Kate Gale, Cai Emmons, and Ra Malika Imhotep—'The Loneliest Girl: Poems,' 'Sinking Islands,' and 'gossypiin'

Join us for a multigenre evening of readings at Ravenna!


Third Place Books welcomes Kate Gale, Cai Emmons, and Ra Malika Imhotep to our Ravenna store! Join us to celebrate new work from each author—Gale's poetry collection The Loneliest Girl, Emmons' novel Sinking Islands, and Imhotep's poetry collection gossypiin. 

In early 2021, Cai Emmons was diagnosed with bulbar-onset ALS and is unable to speak—we're gladdened to report that the wonderful local author Jennie Shortridge will be present to read Cai's words in her place.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of The Loneliest Girl, Sinking Islands, and gossypiin 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!

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About The Loneliest Girl. . .

"When I open a new book by Kate Gale I know right away that there will be bravery. There will be a new take on mythology. There will be beautiful, skillful, memorable language that stands up and speaks up. And the pages fortify, they give strength. The Loneliest Girl is a brave, honest, and endlessly compelling book. Bravo."
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic: Poems

Who was more alone than Medusa? Raped in Athena's temple, transformed into a monster, and banished into a cave, Medusa may be the ultimate example of victim blaming. In The Loneliest Girl, Kate Gale creates a powerful alternative narrative for Medusa and for all women who have carried guilt and shame--for being a woman, for not being enough, for being a victim. She offers a narrative in which women are the makers of the world--in which women find their way out from the cave of the Cisthene and into a world where they determine their own destiny.

About Sinking Islands. . .

“With a dazzling array of characters and locations and just enough magic to surprise and enchant us, Sinking Islands explores how connection, mentorship, and dedication might alter the course of lives and planet. This novel is an ecofeminist gem.”
—Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra

Sinking Islands continues the story of Bronwyn Artair, a scientist who possesses the power to influence the natural forces of the Earth. After several successful interventions, including one in Siberia, she has gone into hiding, worried about unintended consequences of her actions, as well as about the ethics of operating solo. But circumstances call her to action again, and an idea takes shape: What if she could impart her skill to other people? Gathering a few kindred souls from climate-troubled places around the world—Felipe from São Paulo, where drought conditions are creating strains on day-to-day life; Analu and his daughter Penina from a sinking island in the South Pacific; and Patty from the tornado-ridden plains of Kansas—she takes them to the wilds of Northern New Hampshire where she tries to teach them her skill. The novel, realistic but for the single fantastical element, explores how we might become more attuned to the Earth and act more collaboratively to solve the enormity of our climate problem.


About gossypiin. . .

"This book wags tongues, licks brown skin with peaches, tells tales, and dishes the dirt. Grounded in the growth cycle of Cotton Root Bark, gossypiin links Southern landscapes to black feminist lineage. (Br’er Rabbit be here. Zora Neale Hurston, Grandma Sarah & so many more.) Along with the avatar Lil Cotton Flower, Ra Malika Imhotep explores family history, confronts sexual trauma, and celebrates black femme resistance. “Wail / out a deep joy. Wet your face / with our common salt.” Read these words to recover the bodies of black women and femmes, to revere our bodies of knowledge."
—Gabrielle Civil, author of Swallow the Fish and Experiments in Joy

This harvest of poems is inspired by the plant medicine latent in Gossypium Herbeceum, or Cotton Root Bark, which was used by enslaved Black women to induce labor, cure reproductive ailments and end unwanted pregnancies. Through an arrangement of stories, secrets and memories experienced, read, heard, reimagined and remixed, gossypiin reckons with a peculiar yet commonplace inheritance of violation, survival and self-possession. In this way, Ra Malika Imhotep invites us to lean in and listen good as the text interrupts the narrative silence around sexual harm, sickness, and the marks they make on black femme subjectivity.

Within these pages, the poet is joined by a “sticky trickster-self” named Lil Cotton Flower who tells of their own origins and endings in the Black vernacular traditions of the griot and the gossip. Interspersed throughout the collection, Black feminist wisdoms and warnings meld with the poets own yearnings and Lil Cotton Flower’s tall tales. Gossypiin is an offering towards the holding and healing of Black beings that exceed the confines of their own bodies.

Dr. Kate Gale is co-founder and Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review.  She teaches in the Low Residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction. She is the author of The Loneliest Girl from the University of New Mexico Press and of seven books of poetry including The Goldilocks Zone from the University of New Mexico Press in 2014, and Echo Light from Red Mountain in 2014 and six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis, which had its world premiere October 2010 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. She speaks on independent publishing around the US and internationally at schools such as USC, Columbia, and Oxford University.  

Cai Emmons is the author of seven works of fiction. Her latest novels, Unleashed (Dutton) and Livid (Red Hen Press), will be published in September 2022. Her previous works are His Mother’s Son (Harcourt), The Stylist (HarperCollins), Weather Woman (Red Hen Press), and its sequel Sinking Islands (Red Hen Press), as well Vanishing, a collection of short stories which won the Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest. His Mother’s Son won the Ken Kesey Award for the Novel; Weather Woman was awarded a Nautilus Book Award and was shortlisted for the Eric Hoffer Grand Prize. Sinking Islands won a Sarton
Woman’s Book Award, and she has been a finalist in the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize, as well as Narrative’s fiction contest. Cai’s short work has appeared in such publications as TriQuarterly, Narrative, Arts and Culture, LitHub, Ms. Magazine, and Electric Literature, among others.

Ra Malika Imhotep is a Black feminist writer and performance artist from Atlanta, Georgia. As a scholar and cultural worker, Ra Malika is invested in exploring relationships between queer articulations of Black femininity, Southern vernacular culture, and the performance of labor. As a steward of Black Studies and Black feminist thought, Ra Malika dreams, organizes, and facilitates spaces of critical reflection and embodied spiritual-political education. Ra Malika resides in Oakland, California.

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