Third Place Books welcomes local poet Kelli Russell Agodon, publisher of Two Sylvias Press in Seattle and teacher at the Rainier Writing Workshop, for a virtual reading from her latest collection, Dialogues with Rising Tides. She will be joined in conversation by Maggie Smith, the beloved bestselling author of Goldenrod: Poems, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change, and more.
This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Registering will provide you with a unique access link in an email. During the event, you can ask questions using the Q&A feature, or chat with fellow attendees. A recording of the event will be made available and emailed to all who register.
This author talk is free! You can sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book.
In Kelli Russell Agodon’s fourth collection, each poem facilitates a humane and honest conversation with the forces that threaten to take us under. The anxieties and heartbreaks of life—including environmental collapse, cruel politics, and the persistent specter of suicide—are met with emotional vulnerability and darkly sparkling humor. Dialogues with Rising Tides does not answer, This or that? It passionately exclaims, And also! Even in the midst of great difficulty, radiant wonders are illuminated at every turn.
“To read Maggie Smith is to embrace the achingly precious beauty of the present moment.” —Time
“A captivating collection from a wise, accessible poet.” —People
From the award-winning poet and bestselling author of Keep Moving and Good Bones, a stunning poetry collection that celebrates the beauty and messiness of life.
With her breakout bestseller Keep Moving, Maggie Smith captured the nation with her “meditations on kindness and hope” (NPR). Now, with Goldenrod, the award-winning poet returns with a powerful collection of poems that look at parenthood, solitude, love, and memory. Pulling objects from everyday life—a hallway mirror, a rock found in her son’s pocket, a field of goldenrods at the side of the road—she reveals the magic of the present moment. Only Maggie Smith could turn an autocorrect mistake into a line of poetry, musing that her phone “doesn’t observe / the high holidays, autocorrecting / shana tova to shaman tobacco, / Rosh Hashanah to rose has hands.”
Slate called Smith’s “superpower as a writer” her “ability to find the perfect concrete metaphor for inchoate human emotions and explore it with empathy and honesty.” The poems in Goldenrod celebrate the contours of daily life, explore and delight in the space between thought and experience, and remind us that we decide what is beautiful.
“Agodon takes the spirit of ekphrasis and unites it with a confessional impulse: to reexamine her own life in light of visual art, and in so doing, to illuminate the idiosyncratic responses we have as we step inside a museum, or open an art book, or consider a reproduction on a living room wall.”
“Her poems are an intense vision of the power of art to heal, to help us understand ourselves and our world.”
—Wyn Cooper, author of Mars Poetica
“Here is a fresh, distinctive voice that is consistently engaging and surprising.”
—Carl Dennis, author of Night School
"The lyrical and touching poems in Goldenrod by Maggie Smith are sure to capture your heart. Smith has a way of turning the mundane into the profound, and in the process, she'll astound you with her brilliant insights into modern life."
"Compared with past works, the language in Goldenrod is lean and conversational, Smith wielding her editor’s pen with surgical skill, excising syllabic flotsam and exposing her inner voice more clearly than ever."
“Maggie Smith is that rare poet who can inspire you, break your heart, and make you stop astonished at the planet around you—all in the same poem, often in the same moment. The wisdom of Goldenrod is more than hard-earned, it is a gift.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
Kelli Russell Agodon's newest book is Dialogues with Rising Tides from Copper Canyon Press. She is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press where she works as an editor and book cover designer. Her other books include Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room (Winner of the Foreword Indies Book of the Year in Poetry and Washington State Book Awards Finalist), Hourglass Museum (Finalist for the Washington State Book Prize and shortlisted for the Julie Suk Prize), The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice (coauthored with Seattle poet Martha Silano), and Fire on Her Tongue: An Anthology of Contemporary Women's Poetry. Agodon has received awards and fellowships from the Poetry Society of America, the Dorothy Rosenberg Foundation, Artist Trust, and her work has appeared in the magazines such as Atlantic, the Nation, the Harvard Review, and Oprah Magazine. She lives in a sleepy seaside town in Washington State on traditional lands of the Chimacum, Coast Salish, S'Klallam, and Suquamish people where she is an avid paddleboarder and hiker. She teaches at Pacific Lutheran University's low-res MFA program, the Rainier Writing Workshop.
Maggie Smith is the author of Goldenrod, Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change and Keep Moving: The Journal. Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Southern Review, the Guardian, the Paris Review, the Washington Post, and The Best American Poetry. She has received an NEA fellowship in poetry, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Ohio Arts Council, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. A freelance writer and editor, Smith is on the MFA faculty of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing and serves as an Editor at Large for the Kenyon Review. (Photo credit: Devon Albeit Photography)
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