Join Porter Square Books for a night with Grubstreet’s MICHELLE HOOVER (Bottomland), award-winning memoirist PATRICIA HORVATH (All the Difference), and English poet/journalist SAM WITT (Everlasting Quail).
At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland follows the Hess family in the years after World War I, as they attempt to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.
HORVATH’s transformation from a visibly disabled young woman to someone who, abruptly, “passes” for able-bodied, reveals cultural and personal tensions surrounding disability and creates an arc that connects imprisonment to freedom. What transpires is both suffocating and liberating. HORVATH’s confinement keeps her from being seen, but also cocoons a deeply personal sense of self-hood and relationship.
In Everlasting Quail, WITT combines diverse conventions such as the confession and the sexual love poem, with structures and language to invent a psycho-political landscape in which the physical world is transformed and the energy of human relationships celebrated. What holds these poems together is not the act of confession, description, or memory. Rather, they draw their vocabulary from a perpetually transformative relationship with the physical world, and with human beings, which, when merged, approaches transfiguration.
This event is free and open to the public.