Thu, Oct 7, 2021, 6:00 PM PDT
Elliot Bay Book Co.
Teresa K. Miller // Borderline Fortune reads with Janice Lee // Imagine a Death
Two writers who are presently based in or near Portland give this virtual joint reading from their new books this evening.
For onetime Seattle resident Teresa K. Miller, it is with her National Poetry Series selected new book of poems, Borderline Fortune (Penguin). “Teresa K. Miller explores startling territories in Borderline Fortune. She addresses the lines we’ve drawn and erased for centuries on the earth—that conform to the borders we cross and uncross in the mind. Yet: ‘I’m asking you to believe in what you’ve never seen or heard,’ she writes, refusing the mind’s limits. Here is the dark power of climate change where she finds ‘the future all danger, heat, & scarcity.’ Blake, Dickinson, and Hopkins’ Terrible Sonnets hover (‘birds build—but not I build’), above trees cut down and hope with feathers. The damage done to the earth echoes the damages to the protean mind of the poet—but Miller remains radiantly elusive, an escape artist in these marvelous poems of altered terra firma and revelation.” —Carol Muske-Dukes, who was the National Poetry Series judge selecting Borderline Fortune. “The poems in Borderline Fortune are so sharply crafted, they serve as the pick and axe that dig deep into the granite of the past. Miller questions specific characters, many ghosts from the past that hold secrets to a history she is rebirthing. The poems shape a world created from the knowledge and the mythology Miller has extracted.” —Elmaz Abinader. Teresa K. Miller is also the author of sped and Forever No Lo, as well as co-editor of Food First.
Also reading this evening is Janice Lee, a professor of creative writing at Portland State University, the founder and executive editor of Entropy, the author of seven previous books of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, here this evening with a new novel, Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press). “In Janice Lee’s newest work, Imagine a Death, her methodical, dedicated attention illuminates the otherwise impenetrable depths of grief. She invites us to bear witness to The Writer, The Photographer, and The Old Man—each having survived the death of a beloved—as they engage in pathetic but ultimately deeply resonant efforts to shape their lives … Through a panoply of animal interpellators, Lee invokes a world that is audaciously savage and catastrophically familiar, and offers an astonishing take on the saga—sung in a Beckettian key. To truly imagine a death requires attending to how we persist after.” —Juliette Lee.