River Styx Reading Series with Carl Phillips and Sufiya Abdur-Rahman

Monday, February 21st, 7pm CST
Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81506188661...
Password: Hades
 
About the Speakers
Carl Phillips is the author of several books of poetry, including Silverchest, a finalist for the International Griffin Prize, and Double Shadow, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He is also the author of The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination. Phillips teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.
Sufiya Abdur-Rahman is creative nonfiction editor for Cherry Tree, and teaches nonfiction at Washington College. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland.
 
 
About the Carl Phillips's Then the War
A new collection of poems from one of America's most essential, celebrated, and enduring poets, Carl Phillips's Then the War
I'm a song, changing. I'm a light
rain falling through a vast
 
darkness toward a different
darkness.
 
Carl Phillips has aptly described his work as an "ongoing quest"; Then the War is the next step in that meaningful process of self-discovery for both the poet and his reader. The new poems, written in a time of rising racial conflict in the United States, with its attendant violence and uncertainty, find Phillips entering deeper into the landscape he has made his own: a forest of intimacy, queerness, and moral inquiry, where the farther we go, the more difficult it is to remember why or where we started.
 
Then the War includes a generous selection of Phillips's work from the previous thirteen years, as well as his recent lyric prose memoir, "Among the Trees," and his chapbook, Star Map with Action Figures.
 
Ultimately, Phillips refuses pessimism, arguing for tenderness and human connection as profound forces for revolution and conjuring a spell against indifference and the easy escapes of nostalgia. Then the War is luminous testimony to the power of self-reckoning and to Carl Phillips as an ever-changing, necessary voice in contemporary poetry.
 
A master class in [Phillips's] deceptively gentle voice and striking depictions of raw humanity . . . Every selection provides a portal to this accomplished author's work. An important milestone in the still flourishing career of a most brilliant poet. --Booklist
 
 
About Heir to the Crescent Moon
From age five, Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, the daughter of two Black Power-era converts to Islam, feels drawn to the faith even as her father, a devoted Muslim, introduces her to and, at the same time, distances her from it. Abdur-Rahman's father and mother abandoned their Harlem mosque before she was born and divorced when she was twelve. Forced apart from her father--her portal into Islam--she yearns to reconnect with the religion and, through it, reconnect with him.

In Heir to the Crescent Moon, Abdur-Rahman's longing to comprehend her father's complicated relationship with Islam leads her first to recount her own history, and then delves into her father's past. She journeys from the Christian righteousness of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s 1950s Harlem, through the Malcolm X-inspired college activism of the late 1960s, to the unfulfilled potential of the early 1970s Black American Muslim movement. Told at times with lighthearted humor or heartbreaking candor, Abdur-Rahman's story of adolescent Arabic lessons, fasting, and Muslim mosque, funeral, and Eid services speaks to the challenges of bridging generational and cultural divides and what it takes to maintain family amidst personal and societal upheaval. She weaves a vital tale about a family: Black, Muslim, and distinctly American.

Virtual Event
Books: 
Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020 Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780374603762
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 1st, 2022

Heir to the Crescent Moon Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609387822
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University Of Iowa Press - November 15th, 2021