Friday, January 24 at 6:00pm
Join us for poetry readings by Julie Swarstad Johnson, author of Pennsylvania Furnace (Unicorn Press), and Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975—2017 (Princeton, $17.95).
As Julie Swarstad Johnson journeys east from present-day Arizona, her poems travel both geography and time, arriving in a pre-Civil War Pennsylvania crowded with steel mills and ironworks. There, other voices rise up to join hers, allowing the poet to plumb experiences beyond those of her singular self; a woodcutter struggling to support her family cord by cord, an ironmaster’s daughter trading the fetters of her father for those of a husband. Built on careful research and evocative place-based observations, Pennsylvania Furnace is a book of incandescent intelligence, fired by the haunting beauty of its resonant images.
Julie Swarstad Johnson is a poet and writer who lives in Tucson, Arizona. Pennsylvania Furnace is her first full-length book of poetry. She is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Jumping the Pit (Finishing Line Press), and has served as Artist in Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park. With Christopher Cokinos, she is the co-editor of Beyond Earth’s Edge: The Poetry of Spaceflight, forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press in 2020.
Pennsylvania Furnace is not available for purchase online. Contact us to reserve a copy.
A major new collection from the winner of the 2019 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry, Before Our Eyes gathers more than 30 new poems and also features widely anthologized works. In the new poems, Wilner records the bewildering public shocks of the current moment, when civic life is under threat, when language itself is attacked, and when poetry's lens of collective imagination becomes a way to resist falsity, to seek meaning, and to really see what is before our eyes. A poet who engages with history in lyrical language, Wilner creates worlds that reflect on and illuminate the actual one, drawing on the power of communal myth and memory to transform them into agents of change.
Eleanor Wilner is the author of seven previous collections of poetry and recipient of the 2019 Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry, the highest award presented by the Poetry Society of America. Her other awards include the Juniper Prize, three Pushcart Prizes, and a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation. Her work appears in many anthologies, including The Best American Poetry.