Tuesday, April 18th at 7:00 p.m
Memoirist Angela Palm and poet Elizabeth Powell, both highly praised – and multiple prize-winning! – in their chosen forms will share new works; Palm’s Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere But Here and Powell’s new collection, Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter are each imaginative maps of family and self and their themes touch and spark in fascinating ways. If, like us, you treasure writers who give us a distinct voice as much as they create with story and language, this evening will prove a rare auditory pleasure. Reading, talk, q&a and signing.
Angela Palm grew up in rural Indiana on the banks of the Kankakee River, whose course had been altered to make room for farmland. Every year the river rose and fell, the water returning to its original path, while residents sandbagged their homes against the flood. From her bedroom window, Palm watched the neighbor boy and loved him in secret, imagining their life together even as she longed for a future that held more than a job at the neighborhood bar. For Palm, caught in this landscape of flood and drought, escape was a continually receding hope. As an adult Palm finds herself drawn back, like the river, to her origins. But this means more than just recalling the place that shaped her, or trying to understand the family that raised her. It means visiting the prison where the boy she loved is serving a life sentence for a brutal murder. It means trying to chart, through Riverine’s mesmerizing pages, what happens when a single event forces the path of her life off course.
“In Riverine, Ms. Palm lucidly sets out to divine how two fates can bifurcate. The result is that rarest of things: a book that lays bare the lives that are lived and not lived.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Elizabeth Powell’s theatrical book of poems plays out against the backdrop of Arthur Miller’s signature play, which is at once a guidepost and a foil for this drama of the self, this poetic meditation on the intermixed American family. Powell’s self-correcting poems are smart and high-spirited, vacillating wildly between feelings, between lyric and prose, moving in a short space from high comedy to dark grief. I can’t think of another book of poems that is quite like Willy Loman’s Reckless Daughter, which keeps bravely crossing ‘the line no one wants to write or live.’ ” — Edward Hirsch
Angela Palm is the author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere But Here an Indie Next selection, winner of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, and a Kirkus Best Book of 2016. Palm was awarded the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Axinn Foundation Fellowship in Narrative Nonfiction. Her work has been published in Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, At Length Magazine, Brevity, Paper Darts, Post Road, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. She lives in Vermont, where she works as a developmental editor and teaches creative writing.
Elizabeth Powell is the author of The Republic of Self, a New Issue First Book Prize winner, selected by C.K. Williams. In 2013, she won a Pushcart Prize. Powell has also received a Vermont Council on the Arts grants and a Yaddo fellowship. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barrow Street, Black Warrior Review, Ecotone, Harvard Review, Handsome, Hobart, Indiana Review, Missouri Review, Mississippi Review, Slope, Sugarhouse Review, Ploughshares, Post Road, and elsewhere. She is Editor of Green Mountains Review, and Associate Professor of Writing and Literature at Johnson State College. She also serves on the faculty of the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing and Publishing.