Join us on Saturday, June 10th at 7:00 p.m. for a poetry reading with Daisy Bassen, Charles Kell, and Kevin McLellan
Daisy Bassen will be reading a selection of her poems. She is a poet and child psychiatrist who graduated from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Salamander, McSweeney’s, Smartish Pace, Crab Creek Review, New York Quarterly, Little Patuxent Review, and [PANK] among other journals. She was the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest, the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize, and the 2022 Erskine J Poetry Prize. Born and raised in New York, she lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Ishmael Mask by Charles Kell
In Ishmael Mask, Charles Kell reminds us that identity is precarious. Kell’s collection is a collage of the journeys and interior lives of various wanderers—from Ishmael, the son of Hagar, to Melville’s Ishmael, and from Pierre of The Ambiguities to Pierre Guyotat. Each poem strips back the mask and beckons us to witness humanity in its barest forms. Captain Ahab’s leg, Ishmael’s arm, and Pierre’s severed head serve as invitations to consider hunger and hope. The inspirations behind these poems—the Bible, Heraclitus, Melville, Guyotat, Tomaž Šalamun—are transformed by Kell, conjuring dreamscapes both dazzling and haunting.
Ishmael Mask masterfully allows a glimpse into the human experience of feeling lost—even when right at home, even in our own bodies.
Charles Kell is the author of Ishmael Mask, just released from Autumn House Press. His first collection, Cage of Lit Glass, was chosen by Kimiko Hahn for the 2018 Autumn House Press Poetry Prize. He is an assistant professor at the Community College of Rhode Island and editor of the Ocean State Review.
in other words you/ by Kevin McLellan
"This book traffics in the second person. These queer meditations are both directly addressed to and overheard by a beloved You—Self / Other / Reader conjoined in a dance of enjambed vocables, a syntactic pas de deux of monostichs and couplets punctuated by fragmentary prose epistles. We are reminded of the demands that the libido makes, the joys of (w)rote habits ruptured by the new, all of it backed up by an Eighties soundtrack pulsing hard out of the Castro all the way to the U.K. So fasten your seatbelts. The you you left with will not be the same you upon return."--Timothy Liu, author of Vox Angelica, Say Goodnight, and Of Thee I Sing
"The astounding poems that comprise–vividly inhabit–Kevin McLellan’s In other words you/ waver between biblical lamentations and a contemplative sense of memorialized irony. They are a series of snap shots–an embodiment of–gay male longing and queer desire told through a series of time fractured images, song fragments, objects, and muted emotions: a remembrance of the past, vividly illuminated. McLellan vividly conjures those moments of emotional panic and sadness–“/ your breathing [stanza break] a leak in the silence”–that jolt us from consciousness into a dream world of not just regret but a veneration, a reverence that borders on holiness. The enormous power of these poems is embedded in their quietness, their contemplation, transfiguration of the loss of the everyday."--Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States and Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility
Kevin McLellan is the author of: in other words you/ (selected by Timothy Liu for the 2022 Hilary Tham Capital Collection); Hemispheres (in the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona and other special collections), Ornitheology (2019 Massachusetts Book Awards recipient); [box] (in the Blue Star Collection at Harvard University and other special collections), Tributary, and Round Trip. He lives in Cambridge, MA https://kevmclellan.com/