6:30pm, Open to the public!
Anne Boyer is a poet and essayist whose books include The Romance of Happy Workers, My Common Heart, and the 2016 CLMP Firecracker award-winning Garments Against Women which Maureen McLane described in The New York Times as “a sad, beautiful, passionate book that registers the political economy of literature and of life itself.” Boyer’s work has been translated into a number of languages including Icelandic, Spanish, Persian, and Swedish, and in the spring of 2013, her chapbook, A Form of Sabotage, was published by the theory collective Kült Neşriyat in Turkish translation. Boyer’s other chapbooks include Anne Boyer’s Good Apocalypse, Art is War, and The 2000s. With Guillermo Parra and Cassandra Gillig, she has translated the work of 20th century Venezuelan poets Victor Valera Mora, Miguel James, and Miyo Vestrini. With K. Silem Mohammad, she was a founding editor of the poetry journal, Abraham Lincoln. Boyer is a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute, a four year college of Art and Design, where she teaches writing, literature, and theory in the school of the Liberal Arts. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
Juliet Patterson's The Truant Lover was winner of the first Nightboat Books Prize. Her most recent collection of poems, Threnody, is just out from Nightboat Books. Her poems and essays have appeared widely in numerous magazines. Her recent awards include the Arts & Letters Susan Atefat Prize in Non-fiction, the Lynda Hull Memorial Poetry Prize, and a Jerome Foundation fellowship. Two long sequences—one poetry and one prose—are available as chapbooks, Epilogue (Spout Press) and Dirge (Albion Books). Her most recent writing project, a memoir in progress, entitled Sinkhole, has been supported through a Minnesota State Arts Board grant and a Minnesota Emerging Writers grant. She lives in Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi near the Great River Road.
At Least Two Types of People
There are at least two types of people, the first for whom the ordinary
worldliness is easy. The regular social routines and material cares are
nothing too external to them and easily absorbed. They are not alien from
the creation and maintenance of the world, and the world does not treat
them as alien. And also, from them, the efforts toward the world, and to
them, the fulfillment of the world's moderate desires, flow. They are ef-
fortless at eating, moving, arranging their arms as they sit or stand, being
hired, being paid, cleaning up, spending, playing, mating. They are in an
ease and comfort. The world is for the world and for them.
Then there are those over whom the events and opportunities of the every-
day world wash over. There is rarely, in this second type, any easy kind
of absorption. There is only a visible evidence of having been made of a
different substance, one that repels. Also, from them, it is almost impos-
sible to give to the world what it will welcome or reward. For how does
this second type hold their arms? Across their chest? Behind their back?
And how do they find food to eat and then prepare this food? And how
do they receive a check or endorse it? And what also of the difficulties of
love or being loved, its expansiveness, the way it is used for markets and
And what is this second substance? And how does it come to have as one
of its qualities the resistance of the world as it is? And also, what is the
person made of the second substance? Is this a human or more or less
than one? Where is the true impermeable community of the second human
whose arms do not easily arrange themselves and for whom the salaries
and weddings and garages do not come?
These are, perhaps, not two sorts of persons, but two kinds of fortune. The
first is soft and regular. The second is a baffled kind, and magnetic only to
the second substance, and made itself out of a different, second, substance,
and having, at its end, a second, and almost blank-faced, reward.
—Anne Boyer, from Garments Against Women (Ahsahta Press, 2015)
There were wars going on—
we were lying there
in the constant singing
a scant defense
reading our hands
as an eye going
a house strictured
we're told it's a terror
of partly knowing
in all manner
buds in the palm, say
or the red of two
mouths: marked by monuments
to an earlier idea
and stopped by nothing
Nights' flagellum: contact
edge of a house
by its scent, rubber
to your left
down avenues where one
We never heard.
Outside, the river's broken
and hewn, white
sprays of vegetation
your hand gathers
and the rain
you guess this time,
—Juliet Patterson, from Threnody (Nightboat Books, 2016)