Join Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal and poet Dana Levin for a reading and signing of their books.
The Broken Country by Paisley Rekdal
This book uses a violent incident that took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2012 as a springboard for examining the long-term cultural and psychological effects of the Vietnam War. To make sense of the shocking and baffling incident—in which a young homeless man born in Vietnam stabbed a number of white men purportedly in retribution for the war—Paisley Rekdal draws on a remarkable range of material and fashions it into a compelling account of the dislocations suffered by the Vietnamese and also by American-born veterans over the past decades. She interweaves a narrative about the crime with information collected in interviews, historical examination of the arrival of Vietnamese immigrants in the 1970s, a critique of portrayals of Vietnam in American popular culture, and discussions of the psychological consequences of trauma.
Banana Palace by Dana Levin
In her newest collection, Dana Levin uses humor, jump-cut imagery, and popular culture references in preparation for the approaching apocalypse. Against a backdrop of Facebook, cat memes, and students searching their smartphones for a definition of the soul, Levin draws upon a culture of limited attention spans as it searches for greater spiritual meaning. The poems in Banana Palace are elliptical by design, the lines often trailing off into a white space of their own making, as if flirting with and resolving in their own isolation.