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Type of Event

Event Calendar

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Sat, Feb 27, 2021

A Conversation with 2020 National Book Award for Poetry Finalists Tommye Blount and Natalie Diaz

11:00 am Virtual

Join John Hennessy for a conversation with National Book Award for Poetry Finalists Tommye Blount and Natalie Diaz. This virtual event, hosted in partnership with the National Book Foundation, is open to the general public and will be followed by a Q&A.

Tommye Blount is the author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue (Four Way Books, 2020)—a finalist for the National Book Award—and the chapbook What Are We Not For (Bull City Press, 2016). A Cave Canem alumnus and graduate from Warren Wilson College, he has been the recipient of a fellowship from Kresge Arts in Detroit and the John Atherton Scholarship from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Blount’s work has been featured in Magma, Poetry, New England Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Ecotone, Ninth Letter, Kenyon Review and elsewhere. Born and raised in Detroit, Blount now lives in the nearby suburb of Novi, Mich.

Natalie Diaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press, and her second book, Postcolonial Love Poem, was published by Graywolf Press in March 2020. She is a MacArthur Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow, a United States Artists Ford Fellow and a Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Artist Fellow. Diaz is director of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands and is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. She lives in Phoenix, Ariz.

John Hennessy is the author of two poetry collections, Bridge and Tunnel and Coney Island Pilgrims, and his poems appear in The Believer, Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, The New Republic, Poetry, The Poetry Review (UK), Poetry Ireland Review and other journals and anthologies. He is the co-translator, with Ostap Kin, of A New Orthography, selected poems by Serhiy Zhadan, longlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, 2021; Hennessy and Kin won the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for Translation from Poetry magazine for work included in this book. A former Amy Clampitt Resident Fellow, Hennessy is the poetry editor of The Common and director of undergraduate creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Registration Required

Emily Dickinson’s Amherst College

2:00 pm Virtual

In partnership with Amherst College’s Bicentennial, join Museum staff for a talk about the impact of the College on the life of poet Emily Dickinson. The Dickinson family was instrumental to the College during its first 75 years, beginning with Samuel Fowler Dickinson’s part in its founding and continuing with Edward and Austin’s combined 60 years of service as treasurers. The College was an early and lasting influence in Emily’s life, playing an inestimable role in her early education and friendships, and later connecting her to an ever-widening local and global community. Through original photographs and archival documents, encounter some of the people and places that defined the Dickinsons’ 19th-century Amherst College, including students, professors, workers and alumni.

Registration Required

Readings by The Common's Literary Publishing Interns: Amherst Students Share Their Own Creative Work

4:30 pm Virtual

Jennifer Acker ’00 will host readings by The Common's the literary publishing interns: Olive Amdur '23, Sofia Belimova '22, Eliza Brewer '22, Whitney Bruno '21, Elly Hong ’21 and Isabel Meyers ’20.

Jennifer Acker ’00 is founder and editor-in-chief of The Common and author of the debut novel The Limits of the World. Her short stories, essays, translations and reviews have appeared in Amazon Original Stories, The Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and LitFest.

Registration Required

Alumni Authors Cocktail Hour Reading

5:00 pm Virtual

Jennifer Acker ’00 will host brief readings by Calvin Baker '94, Chris Bohjalian '82, Dan Chiasson '93, Edward A. Farmer '05, Michael Gorra '79, Kirun Kapur '97, Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne '01 and Ismée Williams '95. A Q&A to follow.

Acker ’00 is founder and editor-in-chief of The Common and author of the debut novel The Limits of the World. Her short stories, essays, translations and reviews have appeared in Amazon Original Stories, The Washington Post, Literary Hub, n+1, Guernica, The Yale Review and Ploughshares, among other places. Acker has an M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and LitFest.

Registration Required