Simon West and Myronn Hardy join us via Zoom to celebrate their new collections, both published in the prestigious Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets.
“Myronn Hardy’s tough, analytical, associative mind moves with astonishing inventiveness between America and Algeria, and between persona and his own speaking voice, as in the splendid title poem. His idiom is as spare as it is singular, but never obtuse or unmoored from ordinary human concerns. Quietly visionary, Aurora Americana is among the best books of poems I’ve read in a long time.”—Tom Sleigh, author of The King’s Touch: Poems
“Words, in Simon West’s poems, are so lovingly proffered in all their materiality that we rejoice in the further revelations of meaning and import. All poetry is local, and West situates us in locales that are rich in resonance—whether Australia or Italy or some region of the mind where we become part of a wider world.”—Paul Kane, author of A Passing Bell: Ghazals for Tina
This free event will be streamed on Zoom.
About the books
In Aurora Americana, Myronn Hardy, an American poet who moved back to the United States after living for years in Morocco, reflects on exile and return as he describes the experience of leaving North Africa and rediscovering a North America both recognizable and unrecognizable. What does it mean to feel exiled both away from and at "home"? What does it mean to miss something?
An uncanny blend of the external and the intimate has been a hallmark of Simon West's poetry for nearly twenty years. In Prickly Moses, the Australian poet and Italianist delights in the transforming and endlessly varied powers of naming and speaking. West's intensely regional focus stands in dialogue with Europe and antiquity. Landscapes reveal the tangle of their historical dimensions, as the rivers of both the Goulburn Valley in southeastern Australia and the Po Valley in northern Italy merge and flow into the wider currents of the Southern Ocean. Again and again, language and the senses throw themselves into the nameless riot of the world, from eucalypts and clouds to a medieval bell tower and the sounds a pencil makes as it crosses a page.
About the poets
Myronn Hardy is the author of five previous books of poems, including Radioactive Starlings (Princeton). His poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Poetry, the New Republic, and the Baffler, among other publications, and have won many prizes, including the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award. He teaches at Bates College.
Simon West is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Carol and Ahoy and The Ladder, which was shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards. He is also the author of Dear Muses? Essays in Poetry and the editor and translator of The Selected Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.