in conversation with KATE COLBY and KEITH JONES
This event includes a book signing
July 9, 2018
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes poet, curator, and educator ALEXANDRA MATTRAW for a discussion of her debut full-length book of poems, small siren. She will be joined in conversation by poets KATE COLBY and KEITH JONES.
Praise for small siren
“Though cradled by earth, Mattraw’s poems wander through a new human condition. Or are the songs of spirits who won’t tiptoe around their biographers. Through the unregistered versions of ourselves, we can read these poems and worry about having regular bodies later. Here is a beautiful lesson or wager that on a page you can risk your dreams.” —Tongo Eisen-Martin
"In Alexandra Mattraw's much-awaited first book, we encounter a poet of extraordinary observation and inquiry. An enchantment and engagement with the world commences: 'when is a voice a piano,' 'repetition needs to believe,' 'what grew before you could speak' build a kind of groundswell where Mattraw puts her ear to the hardscape of 21st century America and its global environs: Sao Paolo, Iceland, New Zealand. Ultimately, notions of country and categories break down. What we find is heresy, hearsay, and yes, wishes. Throughout, what survives is a relationship of love and courage, of errors and triumph. A human relationship of lovers, of family. This is a book of wonder and awe and strength. When the world goes down, I want to be in Alexandra Mattraw's boat." —Gillian Conoley
“When good poetry hits, it animates the actual, it becomes the actual. That’s small siren: a serious romp of constructive music that is what it says. Science and nature unlock their mysteries by being precise; in small siren the words—cut, spliced, compressed—form units of attention enacting the physical world so precisely that even the sun and the moon ride their arcs untroubled. Across cities and seas, Alexandra Mattraw’s language isn’t attached to images; it comes out of them, like a birthright. The authenticity is declarative and unmistakable: ‘A sign is a block, an island, a cloud, a clock.’ She makes it real.” —Aaron Shurin
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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