Join us for our monthly poetry night, this month featuring John Sibley Williams, Coleman Stevenson, and Cindy Williams Gutierrez.
What happens when metaphysics and social critique meet? Poetry that has to find a new form to express the tension it embodies. John Sibley Williams’ newspaper-like columns in As One Fire Consumes Another do just that. Here, transcendent vision and trenchant social insight meet, wrestle, and end up revitalizing one another.
About Metaphysik: Written to accompany the Metaphysik deck by Daniel Martin Diaz, this series of essays by poet and artist Coleman Stevenson muses on concepts of connection and creativity. Readers are invited to think about the ways they access information, form ideas, and communicate those ideas to others. The essays are followed by a set of corresponding exercises, ways of interacting with the Metaphysik cards to explore their compositions. Diaz’s illustrations that inspired these essays and exercises are interspersed throughout the pages of the book, offering readers additional opportunities to connect with a world of mystery and imagination.
Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women explores the global oppression of women—and testifies to their resilience—in over 20 countries around the world. Based on real-life incidents ranging from Brazilian “honor killings” and Indian sati to Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and “Mississippi appendectomies” to rape as a weapon during the Rwandan genocide, this poetry collection bears witness to the sociocultural forces that have waged war on women’s bodies, freedom, and humanity. Inlay with Nacre is herstory—the plight of Woman as bride, wife, mother, and daughter—and a call to action to restore the Feminine in the world.
John Sibley Williams is the author of As One Fire Consumes Another (Orison Poetry Prize, 2019), Skin Memory (Backwaters Prize, University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Disinheritance, and Controlled Hallucinations. A nineteen-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Wabash Prize for Poetry, Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Phyllis Smart-Young Prize, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Laux/Millar Prize. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Southern Review, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Coleman Stevenson is the author of Breakfast, The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609, and The Dark Exact Tarot Guide. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications such as The Portable Boog Reader, Gramma, Paper Darts, Seattle Review, E-ratio, Osiris, Louisiana Literature, Mid-American Review, tarot.com, and the anthology Motionless from the Iron Bridge. She is also the designer of tarot and oracle decks including The Dark Exact Tarot, The Vitriolic Tarot, and The Personal Oracle. She has been a guest curator for various gallery spaces in the Portland, Oregon, area, and has taught poetry, design theory, and cultural studies at a number of different institutions there. Her current fine art work, exhibited in galleries around the Pacific Northwest, focuses on the intersections between image and text.
Poet-dramatist Cindy Williams Gutiérrez is inspired by the silent and silenced voices of history and herstory. Her new collection, Inlay with Nacre: The Names of Forgotten Women, was awarded the 2018 Willow Books Editor’s Choice Poetry Selection and a 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship. She was selected by Poets & Writers Magazine as a 2014 Notable Debut Poet for her poetry collection, the small claim of bones (Bilingual Press/Arizona State University), which placed second in the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. Cindy received the 2017 Oregon Book Award for Drama for Words That Burn, a dramatization of the WWII experiences of William Stafford, Lawson Inada, and Guy Gabaldón. Cindy earned an MFA from the University of Southern Maine Stonecoast MFA Program with concentrations in Mesoamerican poetics, drama, and creative collaboration. She is a cofounder of Los Porteños, Portland’s Latino writers’ collective, and the founder of El Grupo de ’08, a Lorca-inspired, Northwest collaborative-artists’ salon.