THURSDAY, MARCH 26 AT 7:00PM
BY RICK BAROT
with performances by SARA BORJAS & LYNNE THOMPSON
moderated by DONNA SPRUIJT-METZ
These poems are engaged in the work of recovery, making visible what is often intentionally erased: the movement of domestic workers on a weekday morning in Brooklyn; a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, fondly sharing photos of his dog; the departure and destination points of dozens of galleons between 1564 and 1815, these ships evoking both the vast movements of history and the individual journeys of those borne along by their tides. “Her story is a part of something larger, it is a part / of history,” Barot writes of his grandmother. “No, her story is an illumination // of history, a matchstick lit in the black seam of time.”
With nods toward Barot’s poetic predecessors―from Frank O’Hara to John Donne―The Galleons represents an exciting extension and expansion of this virtuosic poet’s work, marrying “reckless” ambition and crafted “composure,” in which we repeatedly find the speaker standing and breathing before the world, “incredible and true.”
Rick Barot was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has published three previous volumes of poetry: The Darker Fall; Want; which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the 2009 GrubStreet Book Prize; and Chord. Chord received the UNT Rilke Prize, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award. It was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Poetry, the New Republic, Tin House, the Kenyon Review, and the New Yorker.
SARA BORJAS is a Xicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection of poetry, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff was published in 2019. Sara was named one of Poets & Writers 2019 Debut Poets, is a 2017 CantoMundo Fellow, the recipient of the 2014 Blue Mesa Poetry Prize and a Cantomundo Regional Chair for California. Her work can be found in Ploughshares, The Rumpus, Poem-a-Day by The Academy of American Poets, and The Offing, amongst others.
Lynne Thompson is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Fretwork chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2018 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize. Thompson is the recipient of an Artist Grant from the City of Los Angeles and multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Recent work appears in Ploughshares, Nelle, Pleiades, and the Colorado Review, among others.
Donna Spruijt-Metz is a poet, translator, and Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her first career was as a professional flutist. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as Vinyl, The Rumpus, and Poetry Northwest. She gets restless. Her most recent collection was Slippery Surfaces.
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