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Hilary Plum and Zach Savich
August 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us for readings from acclaimed authors Hilary Plum and Zach Savich
At the heart of Strawberry Fields is the storied figure of the journalist, who despairs of accountability yet must accept its disorienting weight. Our guides are a reporter, Alice, and a detective, Modigliani: together they failed to solve a crime that occurred years ago amid the chaos of a hurricane, and we find them now piecing together the stories of five murdered veterans of the war in Iraq. These shards of truth become a means to read the news today—and to see ourselves in the light of our shared reality. Strawberry Fields jumps through genres, destabilizing players and circumstances. Making up nothing, or everything, all around the globe these horrors go on daily.
Hilary Plum is the author of the novel Strawberry Fields, winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose; the work of nonfiction Watchfires, winner of the 2018 GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction; and the novel They Dragged Them Through the Streets. She has worked for a number of years as an editor of international literature, history, and politics. She teaches creative writing at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program and is associate director of the CSU Poetry Center. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press.
Praise for Strawberry Fields
“The writing in this novel is haunting. Plum uses the beauty of her prose to record indelibly the unbearable destruction of beauty we Americans are perpetrating through the history we are living. She has created a style that values what is being lost with the accuracy of inconsolability.” —Peter Dimock
“Few American books have as truly global a perspective as Hilary Plum’s second novel, which ranges over remarkably disparate territories with exemplary economy of means, and holds together not only aesthetically but also as a vision for our times. As multi-vocal as it is constrained, Strawberry Fields balances the sensual with the cerebral, the human body in the world with the human imagination perceiving it therein. And in so doing it achieves the seemingly impossible virtue of being a political book without a hint of polemic.” —Youssef Rakha
“In Strawberry Fields, Hilary Plum’s crew of journalists move like restless flies from one battlefield to another, demonstrating the struggle against (and implication with) the logic of late empire: how a contested truth splits into fragments, and cannot be made whole. But Plum knows how to assemble the shards so that we recognize in them the image of our own burning world, where the murder of five American veterans takes its rightful place in an international constellation of violence, recrimination, and environmental degradation. As Plum’s investigators burrow into text and memory, her scrupulous prose—full of mingled lyricism and irony—places her in the tradition of Danilo Kiš and Roberto Bolaño: writers who, despite the constant risk of despair, commit themselves to beating against the current of an ever-widening river of blood, fighting upstream to find the source.” —Sam Allingham
Through intent observation and fractured glances, the poems in Daybed make everyday elements—yard, bicycle, sidewalk, and breeze—feel elemental. Their consideration of longing, convalescence, and the pleasures of ordinary astonishment is both environmental and emotional. Savich’s dedication to attentive, restless lyricism shows what it might look like to at once “say this is heaven / and there is no heaven.” Daybed lives in that contradiction’s autumnal warmth.
Zach Savich’s recent books include the memoir Diving Makes the Water Deep and the poetry collections The Orchard Green and Every Color and Century-Swept Brutal. His work has received the Iowa Poetry Prize, the Colorado Prize for Poetry, the CSU Poetry Center’s Open Award, and Omnidawn’s Chapbook Prize. He teaches in the BFA Program for Creative Writing at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and co-edits Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series.
Praise for Daybed
“In his spare sixth collection, Savich crafts vibrant images of the natural world and stirring reinterpretations of the everyday… Savich’s relaxed idylls are an effective balm against the rigid narratives and literalism of the real world, and his conviction is reassuring: ‘Beloved, the world/ is still around. I’ve seen it/ in a threadbare blouse.’”—Publishers Weekly
“Landscape and self, outside and in, a damp marsh and the clotting components of blood cells—Savich’s minimal lyricism amplifies the import and relationship of each image, like the slow wash of the body extending into its own landscape.” —Kenyon Review
“Savich so deftly manages and manipulates language that he may be considered a genius of the postmodern. His way of seeing the world is both fresh and innovative. In these poems the mystery of life contends with the mystery of death. What we know and how we know it depends on poetic veracity and eyes that are wide open to the nuances of reality.” —The Journal