Join us for the launch of poet Rachel Edelman's new collection of poems, Dear Memphis, on Saturday, February 17, 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. Lynne Sachs and Diane Exavier will open for Edelman. 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 rise in cases 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 Dear Memphis
"What do I know of exile?" asks the speaker in Dear Memphis, standing inside the colliding geographies and intimate economies of the American South. Offering a direct address to the city where the poet grew up, this collection explores the displacement and belonging of a Jewish family in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside their histories of community and environment. The simultaneous richness and spareness of Edelman’s poems sing with their attention to the particular body and what it cannot carry, what it cannot put down. Through letters, visual art, city documents, and dialogue, Dear Memphis excavates ancestry, inheritance and the ecological possibility of imagining a future.
About the Author
Rachel Edelman is a Jewish poet raised in Memphis, Tennessee, who writes into diasporic living. Dear Memphis, published by River River Books, is their debut collection of poems. Her poems have appeared in Narrative, the Seventh Wave, the Threepenny Review, West Branch and many other journals. They have received material support from City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Academy of American Poets, Mineral School, Crosstown Arts, and Tin House, and finalist commendations from the Adrienne Rich Award, the Pink Poetry Prize, and the National Poetry Series. Edelman earned a BA in English and geology from Amherst College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She teaches language arts in the Seattle Public Schools, where embodiment and care root her personal, poetic and pedagogical practice.
About the Opening Acts
Lynne Sachs is a filmmaker and poet who grew up in Memphis and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Over the last four decades, she has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of documentary, performance, and collage. Her films and poems explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences, often from a personal, self-reflexive point of view. With each film, Sachs investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera and the materiality of film itself. Her early works on celluloid offer a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her vision ever since. Early in her career, Lynne returned to her hometown to make Sermons and Sacred Pictures (1989), a documentary on the life and work of Reverend L.O. Taylor, an African American minister and filmmaker from Memphis. Lynne’s films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Film Festival, and Sundance. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival, Festival International de Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival.
Diane Exavier is a writer, theatermaker and educator working at the intersection of performance and poetry. She is author of the poetry collection The Math of Saint Felix and the chapbook Teaches of Peaches. Diane concerns herself with what she recognizes as the 4 L’s: love, loss, legacy and land. Her work has been presented with the New Group, BRIC Arts, Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place and more. She has been commissioned for new play development by the Sloan Foundation, the New Group, and Lucille Lortel Theatre. Most recently, Diane coedited the 2023 new critical edition of Jean Toomer's Cane. A 2021 Jerome Foundation finalist, Diane lives and works in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Poets Code of Conduct
Brooklyn Poets will not tolerate any instances of discrimination, harassment or abuse in conjunction with any of our programs. Respect and consideration for others, both within and outside our programs, are core values to be upheld by all participants. Discrimination against and/or harassment of community members on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, religion, age, marital status, veteran status or any other factor is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Program participants are expected to adhere to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. Should a board or staff member, independent contractor, volunteer or program participant be found to violate any aspect of the organization’s code of conduct, Brooklyn Poets reserves the right to dismiss them from the program. Consequences may include, but not be limited to, dismissal from the current activity, suspension, ineligibility for all future activities, and/or loss of payment or fees. If you have any issues to report, please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director Jason Koo ([email protected]) or Deputy Director renée kay ([email protected]), and they will get back to you as soon as possible.