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Poets Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel read from their latest works--Playing Monster :: Seiche and Testify--on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Valley Bar (130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 6:30 p.m.
This event is open to the public and free. Seating is first-come, first-serve (with room to stand). While RSVPs are encouraged, registrations are purely for the purpose of monitoring attendance; you do not need to register to attend this event.
Please note this event is 18+. Valley Bar is located on the South side of Monroe St. in the alley between 1st Ave and Central Ave. As parking in Downtown Phoenix can be difficult, we recommend taking the light-rail. More information regarding the venue and directions will be sent through the event portal and posted on facebook closer to the event.
Playing Monster :: Seiche was the Editrix's Pick for the 1913 Press Prize for First Books in 2016. This is a book-length poem weaving many threads, but predominantly childhood experiences with an abusive father and, as an adult, increasingly aggressive acts made toward the speaker's mother by strange men. Playing Monster :: Seiche is a piece of noir poetics. It is memoir. It is documentary.
A book of elegiac ambivalence, Testify’s speaker often finds himself trapped between received binaries: black and white, ghetto and suburban, atheism and Catholicism. In many ways, this work is a Bildungsroman detailing the maturation of a black man raised in the crack-laden 1980s, with hip-hop, jazz, and blues as its soundtrack. Rendered with keen attention to the economic decline of the Midwest due to the departure of the automotive industry, this book portrays the speaker wrestling with his city’s demise, family relationships, interracial love, and notions of black masculinity. Never letting anyone, including the speaker, off the hook, Testify refuses sentimentality and didacticism and dwells in a space of uncertainty, where meaning and identity are messy, complicated, and multivalent.
Diana Arterian is the author of Playing Monster :: Seiche (1913 Press, 2017), the chapbooks With Lightness & Darkness and Other Brief Pieces (Essay Press, 2017), Death Centos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013), and co-editor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016). A Poetry Editor at Noemi Press, her creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Banff Centre, Caldera, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo, and her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in Asymptote, BOMB, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Born and raised in Arizona, she currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a doctoral candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. She holds an MFA in poetry from CalArts, where she was a Beutner Fellow.
Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has been the Poetry Editor of Gold Line Press as well as was one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His work is featured on Poetry Foundation's website and has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify, was released by Red Hen Press in the spring of 2017.