KATIE FORD reads from her new collection of poetry IF YOU HAVE TO GO with DAVID ST. JOHN

If You Have to Go (Graywolf Press)

The poems in Katie Ford’s fourth collection implore their audience—the divine and the human—for attention, for revelation, and, perhaps above all, for companionship. The extraordinary sequence at the heart of this book taps into the radical power of the sonnet form, bending it into a kind of metaphysical and psychological outcry. Beginning in the cramped space of selfhood—in the bedroom, cluttered with doubts, and in the throes of marital loss—these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” In song and in silence, Ford inhabits the rooms of anguish and redemption with scouring exactness. This is poetry that “can break open, // it can break your life, it will break you // until you remain.” If You Have to Go is Ford’s most luminous and moving collection.

Katie Ford is the author of three previous poetry collections: Blood Lyrics, Colosseum, and Deposition. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Reading Prize, she teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

Photo by Helge Brekke

David St. John’s most recent collection of poetry is The Last Troubadour: New and Selected Poems (Ecco, 2017). A Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he is also chair of English at the University of Southern California and lives in Venice Beach, California.

Photo by Stephanie Diani

Event date: 
Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 5:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
If You Have to Go: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978112
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - August 7th, 2018

Blood Lyrics: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555976927
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 21st, 2014

Colosseum: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555975012
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - May 27th, 2008

Deposition: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555973742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 1st, 2002