The Poetry Center debuts our new In Common Writers Series, thanks to a generous grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund. We'll present six double-programs (twelve events in all) during 2018–19, featuring a series of remarkable writers from across the US, paired in conversation and performance with (for the most part) local area writers with whom they share strong affinities. Each featured guest writer appears at The Poetry Center—we're doing outreach in particular to students and faculty in SF State's College of Ethnic Studies—reading here and in conversation with their paired writer, and then off-campus with both writers reading their work at one of the Bay Area's local bookstores. We want to recognize our local bookstores as crucial cultural centers and, paradoxically maybe, among the most long-lived and durable cultural sites in this violently gentrified greater community.
Our In Common Writers Series opens November 29 at The Poetry Center with prolific essayist and fiction writer Janice Lee, visiting from Portland, Oregon, who will reading from her work and then engage in conversation with poet Brenda Iijima, visiting from Brooklyn, New York. Two days later in the afternoon, December 1 at San Francisco's Alley Cat Books & Gallery, on 24th Street in San Francisco's Mission District, the two of them will each read from their own work. Both events are free and open to the public.
Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, artist, and editor. She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the apocalypse, architectural spaces, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy? She is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), a multidisciplinary exploration of cyborgs, brains, and the stakes of consciousness, Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), an experimental novel, Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), a book-length meditation and ekphrasis on the films of Hungarian director Béla Tarr, Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), a lyrical essay reflecting on the death of Lee’s mother, and most recently, The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), a collection of travel essays inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. She also has several chapbooks Red Trees, Fried Chicken Dinner (Insert Blanc Press), The Other Worlds (eohippus labs), and The Transparent As Witness (Solar Luxuriance), a collaboration with Will Alexander. She also edited the pamphlet Inherited Trauma for the eohippus labs annex series. She is currently Co-Publisher at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Contributing Editor at Fanzine, Founder and Executive Editor of Entropy, Contributor at HTMLGIANT, and Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC. After living for over 30 years in California, she recently moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon where she is an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Portland State University.
Brenda Iijima’s involvements occur at the intersections and mutations of poetry, research movement, animal studies, ecological sociology and submerged histories. She is the author of seven full-length collections of poetry and numerous chapbooks and artist’s books. Her most recent book, Remembering Animals was published by Nightboat Books in 2016. She is also the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books and PP@YYL). She is the editor of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, located in Brooklyn, NY. Currently she is working on the collected works of Charley Shively that include his luminous and radical Fag Rag essays, poems, ephemera, photos and letters. She is also researching the phenomena of extinction.
In Common Writers Series
Janice Lee and Brenda Iijima
reading from their works
Saturday DEC 1
*4:00 pm @ Alley Cat Books
3036 24th Street, San Francisco, free
supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund