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Bagley Wright Lecture Series: Douglas Kearney


Douglas Kearney has long written about the conflation of violence and entertainment in U.S.American culture, from badman folklore to postcards of lynchings. Still, there are questions that haunt. What are the ethics of representing violence? How might poetic aestheticizations of brutality transform, reinscribe, or abet violence? Through a series of vignettes in which Kearney entangles his encounters with violence as a reader and his own attempts to put it down on the page, the poet investigates what compels him about the subject.

The Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry supports contemporary poets as they explore in-depth their own thinking on poetry and poetics, and give a series of lectures resulting from these investigations. Lectures are delivered publicly in partnership with institutions and organizations nationwide. Find out more about past, present, and future lecturers, and explore the archive at www.bagleywrightlectures.org.

Charlie Wright, Publisher of Wave Books, established the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry (BWLS) in memory of his late father, the businessman and philanthropist Bagley Wright. 

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Douglas Kearney’s books are available at Powell’s.

Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney has published six collections, including Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito, 2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up.” Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His newest collection, Sho (Wave, 2021) is forthcoming. His operas include SucktionMordakeCrescent CitySweet Land, and next year's Comet / Poppea commissioned by AMOC (American Modern Opera Company)He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.
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