Studio: Nguyen, Steensen, Sheldon
Thursday 15th Mar, 2018

Time: Doors 7:00pm|Reading 7:30
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Just Buffalo Literary Center’s STUDIO series returns on March 15th, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Just Buffalo Writing Center (468 Washington St, 2nd floor) with Hoa Nguyen, Sasha Steensen, and Ryan Kaveh Sheldon.

Born in the Mekong Delta, raised in the Washington, D.C. area, and now living in Toronto, Ontario where she teaches creative writing, Hoa Nguyen was nominated for a 2017 Griffin Prize (Canada’s most prestigious literary award) for her book Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books). The book was well-received by The Boston Review and Publisher’s Weekly. Even The New York Times weighed in: “her poems invoke influences from Sappho to Shakespeare as she rewrites the rights of those played by love, betraying the old appeal to prove fidelity.”

Nguyen has also received considerable attention as an educator and publisher as well. With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded a small press journal of poetry and poetics, publishing contemporary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Alice Notley, Linh Dinh, Kenward Elmslie and Eileen Myles. Nationally distributed, Skanky Possum has received attention from national media such as The Baltimore Sun and Poets and Writers. In 2002, as editor of Best American Poetry, Robert Creeley selected poems by four poets that were published in issue 6 of Skanky Possum. Skanky Possum’s catalogue has been collected by several prominent archives and Special Collections including San Francisco University, SUNY Buffalo, University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, and the New York Public Library.

Sasha Steensen will be returning to town, having received her PhD in poetics at SUNY Buffalo. She has been publishing ever since with three books from Fence Books: House of Deer (2014), The Method (2008), and A Magic Book (2004). Her most recent collection is Gatherest (Ahsahta Press) published in 2017. Steensen, on how to characterize her writing, “I suppose I would say it leans toward the experimental/avant-garde. It is generally sound-driven, but I like to think each project varies drastically from the next. Interestingly, I have also been told that despite the experimentation, my poetry is accessible. I suspect the accessibility has to do with the fact that I often write entire books of poems on one topic.”

For many poets performing the work in front of audience is a daunting task, or their least favorite aspect of their craft, Steensen embraces the opportunity saying, “I love giving readings, especially when I get the chance to read with other writers whose work I admire. This has something to do with the fact that I don’t live in an urban setting, so if I am giving a reading, I am often traveling and talking to poets, something that tends to be very generative for me. And, sometimes I sing poems, sometimes I chant.  I can’t do these things on the page in the same way.  Performing poems feels a bit like re-embodying them.”

Rounding out the line-up is Ryan Kaveh Sheldon, a PhD candidate in the Poetics Program at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. His work appears or is forthcoming in matchbook, wildness, DIAGRAM, Small Po[r]tions, Poor Claudia, and Jacket2. Additionally, he also co-founded the Hostile Books collective, along with STUDIO alum Joe Hall.

This event is co-sponsored by the James H. McNulty Chair of English from SUNY Buffalo.

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