VIDEO + AUDIO Hollie Hardy and Mukta Sambrani, Poetry Center Book Award Reading

Thursday, May 5 - 4:30 pm PST
The Poetry Center, Humanities 512, San Francisco State University

Full-program video: Hollie Hardy and Mukta Sambrani: May 5, 2016
Video highlight clips: Mukta Sambrani reads "The man with a plastic heart..." | Hollie Hardy reads "How to Survive Adrift at Sea"

Hollie Hardy, recipient of the Poetry Center Book Award for her How to Take a Bullet and Other Survival Poems (Punk Hostage Press, 2014), reads from her book together with award judge Mukta Sambrani.

  • 'Hollie Hardy’s poems in How to Take a Bullet and Other Survival Poems are important: brave, whimsical, and wise. Hardy seeks dialog with other poets, authors and artists, burying borrowings like precious jewels, skillfully planting Leonard Cohen and Virginia Woolf, Thomas Pynchon and Sylvia Plath. While her use of form is consistent and understated in the less-is-more sort of way, this quieter, almost traditional manner allows Hardy to enhance the reader’s experience of her rich imagery and sensory detail:

    Glistening slices of moon
    Splash through the lattice of leaves…

    Your fingers find the textures of trees
    Barefoot in the moist earth, a guidebook in Braille…

    (from “How to leave a trail for rescuers if you are lost in the wilderness”)

    'Her poem for Oscar Grant, “How to survive a riot,” reminds us why it is important to be present to the most pressing need of our time: naming racial inequity before the law and doing something about police brutality and the murders of unarmed black boys and men. Hardy reminds us that we live in a war zone, in a time where lessons in survival must become the business of poets and poetry.' 
    —Mukta Sambrani, judge's statement

Hollie Hardy is the author of How to Take a Bullet, And Other Survival Poems (Punk Hostage Press, 2014). She holds an MFA in poetry from SFSU, and teaches writing classes at the SF Creative Writing Institute, San Francisco State University, and Berkeley City College. An active participant in the Bay Area literary scene, Hardy co-hosts the popular reading series Saturday Night Special, an East Bay Open Mic. She’s a founder and core producer for the Beast Crawl Literary Festival in Oakland, co-curator of Litquake's Flight of Poets, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous literary journals including Red Light Lit, Ekphrastic California, Fourteen Hills, Eleven Eleven, sPARKLE & bLINK, The Common, A Sharp Piece of Awesome, Parthenon West Review, One Ded Cow, Transfer, Milvia Street, and other journals. She lives in Oakland, CA. More at

Mukta Sambrani is an Indian born poet and educator based in the United States. Her first book of poems, The Woman in this room isn’t lonely was published by Writer’s Workshop, Calcutta in 1997. Her second book, Broomrider’s book of the dead, was published by Paperwall Media and Publishing, Mumbai in 2015. Mukta’s work has appeared in Verse, Em Literary, Cipactli, Fourteen Hills, Hyphen Magazine, Laundry Pen, The Scribbler, Poetry Chain and anthologies such as The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets, 60 Indian Poets, We Speak in Changing Languages, The Dance of the Peacock, Suvarnarekha and others. She is the recipient of the 2003 Audre Lorde Award from The Poetry Center. Mukta lives in Oakland California, where she is a school administrator.

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The Poetry Center
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The Poetry Center