HALF/LIFE BOOK LAUNCH
doors at 6:00 PM
Please join MWPA and SPACE Gallery in celebrating the release of poet Jeffrey Thomson’s Half-Life: New & Selected Poems, which was just released by Alice James Books. Richard Blanco calls Thomson’s work, “Poetry of such stark tenderness that the ear is arrested by the urgency of every line,” and Terrance Hayes says, “[Thomson] writes like the middle brother between Maria Rainer Rilke and Larry Levis. He writes like a disciple of Borges, Bishop, and Baldwin. He writes like no one else.”
Before Thomson takes the stage to read from his new work, several poets will be begin the night with brief readings, including Christian Barter, Adrian Blevins, Kristen Case, and Zackary Lavoie. Kelly’s Books to Go will sell copies of all the poets’ books, and Thomson will sign books following the reading.
Christian Barter is a poet living and working in Bar Harbor and author of three books, including Bye-bye Land (BOA, 2017), a book-length poem that won the Isabella Gardner Prize. Christian has been a fellow at Princeton University, Yaddo, and MacDowell, and his primary occupation is working on a trail crew, planning and overseeing construction and rehabilitation of hiking trails on Mount Desert Island. He recently served as Poet Laureate of Acadia National Park.
Adrian Blevins is the author of three books of poems, including Appalachians Run Amok (Two Sylvias Press, 2018), which won the Wilder Prize. She also co-edited a collection of essays, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean: Meditations on the Forbidden from Contemporary Appalachia. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, among many others. She teaches at Colby.
Kristen Case‘s first collection, Little Arias (New Issues, 2015), won the Maine Literary Award for Poetry and her second Principles of Economics (Switchback Books, 2019) won the Gatewood Prize. She is co-editor of the essay collection 21 | 19: Contemporary Poets and the North American Nineteenth Century, forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. She teaches at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Zack Lavoie graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and is the author of the chapbook UPHEAVALS (Pond Bench Press). He was awarded the 2017 Alice James Books Director’s Chair Fellowship, is the winner of the Franklin & Somerset County Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for Best of the Net. He works as a copywriter and founded Northland Creative. He is also on the Poetry staff at The Maine Review and Flypaper Magazine.
Jeffrey Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator, and editor, and is the author of multiple books including the memoir fragile, The Belfast Notebooks, The Complete Poems of Catullus, and an anthology he co-edited, From the Fishouse. He has been an NEA Fellow, the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University. He is currently professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.