Brooklyn Poets Book Launch: Matthew Gellman

Join us for the launch of poet Matthew Gellman's debut collection of poems, Beforelight, on Saturday, April 6, at 144 Montague St and via Zoom! Doors will open for a wine reception for in-person guests at 6 PM and readings will begin at 7 PM. Catherine Pond, Loisa Fenichell and Hua Xi will open for Gellman. Book signing to follow.

Note that by attending this event, you agree to abide by our code of conduct and COVID-19 policy below. Effective January 8, 2024, all event attendees except readers at a safe distance on stage are required to wear masks due to the current COVID levels in NYC. 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.

About Beforelight

Beforelight explores queer childhood as a site of rupture and queer coming-of-age as a process of both becoming and unbecoming. With wisdom and grace, the speaker in these poems confronts the impacts of fragmented relationships and trauma on his nascent identity, ultimately committing to the self's authenticity as the highest form of devotion. Lush, cinematic and deeply psychological, these poems grapple with the fragility of our most formative connections—familial, communal and ancestral—as the speaker searches for communion with himself and tries to discover how not to “make a life out of pain.”

About the Author

Matthew Gellman is the author of a chapbook, Night Logic, selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of Tupelo Press's 2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award. His first book, Beforelight, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series and selected by Tina Chang as the winner of BOA Editions, Ltd.'s A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Matthew has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and other awards from Brooklyn Poets, Adroit's Djanikian Scholars Program, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, the New York State Summer Writers Institute and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in Gulf CoastPoetry NorthwestNarrative, the CommonIndiana ReviewNinth Letter, Lambda Literary's Poetry Spotlight and other publications. He lives in New York, where he teaches at Hunter College and Fordham University, and he will begin a PhD in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California this fall.

About the Opening Acts

Catherine Pond is the author of Fieldglass (Southern Illinois University Press, 2021), winner of the Crab Orchard First Book Prize and a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in Best New PoetsBest American Nonrequired ReadingAGNISalmagundiAdroitNarrative and other publications. Pond is a PhD candidate (ABD) in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California, where she teaches writing.

Loisa Fenichell’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in GuernicaPoetry NorthwestWashington Square Review, the Iowa Review and elsewhere. Her chapbook all these urban fields was published by nothing to say press and her collection Wandering in all directions of this earth was the winner of the 2022 Ghost Peach Press Prize, selected by Eduardo C. Corral and published by Ghost Peach Press. She is the winner of the 2021 Bat City Review Editors' Prize and has been a finalist for Narrative's 2021 30 Below contest, a runner-up for Tupelo Quarterly's Tupelo Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Dorianne Laux / Joe Millar prize. She has received support from Bread Loaf Writers’ Workshop and holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University. She is now a PhD student in English literary arts, concentrating on poetry, at the University of Denver.

Hua Xi (she/they) is a poet and artist. They are currently a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford. Their poems have appeared in the Nation, the New Republic, the AtlanticAmerican Poetry ReviewPoetry Daily and elsewhere. They previously won the Boston Review Poetry Contest and the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award from Poetry Ireland. They have also received an NEA Fellowship and were named the 2022 Poet-to-Come Scholar by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association.