Poetry Reading: Emmett Wheatfall & John Sibley Williams

Annie Bloom's welcomes Portland poets Emmett Wheatfall & John Sibley Williams.

Emmett Wheatfall presents his latest poetry collection, Our Scarlet Blue Wounds.

Wheatfall shows us how the roots of love grow deep in the soil of sacrifice. He illustrates the intensely complex relationship between idealism and realism. His poems hurt in just the right way. And it's no small feat opening one's own racial and cultural wounds for the world to see. It takes courage. It takes trust that a country will recognize itself, and its complicity, in those wounds. And Wheatfall trusts us to witness along with him. He proves himself ready and willing, even eager, to, as the titular poem in this collection demands, "build a new world" together.

John Sibley Williams's latest collection is Skin Memory. He will also read from 2019's As One Fire Consumes Another.

A stark, visceral collection of free verse and prose poetry, Skin Memory scours a wild landscape haunted by personal tragedy and the cruel consequences of human acts in search of tenderness and regeneration. In this book of daring and introspection, John Sibley Williams considers the capriciousness of youth, the terrifying loss of cultural identity and self-identity, and what it means to live in an imperfect world. He reveals each body as made up of all bodies, histories, and shared dreams of the future.

In these poems absence can be held, the body's dust is just dust, and though childhood is but a poorly edited memory and even our well-intentioned gestures tend toward ruin, Williams nonetheless says, "I'm pretty sure, everything within us says something beautiful."

Event date: 
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
7834 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
Our Scarlet Blue Wounds Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594980640
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Fernwood Press - November 30th, 2019

Skin Memory (The Backwaters Prize in Poetry) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935218500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Backwaters Press - November 1st, 2019

As One Fire Consumes Another Cover Image
ISBN: 9781949039016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orison Books - April 2nd, 2019