Monday, April 19, 2021 at 7:00PM
INDEX OF WOMEN
by AMY GERSTLER
in conversation with LOUISE STEINMAN
From a maestra of invention (The New York Times) who is at once supremely witty, ferociously smart, and emotionally raw, a new collection of poems about womanhood
Amy Gerstler has won acclaim for sly, sophisticated, and subversive poems that find meaning in unexpected places. Women's voices, from childhood to old age, dominate this new collection of rants, dramatic monologues, confessions and laments. A young girl muses on virginity. An aging opera singer rages against the fact that she must quit drinking. A woman in a supermarket addresses a head of lettuce. The tooth fairy finally speaks out. Both comic and prayer-like, these poems wrestle with mortality, animality, love, gender, and what it is to be human.
Amy Gerstler has published thirteen books of poems. The most recent is Index of Women (Penguin Random House, 2021). In 2019, she received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant. In 2018, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Scattered at Sea, a book of her poems published by Penguin in 2015 was longlisted for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Kingsley Tufts Award, and was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award. Her book Dearest Creature (Penguin, 2009) was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was short listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. Her previous books include Ghost Girl, Medicine, Crown of Weeds, which won a California Book Award, Nerve Storm, and Bitter Angel, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2010 she was guest editor of the annual anthology Best American Poetry. Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry, several volumes of Best American Poetry and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry. She is currently collaborating with composer, actor
Louise Steinman is a writer, artist, and literary curator. Her work frequently deals with memory, history, and reconciliation. Her three books include: The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation; The Knowing Body: The Artist As Storyteller in Contemporary Performance and The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War. Steinman founded-- and was for twenty-five years the curator—of the celebrated ALOUD literary series at the Los Angeles Public Library. Her essays have been published widely, most recently in Los Angeles Review of Books. She is the editor of the 2018 anthology: Country Gone Missing: Nightmares in the Time of Trump. Her installation, “Welcome the Stranger: An Urban Installation for Social Engagement” (with Dorit Cypis), was featured at the 2019 Lublin (Poland) Open City Festival. She is co-director of The Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at the University of Southern California. Her lead essay, “The Questions We Ask,” appears in the forthcoming volume A History for the Future: The Museum of Contemporary Art 1979-2000. www.louisesteinman.com