several anthologies including the Best of American Poetry 2019 & 2020 (Scribner) and Art & Artists: Poems (Everyman's Library). Guthrie has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell and the Yaddo Foundation. She received her MFA from Brown University and her BA in English Literature from Vassar College. The Director of the Undergraduate Writing Initiatives at Bennington College, she lives in rural Vermont with her two children.