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GRADY CHAMBERS discusses his book of poetry NORTH AMERICAN STADIUMS and ELIZABETH METZGER discusses her book of poetry THE SPIRIT PAPERS

North American Stadiums (Milkweed Editions)

Winner of the inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, North American Stadiums is an assured debut collection about grace—the places we search for it, and the disjunction between what we seek and where we arrive.

“You were supposed to find God here / the signs said.” In these poems, hinterlands demand our close attention; overlooked places of industry become sites for pilgrimage; and history large and small—of a city, of a family, of a shirt—is unearthed. Here is a factory emptying for the day, a snowy road just past border patrol, a baseball game at dusk. Mile signs point us toward Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Salt Lake City, Chicago. And god is not the God expected, but the still moment amid movement: a field “lit like the heart / of the night,” black stars stitched to the yellow sweatshirts of men in a crowd.

A map “bleached / pale by time and weather,” North American Stadiums is a collection at once resolutely unsentimental yet deeply tender, illuminating the historical forces that shape the places we inhabit and how those places, in turn, shape us.

Grady Chambers was born and raised in Chicago. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, attended the MFA program at Syracuse University, and has received fellowships from the Norman Mailer Center and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. His writing has appeared in Diode Poetry; Forklift, Ohio; Ninth LetterNew Ohio Review, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Philadelphia. North American Stadiums is his first book of poems. 

The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press)

The Spirit Papers explores the magical thinking that precedes impending and inevitable loss, the taboo fantasia that occurs in the crippling timelessness of anticipation. Grieving for the future with a spiritual clarity characterized by ritual and doubt, Metzger’s lines are chameleons to every feeling. In the interminable window of expecting the unexpected, the poems ultimately materialize the very events they wish to ward off. The Spirit Papers chases mortality with equal parts disbelief and love.

Elizabeth Metzger is the Poetry Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly Journal. In 2013, she won the Narrative Poetry Contest and was listed as one of Narrative’s 30 Under 30. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poem-a-Day on Poets.org, Poetry Magazine, and The Nation. Her essays and reviews appear in PN Review, the Southwest Review, and Boston Review. Her debut collection, The Spirit Papers, won the 2016 Juniper Prize and was published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2017. Her chapbook, The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, was published by Horsethief Books in 2017. She is an adjunct assistant professor of Writing at Columbia University, where she received her MFA and served as a University Writing Fellow and consultant in the Writing Center. 

Photo by Jessica Scicchitano

Event date: 
Friday, September 28, 2018 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
North American Stadiums Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781571315045
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 5th, 2018

The Spirit Papers (Juniper Prize for Poetry) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781625342638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Massachusetts Press - January 19th, 2017