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A. H. Jerriod Avant, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Carlie Hoffman, & January Gill O’Neil

February 25 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Free – $25.00

Please join us IN PERSON as we welcome A. H. Jerriod Avant, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Carlie Hoffman, & January Gill O’Neil to read from their latest poetry collections!

A. H. Jerriod Avant was born and raised in Longtown, Mississippi. A graduate of Jackson State University, Jerriod has earned MFA degrees from Spalding University and New York University. He’s received scholarships from the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program. A former resident at the James Castle House and Vermont Studio Center, Jerriod has received two winter fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and an emerging artist grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. His work has appeared in the Boston ReviewPinwheelCallalooVirginia Quarterly ReviewObsidianThe Yale Review, and other journals. He received his Ph.D. in English (Spring ‘23) from the University of Rhode Island and is a Teaching Fellow in English at Wesleyan University.

On Avant’s Muscadine (Four Way Books, September 2023):

“Thank goodness for Jerriod Avant’s debut collection, Muscadine. Here is a beautiful book of poems that do the muscular, rustic and sassy work of elegy, pastoral and blues song. At heart this collection is about homesteading. The speakers in this book are re-organizing the landscape in the face of personal and communal loss. Avant’s ear is unmatched. His poems long to be read and shared aloud. In that, and many other ways, Muscadine will elicit intimacy and build community. A necessary book in fraught times.” —francine j. harris

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram is an African American writer, poet, artist, and educator who works at the intersection of computation, AI, race, and gender. They are the author of Travesty Generator (Noemi Press), a book of computational poetry that received the Poetry Society of America’s 2020 Anna Rabinowitz prize for interdisciplinary work and longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry. They are the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. Their other poetry books include How Narrow My Escapes (DIAGRAM/New Michigan), Personal Science (Tupelo Press), a slice from the cake made of air (Red Hen Press), and But a Storm is Blowing From Paradise (Red Hen Press). Their fifth book, Negative Money (Soft Skull Press, June 2023) was a finalist for the New England Book Award.

On Betram’s Negative Money (Soft Skull Press, June 2023): 

For readers of Readers Claudia Rankine, Torrey Peters, Ocean Vuong, and Jericho Brown, NBA nominated Lillian-Yvonne Bertrams’s poems are innovative, conceptually thoughtful work. Through experimentation and muscular lyricism, Bertram maintains a style that observes a speaker’s attempt to understand and exert multiple identities within the binary confines of race and gender. Playing and gliding from acrostics to sonnets to maps, these compassionate, cerebral, and irreverent poems plainly recognize the larger and potentially escapable oppressive systems that dominate all of our lives by narrating the exhaustion that comes from living under constraining systems of relentless extraction, systems whose powers fracture all attempts at genuine love and intimacy.

Carlie Hoffman lives in Brooklyn and is the author of This Alaska (Four Way Books, 2021), winner of the NCPA Gold Award in poetry and a finalist for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award, as well as When There Was Light (Four Way Books, March 2023). A poet and translator, her honors include a “Discovery” / Boston Review prize and a Poet’s & Writers Amy Award. Carlie is the founder and editor-in-chief of Small Orange Journal.

On Hoffman’s When There Was Light (Four Way Books, March 2023):

“It’s important to walk like this: through the places where the vanished people of our lives have walked,” writes Carlie Hoffman in her astonishing new collection, When There Was Light. In poems resounding with absence and loss, Hoffman journeys through Poland and Germany to a farm in upstate New York to investigate her roots — roots shattered by war, displacement and ‘the violet, ancient noise’ of a family’s silence. In image after throat-grabbing image, she makes the damage to successive generations visceral. A photo album glows “like a severed shoulder of a man.” Of the languages lost to her, she writes, “my beheaded tongue Hebrew tongue Russian tongue I comprehend nothing…” When There Was Light is a deeply moving personal reckoning. But its themes are universal: history, memory, identity, the struggle to understand our lives. “The world has so many rooms,” she writes, “it’s impossible to pinpoint where mine begins.”— Ellen Bass

January Gill O’Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University and the author of Glitter Road (February 2024), Rewilding (2018), Misery Islands (2014), and Underlife (2009), all published by CavanKerry Press. From 2012-2018, she served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. Her poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day series, American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Sierra magazine, among others. Her poem, “At the Rededication of the Emmett Till Memorial,” was a co-winner of the 2022 Allen Ginsberg Poetry award from the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. The recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cave Canem, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O’Neil was the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She currently serves as the 2022-2024 board chair of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP).

On O’Neil’s Glitter Road (CavanKerry Press, February 2024):

“In Glitter Road, the brilliant and beautiful collection of poems by January Gill O’Neil, we are taken from truth to tenderness, old love to new love, the Northeast to the Deep South, and everywhere in between. The engaging lyric forms move seamlessly from Tina Turner to the legacy of Emmett Till to cartwheels, to a Hallmark card that hasn’t been invented yet, and into John Grisham’s bed. O’Neil writes, “I’ll take my miracles however they appear / these days”—and how can we not praise the wounded world with her? Whether writing about Blackness, body, family, nature or nurture, love or loss, these poems always keep a sense of hope and humor. Glitter Road sparkles and dazzles me, then wrings out my heart in the very best way. And as O’Neil writes, “If at 4 a.m. you find yourself awake and alone, / curled up in your half-empty bed under a flashlight’s / white light reading a poem . . . regret nothing.” I will tell you: you won’t. These are the poems you need on your nightstand because this is a book you won’t be able to put down. Rich with history and herstory, these stunning and striking poems are intimate, honest, and always engaging. I cannot recommend this collection enough. Glitter Road is O’Neil’s most powerful book yet.” —Kelli Russell Agodon


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February 25
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Free – $25.00
Event Categories:


Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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