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A Zoom Reading with David Baker, Ellen Bass, Sophie Cabot Black, Mark Doty, Haleh Liza Gafori, Ashley M. Jones, Danusha Laméris, Brynn Saito, & Tess Taylor for the Anthology, Leaning toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them (via Zoom)

January 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $25.00
Join us online for a night of poetry cultivating our collective urge to grow, tend, and heal, and tocelebrate Tess Taylor’s poetry anthology Leaning toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them. Tess Taylor will introduce nine poets featured in the antholgy to read and have a conversation with her about the collection. We invites gardeners, caretakers, poets, and readers alike to a magical night on Zoom to indulge in poetry readings to celebrate this beautiful collaboration of some of the most imaginative contemporary poets of our time celebrating the life giving diversity of gardens.
Use code HVWC at checkout for 20% off of Leaning toward Light through February 2nd. Leaning toward Light by Tess Taylor | Hachette Book Group

Ashley M. Jones is the Poet Laureate of Alabama. Jones is the author of three award-winning poetry collections, most recently Reparations Now! She is the co-editor of WHAT THINGS COST: An Anthology for the People. Her work has been featured by CNN, The BBC, Good Morning America, ABC News, and the New York Times. Jones is the Associate Director of the University Honors Program at UAB, and she teaches in the Low Residency MFA Program at Converse University.

Brynn Saito’s third book of poems, Under a Future Sky, was published in 2023 by Red Hen Press. The book traces Brynn’s journey with her father to the desert prison where, over eighty years ago, her grandparents met and made a life together. A California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellow, Brynn is the recipient of the Benjamin Saltman Award and a nominee for the Northern California Book Award. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times and American Poetry Review. Brynn teaches in the MFA program at Fresno State and is co-editing with Brandon Shimoda an anthology of poetry written by descendants of the Japanese American / Nikkei incarceration, forthcoming in 2025 from Haymarket Books.

Danusha Laméris is the author of The Moons of August (Autumn House, 2014), and Bonfire Opera, (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020), winner of the Northern California Book Award in Poetry. Her third book, Blade by Blade, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. Some of her work has been published in The Best American Poetry, Orion, The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Tin House, and Prairie Schooner. The recipient of the 2020 Lucille Clifton Legacy Award, she co-leads the Poetry of Resilience webinars with James Crews, was the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz County, California, and is on the faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

David Baker’s books include Whale Fall (W. W. Norton, 2022) and Swift: New & Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2019), as well as 11 more collections of poetry and six books of prose about poetry. His individual works appear in American Poetry Review, Atlantic, The Nation, New York Times, New Yorker, Poetry, The Yale Review, and others. He lives, teaches, and gardens in Granville, Ohio.

Ellen Bass’s most recent book is Indigo (Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Among her awards are Fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The NEA, The California Arts Council, three Pushcart Prizes, and The Lambda Literary Award. A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University. She developed a popular virtual series of Living Room Craft Talks, available at ellenbass.com.

Haleh Liza Gafori is a poet, translator, vocalist and educator born in NYC of Persian descent. Her translations of poems by the beloved Persian sage and mystic Rumi have been collected in the book GOLD, published by New York Review Books/NYRB Classics. Sharing her passion for the expansive, compassionate, and ecstatic nature of Rumi’s poetry and philosophy, she both performs and teaches workshops at universities, festivals, and institutions across the country.

Mark Doty is the author of nine books of poetry, including Deep Lane (2015); Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, which won the 2008 National Book Award; and My Alexandria, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He is also the author of four memoirs: the New York Times bestseller Dog Years, What Is the Grass, Firebird, and Heaven’s Coast, as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word. Doty has received two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize.

Sophie Cabot Black has three poetry collections: The Misunderstanding of Nature, The Descent, and The Exchange. A fourth book, Geometry of the Restless Herd, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in May of 2024.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review.

Tess Taylor  lives in El Cerrito California, where she raises artichokes on the sidewalk median strip, has four chickens in the backyard, and is working to restore a community orchard. Her body of work as a writer deals with place, ecology, and cultural reckoning. She published five celebrated poetry collections: The Misremembered World, The Forage House, Last West: Roadsongs for Dorothea Lange, Work & Days, and Rift Zone and served as the on-air poetry reviewer for NPR’s All Things Considered for over a decade. Her work as a cultural critic appears in Harpers Magazine, The Atlantic, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, Tin House, The Times Literary Supplement, CNN, and The New York Times. Her latest work, Leaning Toward Light: Poems for Gardens and the Hands that Tend Them, is a collection of contemporary gardening poems for an era of climate crisis, which includes poems by some of the most luminary poets writing today.

About the book:

Much like reading a good poem, caring for plants brings comfort, solace, and joy to many. In this new poetry anthology, Leaning toward Light, acclaimed poet and avid gardener Tess Taylor brings together a diverse range of contemporary voices to offer poems that celebrate that joyful connection to the natural world. Several of the most well-known contemporary writers, as well as some of poetry’s exciting rising stars, contribute to this collection including Ross Gay, Jericho Brown, Mark Doty, Jane Hirshfield, Ada Limón, Danusha Laméris, Naomi Shihab Nye, Garrett Hongo, Ellen Bass, and James Crews. With a foreword by Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of The New York Times bestseller World of Wonders—it includes reflective pauses and sometimes whimsical recipes by the poets themselves.

“Among the many things to love about this beautiful anthology is that it reminds us that gardening  is a gathering practice, a practice of gathering, and the more we do it together—with collaborators human, critterly, fungal, floral, meteorological, cosmic, unborn, living, living now as soil, etc.—the better, by which I mean the more lovingly, the more belovingly, the more truly, we do it.”
— Ross Gay, author of Inciting Joy and The Book of Delights

“It’s thrilling to see in these pages a reflection of the world I want to live in.”
— Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of The New York Times bestseller World of Wonders, from the foreword



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January 26
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free – $25.00
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Hudson Valley Writers Center
Philipse Manor Station
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 United States
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