Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series: Yusef Komunyakaa and Carl Phillips

EVENT DETAILS: Yusef Komunyakaa and Carl Phillips will give brief readings from their new poetry collections Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems and Then the War: and Selected Poems, 2007-2020followed by a conversation with francine j. harris, author of here is the sweet hand and Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston.

BOOK DISCOUNTS: Our partners at Brazos Bookstore are offering a 10% discount on Everyday Mojo Songs of the Earth: New and Selected Poems by Yusef Komunyakaa and Then the War: and Selected Poems, 2007-2020 by Carl Phillips. To receive the discount, order your copies of their new books at from now through April 13th using the coupon code INPRINT.

Ta-Nehisi Coates calls YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA “probably my favorite living poet. No one else taught me more about how important it was to think about how words make people feel.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Neon Vernacular, Komunyakaa is the author of 16 poetry collections that draw on his rich life experience. “His voice, whether it embodies the specific experiences of a Black man, a soldier in Vietnam, or a child in Bogalusa, Louisiana, is universal. It shows us in ever deeper ways what it is to be human,” says Toi Derricotte. Weaving together personal narrative, jazz rhythms, and vernacular language, his other works include The Emperor of Water Clocks, Warhorses, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Pleasure Dome, and Dien Cai Dau. He is the winner the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Wallace Stevens Award, and the Thomas Forcade Award and was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Komunyakaa will read from and talk about his new poetry collection Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth: New and Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2021), which The Washington Post calls “A monumental collection….No matter how well you know Komunyakaa’s poetry, you’ll find this collection an illuminating retrospective, and if you’re new to him, this is the place to start.” A starred Publishers Weekly review adds, “This dazzling collection makes a definitive case for the Pulitzer Prize–winning Komunyakaa as a monumental and singular American voice. A jazzy master of enjambment and arresting opening lines, Komunyakaa synthesizes natural history, myth, and wide-ranging intellectual curiosity into sensory acts of witness.” Komunyakaa lives in New York, New York.

CARL PHILLIPS is “an artist of generous instincts and rare authority” (American Academy of Arts and Letters Award winner citation) whose writing “brings echoes of 20th-century eminences such as Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, T.S. Eliot, and Rainer Maria Rilke” (St. Louis Post Dispatch). A classicist by training, Phillips is the author of 15 poetry collections that blend mythology, history, and philosophy, including Double Shadow, Silverchest, Reconnaissance, and Wild Is the Wind. About his fifteenth poetry collection Pale Colors in a Tall FieldThe Millions writes, “Phillips is the type of writer to make us believe that, perhaps, poetry truly is the form in which story and song best breathe together.” Phillips has also published two books of craft essays, The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination and Coin of the Realm: Essays on the Art and Life of Poetry, and a translation of Sophocles’ Philoctetes. A four-time finalist for the National Book Award, Phillips is the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Library of Congress Fellowship.

He joins us to read from and talk about his new poetry collection Then the War: and Selected Poems, 2007-2020 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2022), which brings together a curated selection of his work from the past 13 years. Written during a time of rising racial conflict in the U.S., Then the War also includes new poems about the power of self-reckoning and human connection. Phillips, who moved every year until the age of 10, lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Image removed.FRANCINE J. HARRIS’ third collection, Here is the Sweet Hand from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, is the winner of the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her second collection, play dead, was the winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her first collection, allegiance, was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery and PEN Open Book Awards. Originally from Detroit, she is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston.