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Shark attacks, urban uprisings, floods, giant robots, and the black automaton invade Chicago

By Harriet Staff

Douglas Kearney–poet, performer, librettist, Cave Canem fellow, author of Fear, Some and The Black Automaton–will be reading here at the Poetry Foundation on September 23 at 7pm as part of the new Harriet Reading Series.

Kearney wrote for us as part of our “Craft Work” series, and he did not disappoint, providing (sometimes scalding, sometimes scholarly, always killer) illumination into his writing process:

Every poem is an opportunity to destroy my career.

Maybe post-black is a shortcut to post-race, a hope that something’s over.

Voicing the voiceless is potentially problematic enough. But speaking for people who can and are speaking for themselves is even more prickly.

The poetry wants to take other arts into its mouth. But not to chew them up. Just keep them there, so the words have to make their way around them, through them, with them.


This is why Terrance Hayes said of Kearney’s latest: “This is a jaw-dropping, electrifying book. What else can I say? I have never encountered poetry like this before.”

If you’re in Chicago, this reading is not to be missed.

Space is limited (as is the stock of free Harriet beer), so RSVP here.

Posted in Foundation News on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.