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Miami Book Fair: Four Poets Confront Atrocity

Please join The Miami Book Fair and PEN America for a conversation with four poets on leveraging the power of poetry to confront atrocity and amplify dissent. In Felon, Reginald Dwayne Betts tells the story of post-incarceration existence and examines prison, not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life. Jericho Brown’s The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. In Deaf Republic, Ilya Kaminsky confronts our time’s vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them. Naomi Shihab Nye’s The Tiny Journalist puts a human face on war and the violence that divides us from each other.

This event is free and open to the public at Miami Dade College. 

Jericho Brown is the author of The New Testament (2014), which received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; and Please (2008), which received the 2009 American Book Award. His most recent book, The Tradition, is a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes. Her books of poetry for adults and children include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (a finalist for the National Book Award) , A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, and You & Yours. Her fiction books for young people include Habibi, Going Going, There Is No Long Distance Now, and The Turtle of Oman.

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a poet, essayist, and national spokesperson for the Campaign for Youth Justice. He is the author of three collections of poetry, Felon, Bastards of the Reagan Era, and Shahid Reads His Own Palm, as well as a memoir, A Question of Freedom.

Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union. He is the author of poetry collections Dancing in Odessa and Deaf Republic, and co-editor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. He was a 2014 finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature.

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