Tiff Dressen reads from Of Mineral published by Nightboat Books
Alexandra Mattraw reads from Raw Anyone
about Of Mineral:
A collection of lyric mediations cultivated from a deeply personal experience of the natural world, synthesizing the poet’s experiences of the elemental and ephemeral; presence and place. In Of Mineral, Tiff Dressen initiates a chemical reaction, taking place on the page so meaning is continually created and destroyed. The forces at play create a beautiful and unpredictable stability. With intentionality and deep attention, the poet undergoes an elemental education, learning through articulation how to experience the natural world as an active participant rather than as an observer. As the poet attempts to synchronize their left and right brain, boundaries between the urban and the “wild” dissolve to form a more unified experience of presence.
about Raw Anyone
Raw Anyone lays bare the intimate invasions of toxins into our bodily cells and environment, revealing our cell phone and consumer addictions, all exacerbated in a global pandemic. This work demands we consider, “What authentic connection remains possible in a late capitalist world where, long before Covid-19, we have been quarantined even from ourselves?” Through a series of epistles, ekphrases, erasures, and sonnets, these poems wrestle metaphysical questions pertaining to time, love, and what we truly value. Raw Anyone is a book of address and query, a love letter to a twin, that shadow self that still expands and contracts rooms within rooms within us all.
Raw Anyone, endorsements:
The poems in Alex Mattraw’s third full-length collection Raw Anyone offer the reader a deep poetic examination of the social and environmental toxins that affect our lives during these pandemic times. Cells, mouths, and rooms hold spaces for questions and declarations. In “A Room, after Virginia Woolf,” the author implores, “Knock the head-room. / I ask you to live.” This compelling poetry collection burns with detoxifying intelligence and heart. —Maw Shein Win, author of Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn)
“Beauty is a constant vanishing,” Alex Mattraw writes, “a hole in the sky that keeps. A widening reason we both believe in ghosts.” Infused with dreams, imaginative readings, leaps of language, and vibrant and sharp insights, Raw Anyone cuts open the cloth, reveals the hidden within our plain sight. These are poems that illuminate through their withholding, trip the wire of time, and fill the hush of silence. —Jenny Boully, author of The Body and Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on The Writing Life
— These are the heights poetry can always take me. I love this book! Alexandra Mattraw’s conversation is an interdimensional connection threading Woolf, Sappho, and the fragility of love and lungs in an all-consuming pandemic. Dear Thought Climate, Dear cell, “As creator, nature owes me.” This is the boldness that sets a reader up the “Ladder’s / head-heart.” —CAConrad, author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration
About the poets:
Tiff Dressen was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their latest book is Of Mineral (Nightboat Books, 2022). SONGS FROM THE ASTRAL BESTIARY (lyric& Press, 2014) is their first full-length collection of poetry. They currently live in Oakland and work in the Office of Research at UC Berkeley. They are also the author of Keeper (Woodland Editions, 2005), Because Icarus-children (WinteRed Press, December 2010) and for Aeolus: variations on the element (co-published by the g.e. collective and Poetry Flash, 2011). Their work has appeared in many journals including New American Writing, VOLT and 26: A journal of poetry and poetics.
Alexandra Mattraw is a Berkeley poet and educator. She is the author of Raw Anyone (forthcoming in 2022), We fell into weather (2020), and small siren (2018), all with Brooklyn’s Cultural Society. You can find the latest of her four chapbooks at Dancing Girl Press. Her work has appeared in Jacket2, Lana Turner, Tupelo Quarterly, VOLT, and elsewhere. A frequent collaborator with other writers and artists, Alex is also the founder and curator of the multigenre reading and art series, Lone Glen, which just celebrated a decade of community.
This event has been made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.