The Launch of Meena Alexander’s New Book of Poetry
536 W 112street (between Broadway and Amsterdam)
With their intense lyricism, Alexander’s poems convey the fragmented experience of the traveler, for whom home is both nowhere and everywhere. The landscapes she evokes, whether walking a city street or reading Basho in the Himalayas, hold echoes of otherness. Place becomes a palimpsest, composed of layer upon layer of memory, dream, and desire. There are poems of love and poems of war — we see the rippling effects of violence and dislocation, of love and its aftermath. The poems in Birthplace with Buried Stones range widely over time and place, from her native India to New York City. We see traces of mythology, ritual, other languages. Uniquely attuned to life in a globalized world, Alexander’s poetry is an apt guide, bringing us face to face with the power of a single moment, its capacity to evoke the unseen and unheard.
Meena Alexander is an award winning author and scholar. Her volumes of poetry include Illiterate Heart (winner of the PEN Open Book Award), Raw Silk and Quickly Changing River. Her poetry has been translated into several languages and set to music. She has written the acclaimed autobiography, Fault Lines as well as two novels. She is author of the academic study Women in Romanticism and the book of essays Poetics of Dislocation. She is Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York and teaches at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Alexander will be introduced by Quincy Troupe, an award-winning author of nine volumes of poetry, three children’s books, and six non-fiction works. Troupe is professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego, and editor of Black Renaissance Noire, a literary journal of the Institute of Africana Studies at New York University.