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Desirée Alvarez

Omnidawn: Desirée Alvarez, Anthony Cody, Jennifer Hasegawa, David Koehn, Craig Santos Perez, LM Rivera

13 DECEMBER 2020 — sunday

Poetry Flash presents a virtual poetry reading by Omnidawn Publishers's Spring 2020 poets, featuring Desirée Alvarez, Raft of Flame, Anthony Cody, Borderland Apocrypha, Jennifer Hasegawa, La Chica's Field Guide to Bazai Living, David Koehn, Scatterplot, Craig Santos Perez, Habitat Threshold, and LM Rivera, Against Heidegger, online via Zoom, free, 3:00 pm PST (Register to attend: please click here; you will receive an email with a link and information on how to join the reading)

Please join us for a Poetry Flash virtual event on Sunday, December 13 at 3:00 pm PST! We are excited to bring you a poetry reading by Desirée Alvarez, Anthony Cody, Jennifer Hasegawa, David Koehn, Craig Santos Perez, and LM Rivera via Zoom. To register for this event, see the link in the event listing above. After you register, you will receive an email with a link and information on how to join the reading. These books are available for purchase at Thank you for continuing to support Poetry Flash and our reading series!

Desirée Alvarez is a poet and painter living in New York City. Her new book, Raft of Flame, won Omnidawn's Lake Merritt Poetry Prize. Craig Santos Perez says, "Aboard this multilingual poetic vessel, Desirée Alvarez crosses the thresholds of time and space to enter ancient America and its conquest. On this journey, she examines the violent relations between the colonizer and the colonized, as well as her own entangled Latina, Spanish, and European heritages.…In the end, the Raft of Flame carries us to the place where we can look—entranced—into historical and genealogical depths that cannot be uttered." Her previous book, Devil's Paintbrush, received the 2015 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Award. Her poetry is anthologized in What Nature and Other Musics: New Latina Poetry. Alvarez exhibits her work nationally and internationally, and her paintings were on view at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Conservatory Gallery this fall.

Anthony Cody's new book is Borderland Apocrypha, a finalist for this year's National Book Award in Poetry and winner of the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Prize, selected by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. She wrote of it, "Intense feeling, empathy, rage, compassion swerves language, torques the page. History and data inflict. Intelligence composes, sequence wrestles with violence. It must be witnessed, expressed. The love is expression. Witness is form." The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo marked an end to the Mexican-American War, but it sparked a series of lynchings of Mexicans and long-lasting traumas. Borderland Apocrypha centers on the collective histories of these terrors, excavating traumas born of turbulence. Cody is a Canto Mundo fellow from Fresno, California with lineage in both the Bracero Program and Dust Bowl. He is a member of the Hmong American Writers' Circle and co-edited How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology.

Jennifer Hasegawa's new book is La Chica's Field Guide to Banzai Living. Molly Bendall says, "Buckle up for Jennifer Hasegawa's exhilarating ride, whatever sort of displaced being you might be—from immigrant to extraterrestrial—and consult this manual. Follow the poems as they careen through assorted omens and 'ghosts of sovereignty.' Touching down in Hawai'i, California, and other parts of the world, Hasegawa carries her baggage with aplomb. She's all-too-aware of how old family folkways can linger with the 'slow-burrowing hoodoo/of suggestion.' And she's brazen enough to push through to the next realm of possibilities…" The manuscript for La Chica's Field Guide to Banzai Living won the Joseph Henry Jackson Literary Award from the San Francisco Foundation.

David Koehn's new book is Scatterplot. Jericho Brown says, "David Koehn's Scatterplot is a book full of names and near-misses best described by its attention to narrative…when it is the narrative we associate with dreams! Or as Koehn himself says, "I was stumbling around the aisles of a dream." This line in particular has everything to do with what I love most about this book. Every poem throws itself headlong into litanies of images reminding us that, even when we are lost or dying or anxious, we are still very much alive." Koehn diagrams connections from media, art, film, music, nature, history, and his family into a web of coordinates that form constellations of beauty and tragedy. In a universe so full of imperfection one can't help but laugh and cry, the poet embraces the present while taking responsibility for his own insufficiencies. David Koehn is the author of several previous books of poetry, including Coil and Twine.

Craig Santos Perez's new book Habitat Threshold has crafted a timely collection of eco-poetry that explores his ancestry as a native Pacific Islander, the ecological plight of his homeland, and his fears for the future. Linda Hogan says, "Craig Santos Perez is a writer I seriously watch. He includes a variety of environmentally important writing, seamlessly combined with history, politics, and the familial." Craig Santos Perez is an indigenous Chamorro from the Pacific Island of Guam. He is the author of four books of poetry, coeditor of five anthologies, and cofounder of Ala Press. He has received the American Book Award, PEN Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize, Hawaii Literary Arts Council Award, and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and Ford Foundation.

LM Rivera's new book is Against Heidegger. Brian Evenson says, "This hybrid critical memoir offers up the scraps and bits of language the semi-conscious mind grasps as it strives to resolve those problems which upon awakening, still somehow remain. A sort of philosophical trance state that keeps opening up to subtly reveal the wound of being human." LM Rivera is a writer. He co-edits Called Back Books with Sharon Zetter. The author of a chapbook, The Little Legacies and a previous poetry collection, The Drunkards, he is also a tutor, a filmmaker, and an artist.

Daily Listings

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28 JANUARY 2023 — saturday

  • The San Francisco Public Library presents Poetry from the Pandemic, a reading of San Francisco poets highlighting how they discovered their inner resources and resilience during the pandemic, featuring Karen Melander-Magoon, John Curl, Rainbow Weather, and Mahnaz Badihian, Ask the Wind, North Beach Library Community Room, 850 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, free, 2:00-3:00 pm PST (More information here:
  • Point Reyes Books presents novelist Selby Wynn Schwartz, The Bodies of Others: Drag Dances and Their Afterlives, finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, celebrating her new book, After Sappho, longlisted for the Booker Prize, in conversation with bookstore co-owner Molly Parent, Dance Palace Church Space, Point Reyes Station, free, donations welcome, 4:00 pm PST (More information here:

29 JANUARY 2023 — sunday

  • Skylight Books presents poet and performance artist Linda Ravenswood, The Stan Poems, reading and discussing her new book, Cantadora: Letters from California, a collection of forty-four hybrid texts that read as maps, diary entries, dream fragments, and lists, spanning the 500+ years from the Spanish Conquest of Mexico to the present day, Skylight Books,1818 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, free, 5:00 pm PST (More information here:

30 JANUARY 2023 — monday

31 JANUARY 2023 — tuesday

  • Cobalt Poets presents a reading featuring poet and essayist Darius Atefat-Peckham, How Many Love Poems, with open mic to follow, online via Zoom, free, 7:30 pm PST (Register to attend:
  • City Lights Books presents nonfiction writer Thomas Crow, The Long March of Pop: Art, Music, and Design, 1930-1995, discussing his new book, The Artist in the Counterculture: Bruce Conner to Mike Kelley and Other Tales from the Edge, examining the influence of West Coast artists on California's counterculture of the 1960s to 1980s, in conversation with art historian Carrie Lambert-Beatty, online via Zoom, free, 6:00 pm PST (Register to attend:

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