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SPECTRA Book Launch — Ashley Toliver with Hajara Quinn & Emily Kendal Frey
September 22 @ 7:00 pm
Join us for the launch of Ashley Toliver’s poetry collection Spectra.
Precise, taut, minimalist poems are Toliver’s Yellow Wallpaper, using the thud and drone of language to evoke the suffocation of a marriage gone sour, sound bouncing back, and creating patterns that are an inhibiting force in themselves. There’s a pulse to her work, one that harnesses the energy on the page to transcend binaries and boundaries of the self.
Toliver’s work has the generosity and intelligence of C.D. Wright’s and Claudia Rankine’s, both of whom were her teachers, and the exacting standards of form, meaning, and language of Dawn Lundy Martin’s. One of the delights of Spectra is how it is maximal in content, and minimal in production—these are razor sharp, almost clinically precise poems about a domestic sphere—there’s nothing soft-focus about them.
Ashley Toliver is the author of Spectra (Coffee House Press, September 2018) and a chapbook, Ideal Machine (Poor Claudia, 2014). A poetry editor at Moss., her work has been supported by fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts, the Cave Canem Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets. She received her MFA from Brown University in 2013.
Emily Kendal Frey is the author of The Grief Performance and Sorrow Arrow. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a practicing therapist.
Hajara Quinn is a poet and editor with experience in education, publishing and nonprofits. In 2014 she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University where she worked as a writing instructor and tutor. She is an assistant and managing editor for Octopus Books. Her book of poems, Coolth (Big Lucks, 2018), is the winner of the Ruth Stone First Book Prize. The recipient of a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship, her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Poor Claudia, Banango Street, The Volta, Nightblock and Sixth Finch.