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L.A. Book Launch: The Certain Body by Julia Guez
February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In the long limbo of post-viral syndrome, Julia Guez aptly frames the recursive paralysis of pandemic rhetoric, whose seeming transitions always arrive at the same uncertainty: “and then what / and then / what, what / then.” The Certain Body captures life with illness—how the body moves through disease and rests in the liminal space of otherness. Following the speaker through a harrowing and disorienting SARS-Cov-2 infection, readers witness the poet’s gradual refortification as Guez traverses all facets of sickness: its mercies, its pleasures, its gratitudes, its reliefs, its gorgeousnesses. Probing, sharp poems centering an awareness of human ephemerality answer the words of Viktor Shklovsky: “And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.” In “If Indeed I Am Ill,” Guez writes, “These sonatas, these scores, tell me / what of them will last when everything falls away—” Through these lyric expressions, Guez shows us not just how art can heal but how healing is art, a modality of acceptance, the meaning in the process, a mosaic of imperfections that creates and embraces what is.
The author will be joined by poets James Fujinami Moore, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Elizabeth Metzger, and Morgan Parker for an evening of in-person readings at Beyond Baroque.
A reception will be held with food & light refreshments before and after the performances.
Doors: 6:30 p.m.
About the authors
Julia Guez is a writer and translator based in the city of New York. The Certain Body is her second collection of poetry, written while she was recovering from COVID in the spring of 2020.
For her poetry, fiction and translations, Guez has been awarded the Discovery/Boston Review Prize, a Fulbright Fellowship and The John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize in Translation as well as a translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
She holds degrees from Rice and Columbia. For the last decade, Guez has worked with Teach For America, New York; she teaches creative writing at NYU and Rutgers.
James Fujinami Moore’s debut collection is indecent hours (Four Way Books, 2022), winner of the GLCA New Writers Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in Barrow Street’s 4×2, The Brooklyn Rail, Guesthouse, The Margins, the Pacifica Literary Review, and Prelude. He has received support from Poets House, Bread Loaf, and the Frost Place, and received his MFA from Hunter College in 2016. He lives in Los Angeles.
A poet and multimedia artist, Diana Khoi Nguyen is the author of Ghost Of (Omnidawn 2018) which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and forthcoming collection, Root Fractures (Scribner 2024). Nguyen is a Kundiman fellow, recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and winner of the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest, and 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Currently, she is core faculty in the Randolph College Low-Residency MFA and an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
Elizabeth Metzger’s second full-length collection Lying In will be published by Milkweed Editions in April 2023 (available for pre-order now). She is also the author of The Spirit Papers, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, as well as the chapbooks The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death and Bed, winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, The Nation, APR, and Poem-a-Day. She writes, teaches, and edits in Los Angeles, where she is a poetry editor at Los Angeles Review of Books.
Morgan Parker is the author of Who Put This Song On?, a young adult novel; and the poetry collections Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and Magical Negro, which won the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award.
This event is Free & In-Person at Beyond Baroque. Masks are required while inside our center.
Beyond Baroque reserves the right to remove individuals from our events, virtual or otherwise, if they are not respecting the space, fellow attendees, or performers.
If you can’t join us in person the event will be streamed live on Beyond Baroque’s YouTube channel at the scheduled time of the event.
Please RSVP if you are planning to attend this event. We accept walk-ins, but priority will be given to people that have registered. Limited seating is available; we recommend arriving early.