William Pierce and Sumita Chakraborty


Reality Hunger:
On Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle


On the Poetry of Melissa Green

in conversation with TED WEESNER and MELISSA GREEN

This event includes a book signing


December 5, 2016
8:00 PM


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes AGNI's senior editor WILLIAM PIERCE and assistant poetry editor SUMITA CHAKRABORTY for a presentation of their books, Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle, and Soundings: On the Poetry of Melissa Green. Pierce will be joined in conversation by the Boston Globe's TED WEESNER, and Chakraborty will discuss Soundings with MELISSA GREEN herself.

Reality Hunger and Soundings were printed right here at Harvard Book Store on Paige, our print-on-demand book machine.

Praise for Reality Hunger

"William Pierce's long essay about Karl Ove Knausgaard is remarkable—it is searching, very intelligent, compellingly readable, and offers insights into Knausgaard's work that no other commentator has yet achieved, or dared. It also displays, as if in homage, a very Knausgaardian virtue: a kind of systematic, relentless patience that is fundamentally philosophical in nature. I learned a great deal from it." —James Wood

"It seems that in the last few years, nearly everyone in the literary world has had their say about My Struggle, Karl Ove Knausgaard's novelistic Leviathan. But no account that I'm aware of is as careful or as thoughtful as William Pierce's. Pierce goes beyond the by-now-familiar talking points to tease out what is original and significant in Knausgaard's work. Even as one of the dissenters from the Knausgaard phenomenon, I truly learned from this book." —William Deresiewicz

About Soundings

Twenty poets, fiction writers, visual artists, musicians, editors, and scholars gather here to provide an overview and to engage in a celebration of Melissa Green, a poet from Winthrop, Massachusetts and a woman who epitomizes the word "survivor." Green has received prizes from the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of America, and has written multiple volumes of poetry and two memoirs. The contributors of Soundings: On the Poetry of Melissa Green include J. Mae Barizo, Sven Birkerts, Malachi Black, Sumita Chakraborty, Anna Schuleit Haber, Cynthia Haven, Chloe Honum, Major Jackson, George Kalogeris, Karl Kirchwey, Melissa Kwasny, Dana Levin, Askold Melnyczuk, Carol Moldaw, Joyce Peseroff, William Pierce, Steven Ratiner, David Rivard, Rosanna Warren, and Phillip B. Williams. Soundings also contains a previously unpublished poem by Green.

Soundings includes key writings about Green from recent publications as well as a wealth of new perspectives on her work and life. With responses that range from a sonnet to prose poems to literary criticism to personal reflections to an interview, the collection is, fittingly, also a celebration of poetry itself. Tom Sleigh once described Green’s work as "the very definition of what Hopkins once celebrated as the 'achieve of; the mastery of the thing.'" As a festschrift comprised of responses that span critical and artistic genres, Soundings for the first time allows readers to explore Green’s extraordinary achievement, mastery, and life. 

Praise for the Poetry of Melissa Green

"Across the span of her career, Melissa Green has rendered that which she sees—the natural world, yes, but also the surfaces of our lives: the lingering evidence of history alongside the things we do in the here and now—in language that draws readers deep into an indelible psychic space. Magpiety attests to a heart that is fearlessly attentive to the world, and exquisitely vulnerable to the great sweep of experience." —Tracy K. Smith

"Responsibility and delight are the tone of the true poet, a joy in the craft that supersedes its themes however afflicted, an on every page of this book, especially in the bracing climate of “The Squanicook Eclogues,” Melissa Green’s reverential elations uplift and soothe the reader as naturally and as cleanly as the morning wind." —Derek Walcott

"Melissa Green might well be a twenty-first century version of Emily Dickinson, poet of ecstatic states and extremity. These are poems 'scratched in blood,' written by a survivor, a poet, a woman pulled back to life by 'savior language.' Go ahead, I dare you. ('Dare you see a Soul at the White Heat?') 'Lift a serif, duck under and enter the world.'" —Marie Howe

Sumita Chakraborty
Sumita Chakraborty

Sumita Chakraborty

Sumita Chakraborty’s poems have appeared in the Boston Review, At Length, Gulf Coast, Witness, Adroit, The JournalPANKBerfrois, and others; her public literary criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Booksand the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is pursing a doctorate in English at Emory University, and is assistant poetry editor of AGNI Magazine.

William Pierce
William Pierce

William Pierce

William Pierce is the author of Reality Hunger: On Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle. His fiction has appeared in Granta, Ecotone, and elsewhere. He is senior editor of the literary and cultural magazine AGNI.

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