City Lights and Alice James Books celebrate the publication of
Standing in the Forest of Being Alive
by Katie Farris
Published by Alice James Books
Katie Farris will be reading from her new poetry collection and then will be joined in conversation with Ilya Kaminsky.
Katie Farris’s work has been commissioned by MoMA and appears in American Poetry Review, Granta, McSweeneys, The Nation, and Poetry. She is the author of the chapbook A Net to Catch My Body in its Weaving, which won the 2020 Chad Walsh Poetry Award from Beloit Poetry Journal, and boysgirls, a hybrid-form book, as well as co-translator of many books of poetry. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Brown University. She is currently Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Georgia Institute of Technology. Standing in the Forest of Being Alive (Alice James Books, 2023) is her first book of poems.
Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press) and Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press) and co-editor and co-translated many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins) and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva (Alice James Books). His work won The Los Angeles Times Book Award, The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The National Jewish Book Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Lannan Fellowship, Academy of American Poets’ Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize, and was also shortlisted for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Neustadt International Literature Prize, and T.S. Eliot Prize (UK). Deaf Republic was The New York Times’ Notable Book for 2019, and was also named Best Book of 2019 by dozens of other publications
Advance praise for STANDING IN THE FOREST OF BEING ALIVE
Katie Farris is brilliant in her imagining of survival and depends on the music of language as proof, “a language I can read/this scene has a door/I cannot close I stand/within its wedge/I stand within its shield.” Standing In the Forrest of Being Alive is an enchanting book of poems that question and praise the body even as it deteriorates. You are holding in your hands words that come across as chants, as spells, as prayer.
—Jericho Brown, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Tradition
“One must train oneself to find, in the midst of hell, what isn’t hell, Farris writes in her poem “The Wheel”—For instance, the way you folded love into a booklet/and gave it to me to read. If such a lyric art is possible, of finding one’s way through the inferno of cancer survival, of writing despite and with the body, commending to paper the luminous terror of having come through, these pages would be an account of that love, folded into a booklet. Brava!” —Carolyn Forché, author of nationally acclaimed The Country Between Us
“The language fresh as a peach, honest, precise, imaginative full of life: in the midst of shock and pain, this book rings with love of language.”
—Rae Armantrout, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Versed
“Farris writes a gorgeous self-elegy: “I will need a rope/to let me down into the earth./I’ve hidden others/strategically around the globe,/a net to catch/my body in its weaving.” She provides an account of the dailiness of illness, long after the visitors disappear. With signature wit, Farris engages in a power struggle with mortality and in the end, her ferocity and conviction win through language that sings.“ —Victoria Chang, author of the nationally acclaimed Obit
This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/