Readings in Contemporary Poetry
Tribute to Will Alexander
Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 6 pm, Dia Online
Tuesday, June 8, 6 pm
Live on Zoom
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Dia is pleased to announce the final event in its Readings in Contemporary Poetry series. This season, instead of pairing two poets for an evening, curator Vincent Katz has chosen a format that pays tribute to five exemplary poets. For each event, a small group of readers will pay homage to one of the featured poets, followed by a reading by that poet. The featured poet for this event is Will Alexander.
The tribute readers for this event will be Tongo Eisen-Martin, Paolo Javier, Janice Lee, and Uche Nduka.
Will Alexander weaves streams and strands of thought and visuals into a soundscape that provides relief but no escape from the maelstrom of human abuse. The social is firmly locked into the planetary in Alexander’s world view; he is not held by any given era or momentary presence. The loxodrome could be a pathway to the Myrmidons or jackals in his poetry. A hallucinatory incantation raises spirits in defense of long-abused ways of living, human, plant, and animal, an exploratory sense, too, of the universe, not to be buckled down by this or that story, “of ethers across the void,” Vallejo imbibing dualities that are not binaries, compression and purity, combustion and leakage, Asia and Haiti. A flow and lull of the greatest moment, Alexander exhorts us to bring our own vastnesses, to sidestep ignorance and pursue whatever knowledge momentary glimpses on our traveling planet allow. He clears out a space for poetry where listeners can come into a communal air.
Vincent Katz, June 8, 2021
Will Alexander was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is a poet, novelist, essayist, philosopher, aphorist, playwright, visual artist, and pianist. He is author of thirty collections of writing, including A Cannibal Explains Himself to Himself (2019), Across the Vapour Gulf (2017), and Kaleidoscopic Omniscience (2013). He is a recipient of the Whiting Fellowship for Poetry, California Arts Council Fellowship, PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award, American Book Award, and Jackson Poetry Prize. His work has been translated into French, German, Romanian, and Spanish.