Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Joel Lewis and Edwin Torres

Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 6:30 pm, Dia:Chelsea

Event Details
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 6:30 pm

Dia:Chelsea
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York City 

Free for Dia members; $10 general admission; $6 admission for students and seniors 

Advance ticket purchases recommended. Tickets are also available for purchase at the door, subject to availability. 

Joel Lewis
Joel Lewis’s latest book, My Shaolin: A Poem of Staten Island (Hanging Loose Press, 2016), is a book-length poem that serves as a psychogeographic investigation of the southernmost portion of the New York Archipelago. Previous books include North River Rundown (Accent Editions, 2012), Surrender When Leaving Coach (Hanging Loose Press, 2012), Learning from New Jersey (Talisman House, 2007), Vertical’s Currency (Talisman House, 1999), and House Rent Boogie (Yellow Press, 1992). He edited Bluestones and Salt Hay (Rutgers University Press, 1990), an anthology of contemporary New Jersey poets, as well as On the Level Everyday (Talisman House, 1997), the selected talks of Ted Berrigan, and Reality Prime (Talisman House, 1998), the selected poems of Walter Lowenfels. A social worker by day, he has taught creative writing at the Poetry Project, Rutgers University, and Writer’s Voice. And, for better or worse, he initiated the ill-fated New Jersey Poet Laureate position that was such a headache for Amiri Baraka. With his wife, Rutgers University cinema professor Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, he resides in Hoboken.

At The Bohemian Embassy
           Bare red balloon in the foyer
           She has no words except “I'll be there”.
           But what have I signed up for?
           Warps of estrangement?
          “Your paintings of mind-blistering cold snow..."
           Borrow what you can
           Night-kissing bitter Turkish cigarettes
           Of new information & the blur of freaked pigeons
           Your scheme to condo heating grates….
           Seems that nerves do the walking
           Or large as a lake that burned.                                       

Edwin Torres
Edwin Torres came to poetry through performance art in New York City’s East Village in the early 1990s. The neighborhood’s diversity in addition to the combined forces of Dixon Place, Nuyorican Poets Café, and St. Marks Poetry Project shaped his multidisciplinary approach to language. His books include Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press, 2014), Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books, 2010), and The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos, 2007). Fellowships include the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Foundation for Arts, and Poetry Fund. Anthologies include Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing (Counterpath Press, 2014), Postmodern American Poetry (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013), and Aloud; Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Café (Holt, 1994). In 2017, Torres will serve as a fellow in the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. He is a member of the electro-lingo band Sowndhaus, and lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife and son. 

TADPOLE AT STARLIGHT
a small infinity
has appeared on the crest of ignition                                   
                                    a curve for all things stolen
             a swipe at things that magnify

                         i was infinite for a moment
traveled inside lightless eye
                                    rode a width across a legion's pupil
            molded by something closer than free

                         about to crash into a million years
if i could just leave the floating to smaller bugs
                                   my fingers now closed my eyes hovering
            over my keys over each letter

                         my frogs looking to land on soft ground
                                     that's all we want, isn't it
a launchpad over stellar indications of messy instability
                                    or maybe a drain to edit

                         to take the universal
                                     out of in
            for all things balanced
                                  on lunar surf

the circumstance of delicate cognition
                        telegraphs a step — let me go up to you,
            now warm in the place i remember, and tired
                                               — do you know how — you ask, your answer
                                    the one i start with