HENRY ISRAELI, CHRISTOPHER KEMPF & ALLISON BENIS WHITE

April 20, 2017 - 7:00pm
Prairie Lights

Poets Henry Israeli, Christopher Kempf and Allison Benis White will read from their new collections.

Henry Israeli will read from God’s Breath Hovering Across the Waters. These meditative poems struggle to make sense of a mother s sudden death through the lenses of science and religion. Memories, history, war, science, space exploration, and the RCA dog are just some of the subjects that expand and contract, intersect and repel, throughout the arc of the collection.

Henry Israeli’s previous poetry collections include New Messiahs,  and Praying to the Black Cat, and three books of translations of Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. He is a graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the founder and editor of Saturnalia Books.

Christopher Kempf will read from Late in the Empire of Men,  a timely collection that traces the path of America through its expanding empire to a future when "the idea of people/is over.”  Kempf is a master of seamless juxtaposition: almost every poem moves smoothly into and out of its immediate circumstances, weaving myth and history, literary reference and new events into its fabric. Kempf has published poetry in Best New Poets, Gettysburg Review, The New Republic, and Ploughshares. He is an NEA and Wallace Stegner Fellowship recipient and is the 2016/2017 Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College.  

Allison Benis White will read from Please Bury Me In This, a series of letters on the death of the speaker’s father that investigate loss, and language’s limits and ability to transcend our temporal lives. This book’s further concern is with the intergenerational trauma of the children of Holocaust survivors. Allison Benis White  is the author of Small Porcelain Head, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry. Her first book, Self-Portrait with Crayon, received the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Book Prize. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside.