***Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has been canceled and will not be rescheduled. We apologize for any inconvenience.***
Third Place Books welcomes editor-in-chief of Two Lines Press and celebrated poet CJ Evans to our Ravenna store for a reading from his latest collection. Lives is the 2021 Winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, selected by Victoria Chang. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Lives will be available for purchase at the store. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
“CJ Evans’s beautiful book, Lives, explores and circles around, into and out of what it means to be free and alive in a world where humans insist on war and environmental destruction. . . . The book is intimate, expansive, and in moments, willfully hopeful. As Evans writes: ‘here is a price I’ve exacted/to live, a shadow in which nothing else could grow, /but since I’m here I’d love.’”
—Victoria Chang, contest judge
Here are poems with music matched to matter, so that reading them often involves both swoon and startle: “When it folds open, the rule-less rile / of sky,” Evans, writes, “the comets and giants. And also: / books, chamomile, and more kissing.” Panoramic in time and space, Lives knows each of us, our ordinary lives and our occupancy within history and the universe, our yearning for connection: “And if I turned to you now, my one wet muscle run dry, would you / turn to me? And what else could my heart be for if not to try?”
"The perceptive, atmospheric second work from Evans (A Penance) is divided into four sections whose poems are both intimate and expansive. . .full of finely crafted lines and carefully unfolding narratives.'And what else could my heart be for if not to try?' Evans writes in 'Time for Lives Getting Better Is Done,' capturing the spirit of this searching collection."
“In a middle of our mad world, what can a poet say in defense of lyric arts? ‘My only defense / is the leap of that spotted deer’ says CJ Evans, and gets it just right. Here is the poet who hears crows ‘in electrical sockets and in airplanes / and in the arteries in my arms’, a poet who insists of speaking of rain which ‘falls as if all these woods / weren't owned.’ Here, also, is a poet who can write with incredible power about school shootings, and suicide, yes, a poet who knows that every orchard is a forest we broke, and yet also stands up to the abyss that surrounds us, and produces an abundance of his hymn to life. That takes a lot. That takes a skill and the will power for life.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa
“In Lives, CJ Evans acutely tunes into the signals emitted from finite and infinite worlds near and far—amidst perpetual violence, wars, and ecocide. The collected signals make up a stunning language that intricately weaves the personal and the political. Lives offers us a deeply intimate and prophetic observation of the now.”
—Don Mee Choi, winner of the National Book Award for DMZ Colony
CJ Evans is the author of Lives, selected by Victoria Chang for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books, A Penance (New Issues Press) and a chapbook, The Category of Outcast, selected by Terrance Hayes for a Poetry Society of America chapbook fellowship. A past recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, recent poems have appeared in the Adroit Journal, Kenyon Review, Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. He’s the editor in chief of Two Lines Press, a publisher of international literature in translation, and lives in the Bay Area.
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