Left Bank Books & St. Louis Poetry Center present Brian Teare & Dana Levin for a Night of Poetry & Discussion! Critically acclaimed poets Teare and Levin will discuss themes from their newest books, focusing on transforming oppressions of body and family—chronic illness and abusive family environments. They will share poetry from their books, speaking to those themes. The evening will take twists and turns as the poets discuss connections between their works, creating a very unique event.
Teare & Levin will personalize and sign copies after the presentation!
A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, Brian Teare is the author of seven critically acclaimed books, including Doomstead Days, winner of the Four Quartets Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent publications are a pair of book-length ekphrastic projects exploring queer abstraction, chronic illness, and collage: the 2022 Nightboat reissue of The Empty Form Goes All the Way to Heaven, and the fall 2023 publication of Poem Bitten by a Man. An Associate Professor of Poetry at the University of Virginia, Brian lives in Charlottesville, where he makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.
Dana Levin is the author of five books poetry. Her latest is Now Do You Know Where You Are (Copper Canyon Press), a 2022 New York Times Notable Book and NPR “Book We Love.” Other books include Banana Palace (2016) and Sky Burial (2011), which The New Yorker called “utterly her own and utterly riveting.” Recent poems and essays have appeared in Poem-a-day, Best American Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and Poetry, among other publications. She is a grateful recipient of many honors, including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, and the Library of Congress, as well as from the Rona Jaffe, Whiting, and Guggenheim Foundations. With Adele Elise Williams, she co-edited Bert Meyers: On the Life and Work of an American Master (2023) for the Unsung Masters Series. Levin serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence at Maryville University in St. Louis.
About the Book:
Poem Bitten by a Man
Collaged from journals and notebooks kept during a period of chronic illness, economic precarity, and heartbreak, Poem Bitten By a Man captures crisis by cutting up the record of a queer life lived in devotion to poetry and visual art.
A medical emergency, a road trip, a breakup, and a paean to the power of creative process-- Poem Bitten by a Man is for everyone who has tried against the odds to make a life in art, whether they succeeded or not. Using somatic language captured through a notebook practice, Teare recontextualizes the work of Agnes Martin, Jasper Johns, and others via art criticism, psychoanalysis, biography, queer theory, and historical document to honor writers, artists, and thinkers who sustain us when nothing else does.
"I'm always moved (and changed) by Brian Teare. It's already a part of my mind what he makes and says this rich stark work affects me so deeply. Here to read means avidly copying into my notebook from his because what it is, this book, is heart and pain and the loosened materiality of all of it, the bodily records of his life and art and him copying thoughtfully from Jasper Johns and Agnes Martin everyone all pouring our secret public thoughts into so many cups, it's dark & luminous reading this potion." --Eileen Myles
"Ekphrasis involves voicing what art can't speak. Teare's expansive response to the art of Agnes Martin and Jasper Johns--touching on visionaries such as Ruth Asawa, Jay DeFeo, Sam Gillian as well--does this ever so differently. While probing the conditions allowing the artists to transmute biography and turn away from turmoil, he sounds out their findings, letting them undergird his bodily experience of precarity, illness, and queer love. Behold the poet's gorgeous turn toward!" --Mónica de la Torre
"Teare, struggling with illness, searches for lost balance through an intense engagement with the painting of Agnes Martin. These achingly beautiful poems demonstrate the ways that, as Dickinson puts it, 'After great pain, a formal feeling comes.'" --Rae Armantrout
Now Do You Know Where You Are
- Previously selected for major prizes by Nobel prize-winning poet Louise Glück
- Levin's book are consistently well reviewed and critically-acclaimed
- Has published with Copper Canyon Press since her debut in 1999
- This particular book has many poems sparked, informed, or reshaped by the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath
- The book hinges upon the poet's move from Santa Fe to St. Louis
- Memoir hybrid: personal meditations on the body, grief, and place
- Poems about the poet's own medical and homeopathic history
- The book revolves around three key sequences: "Two Autumns, Saint Louis," "Pledge," and "Appointment"-the first two are very much poems "about" America/place post-election, and "Appointment" is very much about healing and the body