New Work From Award Winners Olena Kalytiak Davis, Sara Eliza Johnson, Namwali Serpell & Michelle Tea
(l-r): Olena Kalytiak Davis, Sara Eliza Johnson, Namwali Serpell (photo: Jordan Kines Photography), Michelle Tea (photo: Jenny Westerhoff)
Olena Kalytiak Davis (’96) Late Summer Ode (Copper Canyon Press, October 2022).
“In Late Summer Ode, Olena Kalytiak Davis writes from a heightened state of ambivalence, perched between past and present tensions. With Chekovian humor and metered pathos, from a garden in Anchorage not pining for Brooklyn, these poems 'self -protest, -process, -recede.’ Davis is a conductor of sound and meaning, precise to the syllable: a commanding talent in contemporary poetry.”
Sara Eliza Johnson (’10) Vapor (Milkweed Editions, August 2022).
“Sara Eliza Johnson’s much-anticipated second collection traces human emotion and experience across a Gothic landscape of glacial and cosmic scale. With a mind informed by physics, and a heart yearning for sky burial, Vapor’s epic vision swerves from the microscopic to telescopic, evoking an Anthropocene for a body and planet that are continually dying. Vapor stitches stars to microbes, oceans to space, and love to pain, collapsing time and space to converge everything at once. In Vapor, Sara Eliza Johnson establishes herself as a profound translator of the physical world and the body that moves within it, delivering poems that show us how to die, and live.”
Namwali Serpell (’11) The Furrows: An Elegy (Hogarth, September 2022).
“Named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2022 by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, People, New York magazine, USA Today, and Time.
'I don’t want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.’ Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother, Wayne, is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there is an accident and Wayne is lost forever. His body is never recovered. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt. Their father leaves, starts another family elsewhere. But their mother can’t give up hope and launches an organization dedicated to missing children. Namwali Serpell’s remarkable new novel captures the uncanny experience of grief, the way the past breaks over the present like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a story of mistaken identity, double consciousness, and the wishful—and sometimes willful—longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.”
Michelle Tea (’99) Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility (Dey Street Books, August 2022).
“From PEN America Award winner, 2021 Guggenheim fellow, and beloved literary and tarot icon Michelle Tea, the hilarious, powerfully written, taboo-breaking story of her journey to pregnancy and motherhood as a 40-year-old, queer, uninsured woman. Written in intimate, gleefully TMI prose, Knocking Myself Up is the irreverent account of Tea’s route to parenthood—with a group of ride-or-die friends, a generous drag queen, and a whole lot of can-do pluck. With the signature sharp wit and wild heart that have made her a favorite to so many readers, Tea guides us through the maze of medical procedures, frustrations and astonishments on the path to getting pregnant, wryly critiquing some of the systems that facilitate that choice. Tea has crafted a deeply entertaining and profound memoir, a testament to the power of love and family-making, however complex our lives may be, to transform and enrich us.”