Friday, March 10, 2023

2023 #AWP (unofficial) offsite (virtual) readings : day four of five: Beaulieu, O’Reilly, Izsak, Qi + Smith,

Furthering this week’s thread as part of the above/ground press thirtieth anniversary as an adjunct to this year’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs annual Conference and Bookfair, today’s penultimate post wonders if anyone is even catching these? I hear these events are pretty exciting, albeit expensive. Is everyone at home simply pretending that none of this exists? It’s nearly spring, you know. Isn’t my birthday coming up as well?

Derek Beaulieu is the author/editor of over twenty-five collections of poetry, prose, and criticism. His most recent volume of fiction, Silence, is forthcoming from Sweden’s Timglaset Books, his most recent volume of poetry, Surface Tension, was published by Toronto’s Coach House Books. Beaulieu has won multiple local and national awards for his teaching and dedication to students, the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for this dedication to literature, and is the only graduate from the University of Calgary’s Department of English to receive the Faculty of Arts ‘Celebrated Alumni Award.’ Beaulieu holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton University, is Banff’s Poet Laureate, and the Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Nathanael O’Reilly is an Irish-Australian poet; he teaches creative writing at The University of Texas at Arlington. His nine collections include Selected Poems of Ned Kelly (Beir Bua Press, 2023), Boulevard (Beir Bua Press, 2021), (Un)belonging (Recent Work Press, 2020), BLUE (above/ground press, 2020) and Preparations for Departure (UWAP, 2017). His poetry appears in over one hundred journals and anthologies published in fourteen countries, including Another Chicago Magazine, Anthropocene, Cordite, The Elevation Review, Identity Theory, The Madrigal, New World Writing Quarterly, Trasna, Westerly and Wisconsin Review. He is the poetry editor for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature.

Emily Izsak lives and writes in Toronto, ON. Her poetry tends to combine surreal imagery, linguistic play, and formal experimentation. Her work has been published in Arc Poetry Magazine, The Puritan, House Organ, Cough, The Steel Chisel, The Doris, and CV2. In 2014 she was selected as PEN Canada’s New Voices Award nominee. Her first full-length collection, Whistle Stops: A Locomotive Serial Poem, was published by Signature Editions in April 2017. She has published two chapbooks with above/ground press: Twenty-five and Never Have I Ever.

Jenny Qi is the author of Focal Point, winner of the 2020 Steel Toe Books Poetry Prize. Her essays and poems have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. She has received support from organizations such as Tin House, Omnidawn, Kearny Street Workshop, and the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Born in Pennsylvania to Chinese immigrants, she grew up mostly in Las Vegas and now lives in San Francisco, where she completed her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology. She has been translating her late mother’s memoirs of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and immigration to the U.S. and is working on more essays and poems in conversation with this work.

“Note: Focal Point came out in October 2021, but Jenny is aggressively bad at making videos (in her own words) and sent this one from earlier that year.”

Pete Smith. Born in the English Midlands, then moved to Kamloops in 1974. Spent a working life supporting folk with intellectual plus psychiatric disability to find a place in the world and trying to help the rest of the world see the person in each of them – a task each generation must take up anew. Poetry published in a dozen chapbooks (above/ground, Oystercatcher, Wild Honey, Poetical Histories, and other fine presses), sundry magazines, and Bindings with Discords, 2015, from Shearsman. Reviews and essays on writers such as Alice Notley, Lisa Robertson, Lissa Wolsak, W D Snodgass, Keston Sutherland, Sharon Thesen, Barry MacSweeney, Trevor Joyce, John James can be found in such places as Agenda, The Gig, Crayon, Capilano Review, The Salt Companion to John James.  Recently preoccupied with translating Osip Mandelstam’s poems from the winter of 1933-34: some published in Snow 9 and 10. First of a series called Translation Suites appeared in Guest No. 23, edited by David Dowker.


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