Live from Prairie Lights: Dora Malech and Austin Smith

Book covers for Flyover Country and Stet
October 30, 2018 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights Books
Second floor

Poets Austin Smith and Dora Malech will read from their new poetry collections.

Austin Smith will read from Flyover Country, a collection of poems drawing on his Illinois childhood on a dairy farm. Smith challenges the idea that the American Midwest is mere “flyover country,” while suggesting America itself has become a flyover country, carrying out drone strikes and surveillance abroad in a state of perpetual war Americans seem helpless to stop. “A book of vital and generative reckoning.”—Jane Hirshfield

Smith is the author of Almanac, which was chosen by Paul Muldoon for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, and Ploughshares, and his stories have appeared in Harper’s, Glimmer Train, and Kenyon Review. He was a recipient of an NEA Fellowship in prose, and is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in fiction. He lives in Oakland.

Writers’ Workshop graduate and former Iowa Youth Writing Project Director Dora Malech will read from Stet, which uses constrained forms such as erasure and the anagram to consider other kinds of constraints: a vow, the body, creating art out of a life in flux. “With anagrammatic swerve, Dora Malech stitches letters into lyric tapestries of cascading metamorphoses. The stunning final series reinvents a Plath poem: poiesis becoming as palpable as the dawning of crystals in dark matter."—Charles Bernstein

Malech is the author of Shore Ordered Ocean and Say So. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Best New Poets, and Poetry London. A 2010 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, she lives in Baltimore and teaches writing at Johns Hopkins University.