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Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Rosa Alcalá and Laynie Browne

Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:30 pm, Dia Chelsea

Event Details
Tuesday, April 16, 2019, 6:30 pm 

535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City 

Readings in Contemporary Poetry curator, Vincent Katz provided an introduction for the evening's reading.

Free for Dia members; $10 general admission; $6 admission for students and seniors 

Advance ticket purchases are recommended. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door, subject to availability.  

Rosa Alcalá is a poet and translator originally from Paterson, New Jersey, who has published three books of poetry: MyOTHER TONGUE (Futurepoem, 2017); The Lust of Unsentimental Waters (Shearsman Books, 2012); and Undocumentaries (Shearsman Books, 2010). Her poems appear in American Poets in the 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement (Wesleyan University Press, 2018), among other anthologies. Recent publications include two edited volumes: Cecilia Vicuña: New & Selected Poems (Kelsey Street Press, 2018) and Spit Temple: The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012). Alcalá has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship and was a runner-up for the PEN Translation Prize. She teaches in the department of creative writing and the bilingual MFA program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Fashion’s Cycle 
           after Rana Plaza

To be born is to risk
the ghost

of a factory collapse 

to try it on in intervals
in front of the mirror.

I loved the baby doll
dress like 

no other. I can see it.
I can see a hand

reaching out to her
brother, as if to say:

we will make it
out of here.

I wore it, I wore it
out the 


(originally appeared in The Nation, August 13–20, 2018)

Laynie Browne is an editor, a poet, a prose writer, and a teacher. She is author of thirteen collections of poems and three novels. Her most recent collections include a book of poems You Envelop Me (Omnidawn, 2017), a novel Periodic Companions (Tinderbox Editions, 2018), and short fiction The Book of Moments (Presses universitaires de rouen et du havre, 2018), which was published in both English and French. Her honors include a 2014 Pew Fellowship for the Arts, the National Poetry Series Award for her 2007 collection The Scented Fox, and the Contemporary Poetry Series Award for her 2005 collection Drawing of a Swan Before Memory. Her poetry has been translated into Catalan, Chinese, French, and Spanish. Browne teaches at University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College.

Even if a woman sits at a loom 

Slowly I learned that to pull her sentences apart was also to pull apart individual bodies. One had to learn them in relation. A sequence of words placed in one’s mouth become more intimate with familiarity. The charge deepens in texture, skin beneath the surface swells red.  Her words suffused my articulations until my tongue became that animal whose thirst betrayed a preference for complication. How might I transcribe thought when meaning itself is another sort of well, the original place of meeting?  We carry our vessels and return to the source.





Photo: Don Stahl

Readings in Contemporary Poetry: An Anthology

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