Assembly: Poetry and Conversation
Join us for a conversation with Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tina Cane and poet Michael Klein. Klein’s book, then, we were still living (2010), is the Rhode Island Route One Reads selection for 2021 and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Gay Poetry 2011.
Free. Registration required. After registering an email will be sent with a Zoom link to access the program.
This program is made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Rhode Island Center for the Book, a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. Route One Reads is a partnership connecting the East Coast Centers for the Book from Maine to Florida. Following an annual theme, each Center for the Book selects a book to represent its state on a collective reading list. The 2021 theme is “Poetry” and Rhode Island's Route One Reads selection is then, we were still living by Michael Klein.
The news from the Rhode Island Center for the Book on choosing my second book of poems, then, we were still living, as its Route One Reads book for 2021 has to be the warmest reception I've gotten since my recent move to Newport–to be recognized as someone usually working alone, on the margins. For the honor to go to this particular book made me even more happier, as this is probably the one collection that always seems just a little beyond my habitual sensibilities–i.e., many of the poems here were channelled in the weeks following 2001's terrorist attack in New York and they came fast and pretty much fully themselves. Thanks again to the Center for the Book for this personal acknowledgment and for all the important work you do connecting American readers to the necessity of literature. - Michael Klein
Michael Klein writes both poetry and non-fiction in the form of essays and memoir. His first book of poems, 1990, tied with James Schuyler's Collected Poems to win a Lambda Literary Award in 1993. His memoir, Track Conditions, about his time on the racetrack grooming Kentucky Derby winner, Swale, was a Lambda finalist. His latest book of poems is When I Was a Twin (Sibling Rivalry Press) and he has just finished putting together a collection of selected and new poems with the working title The Early Minutes of Without, which is currently under consideration at several publishers. Recent work appears in Ocean State Review and the forthcoming summer issue of The Paris Review. And he has just started writing for SPIN, where he's published a piece on songwriter Laura Nyro and is working on an appreciation of Sufjan Stevens. He lives in Newport, RI with his husband, Andrew, French bulldog, Ruby and two cats, Flora and Eddie. And teaches writing workshops at Hunter College in New York and taught for more than two decades at Goddard College and in the summer program of The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he was a Fellow in 1990.
Born and raised in New York City, Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she is the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Literary Review, Spinning Jenny, Tupelo Quarterly, Jubliat and The Common. She also co-produces, with Atticus Allen, the podcast, Poetry Dose. Cane is the author of The Fifth Thought (Other Painters Press, 2008), Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz (Skillman Avenue Press, 2016), Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books, 2017) and Body of Work (Veliz Books, 2019). In 2016, Tina received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry, from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She is also a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets and the creator/curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread.
Artists working in a variety of disciplines and mediums share their work in the program series, Assembly. These encounters present creative interpretations, inclusive practices, and sensory experiments in museum spaces.
Image of Tina Cane by Cormac Crump