Jan Beatty: A Reading from The Body Wars: Poems

Live Q&A: Sunday, November 22 @ 1:00 p.m. What would it take to be home in one’s body, to walk around the world as oneself, knowing the pain within and […]


Jan Beatty: A Reading from The Body Wars: Poems

Author:Jan Beatty


Live Q&A: Sunday, November 22 @ 1:00 p.m.

What would it take to be home in one’s body, to walk around the world as oneself, knowing the pain within and without us? In The Body Wars, Jan Beatty boldly answers that question by making a fire map of the body. These roiling poems smack into walls of meditation, only to slide down the smooth concrete into the flatline of joy. These are vital poems of dimension, of both psychic and literal travel, of the elasticity of truth and struggle, of the daily nature of desire that brings us to our knees—then shotguns us back to the heart’s center.

Sponsored by:

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty’s books include Red Sugar, Boneshaker, Mad River, The Switching/Yard, Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, and her memoir, American Bastard. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies published by Autumn House Press, Coffee House Press, Houghton Mifflin, Oxford University Press, University of Illinois Press, Kent State University Press, and the University of Iowa Press. Her essays on writing have appeared in anthologies by Autumn House Press, Creative Nonfiction, and The State University of New York Press. What would it take to be home in one’s body, to walk around the world as oneself, knowing the pain within and without us? In The Body Wars (University of Pittsburgh Press) Jan Beatty boldly answers by making a fire map of the body. These roiling poems smack into walls of meditation, only to slide down the smooth concrete into the flatline of joy. These are vital poems of dimension, of both psychic and literal travel, of the elasticity of truth and struggle, of the daily nature of desire that brings us to our knees—then shotguns us back to the heart’s center. Tracy K. Smith, United States Poet Laureate and author of Words in the Water, wrote that “Jan Beatty’s visceral urgency and courageous truth-telling is a gust of welcome fresh air. These poems are astoundingly alive!”

Related Events

On Demand

November 19, 2020

In Conversation: On James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

by Kenneth W. Mack, Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, weaves biography, memoir, and social and political analysis as he explores […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

In Conversation: The Life of Malcolm X

by Tamara Payne, Randall Pinkston, Les Payne

The result of a nearly 30-year quest and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X is an epic biography of one […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song

by Kevin Young, Campbell McGrath

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song is a literary landmark: the biggest, most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period […]

Add to Watch List

On Demand

November 21, 2020

In Conversation: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food

by Dawn Davis, Marcus Samuelsson

In partnership with Portland Book Festival and Miami’s Overtown Book Festival. It is long past time to recognize Black excellence in the culinary world the same way it has been […]

Add to Watch List