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Celebrate 2022 Art Week with a Progressive Poetry Party

6/15/2022

Beaverdale Books is proud to partner with Poetry&, a new initiative working to take poetry out into the community in creative, nontraditional ways.  The group partners with organizations, poets, venues, and events to provide, through verse, fresh perspectives on topics of current interest and to give emerging and established poets opportunities to share their work.

Bring your friends and begin your Art Week celebration with a poetry reading on Friday, June 17 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure on Ingersoll Avenue featuring some of Iowa’s finest poets, including:

Jennifer Knox, the author of Crushing ItDays of Shame and FailureThe Mystery of the Hidden DrivewayDrunk by Noon, and A Gringo Like Me. Her poems have appeared five times in the Best American Poetry series and the New York Times, the New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Rustin Larson, the author of The Wine-Dark House and Crazy Star, which was selected for the Loess Hills Book’s Poetry Series in 2005.  His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry East, The Atlanta Review, and other magazines.

Kyle McCord, the author of seven books including National Poetry Series Finalist, Magpies in the Valley of Oleanders, X-Rays and Other Landscapes, and Reunion of the Good Weather Suicide Cult.  He has had work featured (or is forthcoming) in AGNI, Blackbird, Boston Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, and Ploughshares.

CNA- IDPH

Michaela Mullin, a Des Moines writer and editor. She earned her BA in English from Drake University, her MFA in Creative Writing from University of Nebraska, and her PhD in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School. She is a recipient of the Helen W. Kenefick Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and the Thomas Dunn Scholarship in English.

Emma Murray holds an MFA from Oklahoma State University and received an Academy of American Poets Prize in 2016 and is an Iowa Artist Fellow for 2022. Her works have appeared in or are forthcoming from The New Territory, The RS 500 and elsewhere. She teaches at Iowa State University.

Steve Rose has been published in numerous publications including And So It Goes, Midwest Review, The Journal of Medical Literature and Dime Bag of Poetry. He published a book of poetry entitled Hard Papas in 2013 and another, Nebraska and Other States, in 2017.  He is currently working on a third collection that focuses on the dubious miracles of aging

 Shannon Vesely, a retired educator who spent most of her forty-year educational career as an English teacher (both college and high school levels). She also served as curriculum director, literacy specialist, and school improvement leader and she is currently an educational consultant, helping with writing instruction and assessment.

The party continues at Beaverdale Books from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. featuring four more Iowa poets, each with their own distinctive style:

Pella poet John David Thompson will share his new book, Iowa Poems 175: Poetry to Observe Iowa’s 175th Birthday that includes poems from his previous books County Poems of Iowa and Collected Poems. John wrote a whopping 88 new poems for this volume, which he started a year before the pandemic began. All the while, he has worked full-time as a teacher of English, commuting 40 miles a day from Pella to the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont schools.

Staci Harper-Bennett is the author of four chapbooks, Soon is Not, Brittle Futures, Thirty, and Crime Scenes, and is known throughout the Midwest for her written and spoken word poetry. She has performed at events such as Slutwalk Des Moines and One Billion Rising and lent her voice and experience to “Words Save Lives,” an exploration of poetry as a suicide prevention tool. When not writing poetry, she can be found furiously working on her dissertation for a doctoral degree from Creighton University or working at the Downtown Chamber of Commerce.

Isabella Brantley was six years old when she started writing short stories and illustrating them. Her dad was very supportive of her writing path and saved several of her stories. He is still very supportive. At Stilwell, she wrote a poem entitled, Born Equal, They Say, seen through the eyes of a person with disabilities. Shortly after writing that poem, she began working with Jan Fleming who became her writing mentor. Together they are working to soon publish a book of poetry.

Prince Harrison Jr is a 19-year-old poet from Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of the poetry book, Asocial, which includes various types of poetry. When he’s not writing, Prince loves to play basketball and spend time with his family.

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