Brooklyn Poets Book Launch: Madeleine Cravens

Join us for the launch of poet Madeleine Cravens's debut collection of poems, Pleasure Principle, on Saturday, June 8, at 144 Montague St and via Zoom! Free and open to the public. Doors will open for a wine reception for in-person guests at 6 PM and readings will begin at 7 PM. Natasha Rao, Rachel Mannheimer and Megan Fernandes will open for Cravens. Book signing to follow.

Note that by attending this event, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. All in-person attendees for events are currently required to wear masks (regardless of vaccination status) except readers at a safe distance on stage. We will have masks available. Our full policy can be found at the end of the event description. Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss from our programs any participant found to be in violation of these policies. Thank you for respecting our community.

Closed captions will be available for the event through the Zoom livestream. For more information and to request additional accommodations, contact us at [email protected].

About Pleasure Principle

In her stunning debut collection, Madeleine Cravens explores desire in all its transgressive power and wildness. Pleasure and pain are inextricable in these carefully observed poems, capturing a young woman on the threshold of adulthood as she seeks to understand herself. With a hard-edged vulnerability and singularly bold style, Cravens is unsparing about the struggle to make sense of one’s longings.

Taking us from the parks and plazas of Brooklyn to the freeways of California, these poems allow us to watch a life unfold where “womanhood felt like an incorrect container,” and love is performed “in the historic way, with bartering and harsh alliances.” As Cravens casts her questioning eye across the possibilities of queer relationships and the curious shapes of family bonds—both the ones we’re born into and the ones we choose—she urges readers to consider how we become ourselves.

Moving, captivating, and funny, Pleasure Principle heralds the arrival of a fearless and vibrant new voice in American poetry.

About the Author

Madeleine Cravens was a 2022–2024 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Her poems can be found in the New Yorker, the NationKenyon ReviewBest New Poets and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, the Sewanee Writers Conference, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She was raised in Brooklyn and lives in Oakland. Pleasure Principle is her debut collection.

About the Opening Acts

Natasha Rao is the author of Latitude, which was selected by Ada Limón as the winner of the 2021 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, she has also received fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Community of Writers. Her work appears in the NationAmerican Poetry Review, the Yale Review and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She is currently coeditor of American Chordata.

Rachel Mannheimer was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a literary scout. She is also a contributing editor to the Yale Review. Her first book, Earth Room, was selected by Louise Glück as the inaugural winner of the Changes Book Prize and published by Changes in 2022.

Megan Fernandes is a writer living in New York City. Fernandes has published in the New YorkerPoetry, the Kenyon Review, the American Poetry Review and Ploughshares, among other places. Her third book of poetry, I Do Everything I’m Told, published by Tin House, received a starred review in Publisher's Weekly and was named a Best or Most-Anticipated Book of 2023 by the New YorkerTime, the Boston GlobeVogueElectric Lit, the RumpusVultureAutostraddle and LitHub, among other places. Fernandes is an associate professor of English and the writer-in-residence at Lafayette College, where she teaches courses on poetry, environmental writing and critical theory. She has received scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, the Yaddo Foundation and the Hawthornden Foundation. She holds a PhD in English from the University of California–Santa Barbara and an MFA in poetry from Boston University.