With emcee, Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta
Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
This remote-access event starts promptly at 7:00 pm Pacific Time, and is free and open to the public. Real-Time Captioning is available at our YouTube channel (with Media Captioning provided after the event, at Poetry Center Digital Archive); for other reasonable accommodations please contact email@example.com
Poets Uche Nduka and Sophia Dahlin both have terrific new books in the City Lights Spotlight Series—Nduka’s Facing You is his most recent of several books of poetry, and Dahlin’s Natch is her debut collection. The word from their combined book launch reading for City Lights was so resonant, we asked them to do that again. Together, they’ll be opening The Poetry Center’s Spring 2021 reading series, each reading from their own work, then joining in conversation with one another and with poet Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta as emcee, and responding to questions from the audience.
- “For decades, Uche Nduka's refulgent poetry has shone out amid the various national and cultural contexts in which he has found himself, from Nigeria to Germany to Brooklyn. The brief poems of Facing You showcase Nduka at his most iconic. Casual and elemental, surreal and blue, these poems are like fuses: exactly equal to their tasks. Facing You proves the pliant strength of the lyric, its ability, in a handful of blunt and turning lines, to reverse reality with the ease of an upraised mirror. Nduka's poetry models the principle of agile, flamelike survival amid this most leaden of worlds.”––Joyelle McSweeney
- “The thinking in Sophia Dahlin's poems is thrillingly unforeseeable, the turns of phrase are addictively unique, and the poems as wholes will leave most of the other things you read tasting awfully bland by comparison. This is poetry written at the pitch of a brilliant mind, expressed with rare lucidity.”—Kit Schluter
- “Natch is poetry gold-plated with queer love and lust. Sophia Dahlin resists the rigid binary of top v. bottom and instead renders a switchy lyricism that perverts all things pastoral in embrace of queer slipperiness. Give Natch the summer sweat and oozing attention it deserves.”—Andrea Abi-Karam
Uche Nduka is an itinerant poet and professor presently living on Bainbridge Island near Seattle. He was born in Nigeria, was raised bilingual in Igbo and English, and earned his BA from the University of Nigeria. He left Nigeria in 1994 and settled in Germany after winning a fellowship from the Goethe Institute. In 2007, he immigrated to the United States, where he would earn his MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Nduka is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including the U.S.-published books Living in Public (2018), Nine East (2013), Ijele (2012), and eel on reef (2007). His work has been translated into German, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, and Romanian. City Lights Books recently published Facing You as No. 19 in their Spotlight Series.
Sophia Dahlin earned her BA from Bard College and her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her work has appeared in many journals, including BOMB, Fence, Lambda Literary, Denver Quarterly, and The Recluse. With Jacob Kahn, she edits the chapbook press Eyelet. She lives in Oakland, California, where she teaches with California Poets in the Schools, conducts generative writing workshops, and hosts readings. Dahlin’s Natch, her first full-length collection of poetry, was recently published as the 20th book in the City Lights Books Spotlight Series. Photo by Brooke Cena.