“Maggie Graber’s Swan Hammer is the kind of wild, hungry, ebullient, insolent, playful, sorrow-struck, yawping book of poems you did not know you needed until you notice the heap of rust at your feet knocked from the hinges on the door to your heart. And your heart peeking out and opening its mouth to sing along, and sing along, with Graber’s beautiful song.”
—ROSS GAY, winner of a 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
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Join us in celebrating UM student Maggie Graber's new collection of poems Swan Hammer: An Instructor's Guide to Mirrors. She will be in conversation with local poet Joshua Nguyen (of Come Clean) on Tuesday, September 27th @ 5:30 PM · Off Square Books.
About the Book
This collection chronicles coming of age as a queer millennial in a twenty-first century America defined by the internet, climate crisis, and a growing disconnection that the poems within work to resist. Here, everyone and everything serves as a potential reflection for something larger than the poet can understand: an unknown debit card thief, the cartoon teacher Ms. Frizzle, The Weather Channel, an RV park, a dead poet. These poems seek to make something of the spaces between and reach toward a sense of the ecstatic just beyond. They are poems of imagination and vision that strive to look rather than look away, that attempt to capture a nebulous feeling before it is gone for good. Swan Hammer is an instructor’s guide to connection-making, of seeing and then seeing again, in ways that have been redefined in the age of the internet. Here is one poet’s wandering relationship to their own sense of what it is to be alive and queer at a time when there is so much on the brink of disappearing—and what a queer experience it is.
About the Author
Maggie Graber is a queer millennial poet from the Great Lakes. She is a Luminarts Cultural Foundation Fellow, a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a certified Wilderness First Responder. She currently serves as poetry editor for Yalobusha Review.
About the Host
Joshua Nguyen is the author of Come Clean (University of Wisconsin Press), winner of the 2021 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, and the chapbook, "American Lục Bát for My Mother" (Bull City Press, 2021). He is a Vietnamese-American writer, a collegiate national poetry slam champion (CUPSI), and a native Houstonian. He is a PhD student at The University of Mississippi, where he also received his MFA.
This collection chronicles coming of age as a queer millennial in a twenty-first century America defined by the internet, climate crisis, and a growing disconnection that the poems within work to resist. Here, everyone and everything serves as a potential reflection for something larger than the poet can understand: an unknown debit card thief, the cartoon teacher Ms.