Third Place Books is proud to welcome poet and translator Mira Rosenthal for a reading of her new collection Territorial, published by University of Pittsburgh Press, in conversation with assistant managing editor of Poetry Northwest Constance Hansen. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Territorial 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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Territorial explores the bargains that women make to stay safe from violence. Set in a landscape of looming ecological ruin, the poems bear witness to the effects of drought on the California chaparral region and delve into difficult personal terrain to reveal patterns of abuse we inflict on the earth and each other. How can we emerge from a devastated landscape into a sense of healing and repair? Using the characteristics of violence—repetition and escalation—the collection connects subjects that range from the dawn of recorded sound to the mapping of myths onto constellations, the ecosystem of a leach pond, and the photographs of Alfred Stieglitz. In tracing the ways narratives of predation imprint onto the body, memory, environment, and future generations, Territorial finds resilience in the powers of language to reshape experience.
“Territorial begins with origins—of an interstate system, of sexual threat inherited from myth, of ‘some nocturnal female sense’ a daughter learns on watch for cougars in a state of drought. Mira Rosenthal traces how these paths are cut and circumscribed by human violence, capitalism, environmental exploitation. It is deeply refreshing to see these forces intertwined in poem after poem, to see a book that is as sensual as it is intelligent, as critical of the self as it is of the larger world, as microscopically precise as it is wildly transgressive. Prepare to be unsettled and transfixed by this extraordinary collection.”
—Corey Van Landingham, author of Love Letter to Who Owns the Heavens
“Rosenthal wonders how a woman can survive in the midst of so much desiccation. How to recognize connection when being uprooted or rendered. This is the kind of work a reader longs for. A book we believe. Sensual, frightening, richly wrought and balanced, Territorial holds no truisms, no aphorisms. The nuances of person and place are expertly exposed. There is tenderness, yes, but it roots alongside implicit and complicit violence. All are connected but all won’t be saved. . . . This is a poet you will return to.”
—Vievee Francis, author of Forest Primeval
“Every poem in Territorial is stunning—each spun fiercely with beauty as well as tremors of perpetual threat and violence against the female body. Mira ‘in Russian / it turns out means World, / so there are countless maps / of me & my confessions / in a language I can’t read.’ Indeed, every poem in Territorial is a ‘Mira’—each a mirror-map that precisely locates precarious bodies across terrains of trauma.”
—Don Mee Choi, author of DMZ Colony
Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World, winner of the Wick Poetry Prize. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and residencies at Hedgebrook and MacDowell, she is an associate professor of poetry at Cal Poly. She also translates contemporary Polish poetry.
Constance Hansen’s poetry and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in: Rhino Poetry, Four Way Review, Harvard Review Online, Southern Humanities Review, Cimarron Review, Superstition Review, The Idaho Review, Vallum, On the Seawall, Northwest Review, and elsewhere. Constance is the Assistant Managing Editor of Poetry Northwest and an erstwhile teacher of poetry at the Hugo House. She holds degrees from Middlebury College (BA Religion), the University of Washington (MFA Poetry), and Seattle University (Masters in Teaching). Constance was born and raised on Duwamish land, where she continues to live with gratitude for the traditional stewards. She is raising two young children and a puppy in that port city on the Salish Sea called Seattle. In the margins of time, she’s pulling together a full-length poetry manuscript or two.
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