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.