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“Prickly Moses: Poems” & “Aurora Americana: Poems”

Susan Stewart, English, emeritus; Simon West, poet; Myronn Hardy, poet

November 28, 2023 · 6:00 pm7:30 pm · Labyrinth Books

Labyrinth Books; Princeton University Press; Humanities Council

Labyrinth Books and the Princeton University Press invite you for an evening of readings by the poets whose collections are the most recent in the Press’s Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets. The series is edited by Professor Susan Stewart. Professor Stewart — herself an acclaimed poet, critic, as well as translator — will introduce the poets, and we will celebrate her tenure, (which is coming to a close), as editor of this series.

An uncanny blend of the external and the intimate has been a hallmark of Simon West’s poetry for nearly twenty years. In this new collection, the Australian poet and Italianist delights in the transforming and endlessly varied powers of naming and speaking. Again and again, language and the senses throw themselves into the nameless riot of the world, from eucalypts and clouds to a medieval bell tower and the sounds a pencil makes as it crosses a page.

In Aurora Americana, Myronn Hardy, an American poet who moved back to the United States after living for years in Morocco, reflects on exile and return as he describes the experience of leaving North Africa and rediscovering a North America both recognizable and unrecognizable. What does it mean to feel exiled both away from and at “home”? What does it mean to miss something? With poems set at or near dawn, Hardy explores an ominous yet hopeful new morning in America, one in which potential cataclysm exists alongside possibility and change.

Simon West is the author of four previous collections of poetry, including Carol and Ahoy and The Ladder, which was shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. He is also the author of Dear Muses? Essays in Poetry and the editor and translator of The Selected Poetry of Guido CavalcantiMyronn Hardy is the author of five previous books of poems, including Radioactive Starlings. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Poetry, the New Republic, and the Baffler, among other publications, and have won many prizes, including the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award. He teaches at Bates College.

This event is co-presented by Princeton University Press and cosponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council and English Department.

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