Flood Psalming: A Poetry of Ritual 7pm


Flood Psalming: A Poetry of Ritual

As we navigate the involuntary products of today’s polarizing excesses, how can we reclaim our own language as an “incantation, [an] oracle” to challenge the social constructs of gender, time, industry, and motherhood?  How does music also involuntarily flood from the poet who believes in the power of ritual to help readers “recognize that to be a citizen in the fullest sense is to partake in as much of the lyricism of hope as in the daily trudge of necessity”?  Couchois Duncan, Dressen, Dyckman and Mattraw are four Bay Area authors that strive through “the cadence of language” to seek meaningful ceremony in emergency.  Their restless, “elemental imagery” speaks inpoetics that are “elegiac, celebratory, and melancholic histories, [both] human and geological.”  This reading is both a chapbook release party for Mattraw’s flood psalm and a general celebration of ways each poet “harvest[s] light” and belief through the lyrical poem.

About the writers:

Aja Couchois Duncan is a Bay Area educator, writer and coach of Ojibwe, French and Scottish descent. Her writing has been anthologized in Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative(Coach House Press,) Bay Poetics (Faux Press) and Love Shook My Heart 2 (Alyson Press). Her most recent chapbook, Nomenclature, Miigaadiwin, a Forked Tongue was published by CC Marimbo press. A fictional writer of non-fiction, she has published essays in the North American Review and Chain. In 2005, she was a recipient of the Marin Arts Council Award Grant for Literary Arts, and, in 2013, she received a James D. Phelan Literary Award. Her first book, Restless Continent, emerged last year from Litmus Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and a variety of other degrees and credentials to certify her as human. Great Spirit knew it all along. http://ajacouchoisduncan.blogspot.com/

Tiff Dressen lives in Oakland and works in Berkeley and peregrinates somewhere in between.  They are the author of Songs from the Astral Bestiary from lyric& Press as well as several chapbooks of poetry. Tiff earned their MFA in Poetry from the University of San Francisco.  

Susanne Dyckman is the author two full-length volumes of poetry, equilibrium’s form (Shearsman Books) and A Dark Ordinary (Furniture Press Books), as well as several chapbooks.  Born in Chicago and raised in Philadelphia, she has lived in the East Bay for many years, her life filled with mothering, writing, editing, teaching, and working a day-job. 

Alexandra Mattraw is an Oakland poet and educator whose Celtic great grandparents first made their home in Oakland in the early 1900s. Alexandra’s fourth chapbook, flood psalm,emerged in April at Dancing Girl Press, and her full length collection of poems, small siren, is forthcoming from Brooklyn’s Cultural Society in 2018. Alexandra’s poems and criticism have appeared in American Letters and CommentaryDenver QuarterlyFourteen Hills1913 Journal of Forms, The Poetry Project, The Volta, VOLT, and elsewhere.  A former Vermont Studio Center resident and member of the Bay Area Correspondence School (BACS), she and her partner curate a quarterly art-centric writing and performance series called Lone Glenhttp://alexandramattraw.wordpress.com/

Date: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 7:00pm