Kevin Craft and Jessica Fisher — 'Traverse' and 'Daywork: Poems'

An evening of poetry at Ravenna!

 

Third Place Books is delighted to welcome Kevin Craft and Jessica Fisher to our Ravenna store for an evening of poetry! Craft and Fisher will be presenting their new collections of poetry, Traverse and Daywork. This event is free and open to the public.

For important updates, registration is highly recommended in advance. 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 Traverse. . .

Traverse, Craft’s third collection, picks up where Vagrants & Accidentals left off, exploring the music, the miscues, the hidden forces and quirks of circumstance that constitute a human life, shape us into the people we become. It’s a book of family origins and discovery, an adoptee’s journey toward self-knowledge, a son’s journey toward becoming (and losing) a parent, navigating the cross-currents of estrangement and acceptance, ecological peril and ambiguous loss. It is also a history of walking, of moving through the world at human speed. As such, Traverse maps a new understanding of familial relation, from birth kin to chosen clan, from missing link to known donor children, arcing toward a wider embrace of the generational and archetypal substrates that inform identity, singular and plural alike. What kin are you to me? Craft asks, sifting through uncertainties, genealogies, and the geological record to find a deeper connection to both human and non-human nature, piecing together, step by step, a vision of expansive love, and the fragile ecology in which our lives subsist.

Praise for Traverse. . .

"Kevin Craft's poems are gorgeous—richly populated with particulars, musical, playful even when serious. And layered—a poem lives inside every poem.  In Traverse, Craft renders a lushly corporeal present and inside it a mind in constant motion and recollection, searching for connection and 'a history I hardly dreamed of / But felt myself becoming all along.' It unfolds as a deft and lively travelog and a dream of family in all its manifold forms—chosen, genetic, adoptive, collective, historical. What a big-hearted, beautiful, and deeply moving book."
—Kathleen Flenniken

 

About Daywork. . .

A meditation on art’s longevity and the brevity of human life from the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Frail-Craft and Inmost.

Jessica Fisher brings “the faraway close,” through ruthless yet tender interrogations of possibility and permanence. Set against the backdrop of the fallen empire of Rome, Daywork takes its title from the giornata—the name in fresco painting for the section of wet plaster that can be painted in a single day, where each “day” is marked by the hidden seams in a finished painting.

In a voice that is as poised as it is unmistakably urgent, Fisher aims to uncover what adheres against the fabric of history, and what becomes effaced over time. Her search leads her to discover signs of ruin of a different kind, and her poems begin to coalesce around a single perilous realization: that time is not merely an agent of erasure. Time is also a tether, rendering violence, beauty, grief, and art separate merely by a matter of days. “So you see once again,” she writes, “violence is to beauty / as the warp to the weft / always somewhere beneath.”

Like the fresco itself, Daywork is committed to a time- and site-specific art, and to the daily work of creation. At once an elegiac meditation and a brave unearthing, this book expertly discerns the monumentalizing portrayals of history and its violences, while boldly illuminating other crucial accounts of everyday existence.

Praise for Daywork. . .

“What are the poet’s responsibilities in regards to witnessing and rendering violence? Arriving, like all of us, in the middle of history, Fisher’s speaker reaches toward the fresco and other forms of art in search, if not of answers, then of language that is alive enough to survive its encounters with grief. It is precisely Fisher’s masterful command over the line that allows Daywork to revel in unruliness and to confront, one frame at a time, the beauty and uncertainty of ‘what it is to be alive now.’”
—Franny Choi, author of The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On


Kevin Craft lives in Seattle and directs the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College. For two decades he also served as a faculty director of the University of Washington’s Writers in Rome Program. His books include Solar Prominence, selected by Vern Rutsala for the Gorsline Prize (Cloudbank Books, 2005), Vagrants & Accidentals (University of Washington Press, 2017): and Traverse (Lynx House Press, 2023), selected by Linda Bierds for the Pacific Northwest Poets Series. He has received fellowships and awards from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, MacDowell Colony, the Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), the Camargo Foundation (France), 4Culture, The Jack Straw Cultural Center, PLAYA, and Artist Trust. In 2022 he was Artist in Residence at Olympic National Park, and often volunteers as a lookout steward in the North Cascades. Editor of Poetry Northwest from 2009 – 2016, he now serves Executive Editor of Poetry NW Editions.

Jessica Fisher is the author of three books of poetry: Frail-Craft, which won the 2006 Yale Younger Poets Prize, Inmost, which was awarded the 2011 Nightboat Poetry Prize, and Daywork, published by Milkweed Editions in 2024. Her poems appear in such journals as The American Poetry Review, The Believer, The Bennington Review, The New Yorker, Tin House, and The Yale Review, and her translations have been published in The New York Review of Books and The Paris Review. She is the grateful recipient of honors including the 2013 Rome Prize, a Holloway Postdoctoral Fellowship in Poetry, and a Hellman Foundation Fellowship. She is an associate professor of English at Williams College and lives with her family in Western Massachusetts.


Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.


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