An Evening with Kaveh Akbar, L. Lamar Wilson, and Elizabeth Metzger

We are proud to welcome Kaveh Akbar back to the Hudson Valley Writers Center Reading Series. A friend of the Center since the beginning of his poetry career, we are thrilled that he is returning to read from his second collection with two poets new to our series—L. Lamar Wilson and Elizabeth Metzger.

This reading will take place via Zoom. Please register to get the Zoom link which will be sent immediately at the time of registration via email. Please check your spam filter and email [email protected] with any questions. This reading is FREE though donations towards the poets’ honoraria are greatly appreciated!

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf, and has received honors such as a Levis Reading Prize and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in low-residency programs at Warren Wilson and Randolph Colleges. photo credit: Paige Lewis

  • Finalist for the 2021 Maya Angelou Book Award
  • “[Pilgrim Bell] is bracing in its honesty and noteworthy in its steadfast adherence to finding the spiritual in even the most mundane settings. Akbar’s mesmerizing dexterity with language is at its most compelling when he is relentlessly pursuing the truth—a hunt that’s present in every poem in this volume.”TIME
  • “Incandescent. . . . [Pilgrim Bell] illuminates questions of divinity and language in swift, surprising lyrics.”Booklist, starred review
  • “Lyrical, profound, and honest, the kind of collection to which a reader will return.”—Library Journal, starred review
  • “[Kaveh] Akbar is exquisitely sensitive to how language can function as both presence and absence. . . . His practice of taking language apart, and harnessing the empty space around it, makes even the most familiar words seem eerie and unexpected.”—The New Yorker

L. Lamar Wilson, a multi-genre writer and filmmaker invested in documentary poetics, is the author of Sacrilegion—the 2012 selection for the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, a 2013 Independent Publishers Group bronze medalist, and a 2013 Thom Gunn Award finalist—and co-author of Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014, ed. Jericho Brown), with Phillip B. Williams, Rickey Laurentiis, Saeed Jones, and Darrel Alejandro Holnes. The Gospel Truth, a musical adaptation of Sacrilegion, was staged in 2014 and 2017, the latter time with a troupe that honors artists with cognitive and physical differences. The Changing Same, a collaboration with Rada Film Group that airs in PBS’s 2019-2020 season of POV Shorts, was a special jury prize winner at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival and named best documentary at the Sisters of the Diaspora Reel Film Festival, an honor for Rada’s Michèle Stephenson. Vinyl nominated the poem at the film’s center, “Resurrection Sunday,” for a Pushcart Prize. Other poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, The New York Times, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, African American Review, Black Gay Genius (Vintage Entity P, 2014), Bodies Built for Game: The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary Sports Writing (University of Nebraska P, 2019), Callaloo, Crazyhorse, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry (Northwestern University P, 2019), Interim, jubilat, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia (University of Georgia P, 2019), The 100 Best African American Poems (Sourcebooks, 2010), NPR, Oxford American, Race and Utopian Desire in American Literature and Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), The Root/The Washington Post, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. Wilson, a Florida A&M alumnus, has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Ragdale, and Hurston-Wright foundations. He holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wilson’s recent work centers the voices and experiences of black and brown folk thriving in the rural South despite relentless, centuries-long homegrown terrorism. After nearly 18 years of award-winning editing in several of the nation’s top newsrooms, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, and appointments at Davidson College, the University of Alabama, and Wake Forest University, Wilson teaches creative writing, literature, and film studies at Florida State University and in the low-residency MFA program at Mississippi University for Women.

Elizabeth Metzger is the author of Bed (Tupelo Press, 2021) winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize, selected by Mark Bibbins; The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry; and the chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Horsethief Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewPoetry MagazineAmerican Poetry ReviewThe Nation, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. Her prose has appeared in Conjunctions, Literary HubGuernica, and Boston Review. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review of Books.