Lauren K. Alleyne
Lauren K. Alleyne is the author of two collections of poetry, Difficult Fruit and Honeyfish. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Ms.Muse, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Interviewing the Caribbean, The Crab Orchard Review, as well as many others. Recent honors for her work include the Phillip Freund Alumni Prize for Excellence in Publishing, the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Prize, and a Picador Guest Professorship in Literature. She is currently Assistant Director of the Furious Flower Poetry Center and an Associate Professor of English at James Madison University.
Poetry Reading: Jericho Brown, Lauren K. Alleyne
In his new work, The Tradition, Jericho Brown’s poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by his mastery. His invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction. Tracy K. Smith describes Lauren Alleyne’s Honeyfish as “exquisitely crafted poems of heart-accelerating candor and clarity” and the book as “an elegy for all the countless lost, and a praise song for the many black lives that persist in their wish to give and receive love.” Join these two poets as they read from their new collections.
James Davis May lives in Macon, Georgia, where he serves as Writer-in-Residence at Mercer University. His first poetry collection, Unquiet Things, was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2016 and selected as a finalist for the Poets’ Prize.
Honeyfish posits that when you bring your body to a space, it is both an act of agency and one of faith. Through the lens of a Black immigrant woman—the poems’ lyric “I” and eye— this collection contemplates the shifting ground of legal, cultural, sociopolitical, historical, and personal landscapes in search of a place to stand. The poems wander and witness, wonder and grieve; they hold experience up to the light. This book asks: What does it mean to belong to a place? How does one make, find, leave and rediscover home?