Monday, May 21, 7:00PM
Tommy Pico, author of the new collection, JUNK
and Joseph Osmundson, author of INSIDE/OUT
Tommy Pico, JUNK: Building on IRL and NATURE POEM, Tommy Pico’s JUNK is a book-length break-up poem that explores the experience of loss and erasure, both personal and cultural. The third book in Tommy Pico’s Teebs trilogy, JUNK is a breakup poem in couplets: ice floe and hot lava, a tribute to Janet Jackson and nacho cheese. In the static that follows the loss of a job or an apartment or a boyfriend, what can you grab onto for orientation? The narrator wonders what happens to the sense of self when the illusion of security has been stripped away. And for an indigenous person, how do these lost markers of identity echo larger cultural losses and erasures in a changing political landscape? In part taking its cue from A.R. Ammons’s Garbage, Teebs names this liminal space “Junk,” in the sense that a junk shop is full of old things waiting for their next use; different items that collectively become indistinct. But can there be a comfort outside the anxiety of utility? An appreciation of “being” for the sake of being? And will there be Chili Cheese Fritos?
Joseph Osmundson, INSIDE/OUT: “I don't know that there is a writer in this country doing as much with queer theory, narrative momentum, whiteness, sexual identity and the literal outside as Joseph Osmundson. In INSIDE/OUT, Osmundson manages to create an epic in less than fifty pages. Somehow, while welcoming readers into so many folds of his life, he manages to obliterate spectacle and really demands we ask ourselves who and what we are, and who and what we want to hide, from the inside out. Inside/Out is more than an intervention, more than a literary awakening; it is the terrifying and utterly gorgeous exploration of what love, loss, and fear do to us from the inside out. I have never read anything like this book.” – Kiese Laymon, author of HOW TO SLOWLY KILL YOURSELF AND OTHERS IN AMERICA