Join us for an evening of poetry discussion featuring Dana Levin and local poet Stephanie Burt to celebrate Levin’s latest collection, Banana Palace.
In her newest collection, Dana Levin uses humor, jump-cut imagery, and popular culture references in preparation for the approaching apocalypse. Against a backdrop of Facebook, cat memes, and students searching their smartphones for a definition of the soul, Levin draws upon a culture of limited attention spans as it searches for greater spiritual meaning. The poems in Banana Palace are elliptical by design, the lines often trailing off into a white space of their own making, as if flirting with and resolving in their own isolation.
Dana Levin has published three books of poetry, Wedding Day, Sky Burial, and her first book, In the Surgical Theatre, which won the APR/Honickman Award. A teacher of poetry for over twenty years, Levin splits her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Maryville University in St. Louis, where she serves as Distinguished Writer in Residence.
Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. In 2012, the New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation.” She has published four collections of poems: Advice from the Lights, Belmont, Parallel Play, and Popular Music. Burt’s works of criticism include The Poem is You: 60 Contemporary American Poems and How to Read Them; Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Art of the Sonnet, written with David Mikics; The Forms of Youth: 20th-Century Poetry and Adolescence; Randall Jarrell on W.H. Auden, with Hannah Brooks-Motl; and Randall Jarrell and His Age. Burt is Professor of English at Harvard University. She lives in the suburbs of Boston with her spouse, Jessie Bennett, and their two children.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.