This poetry event will feature readings by Poetrio host Mildred K Barya, Michael Hettich, and Lee Stockdale.
This is a hybrid event, meaning there is an option to attend virtually and a limited number of seats are available to attend the event in-store.
The event is free but registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance.
Please click here to register for the VIRTUAL event. The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.
Please click here to register for the IN-PERSON event. Note the important event details on the RSVP form.
All of the poets' new books will be available to purchase in-store at the event. You may also call us at 828-254-6734 or order online below.
If you decide to attend and to purchase books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop's. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!
Born in New York City and raised in its suburbs, Michael Hettich has lived in Colorado, Northern Florida, Vermont, Miami, and Black Mountain, North Carolina, where he now resides with his family. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Miami and taught for many years at Miami Dade College where he was awarded an Endowed Teaching Chair. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in many journals and anthologies, and he has published more than two dozen books of poetry across five decades. The Halo of Bees: New & Selected Poems 1990–2022 is his latest collection published by Press 53. His honors include several Individual Artist Fellowships from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, The Tampa Review Prize in Poetry, the David Martinson/Meadowhawk Prize, a Florida Book Award, and the Lena M. Shull Book Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society. His website is michaelhettich.com.
Michael Hettich’s poems are like grace, like gifts, like the natural world made technicolor, like technicolor making the actual world. He harnesses a specific and collective memory, the power of myth and allusion, like no one else. His poems give readers a deep happiness, an earned happiness, a happiness decided upon with clarity and wisdom.
Lee Stockdale’s poetry has won the United Kingdom National Poetry Prize, the Sidney Library Poetry Prize, and other prizes. His book, Gorilla, was published by Main Street Rag in August 2022. Lee is a former Buncombe County Representative for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and has led craft workshops at Isothermal Community College and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC-Asheville. He initiated and coordinates a workshop at his church, Trinity Episcopal, in downtown Asheville. Lee received his MFA from Queens University in 2017, during which time he was selected by the Library of Congress to work in their Rare Book Division on the St. Mark’s in the Bowery Poetry Project audio recordings. He lives with his wife in the Western North Carolina mountains. For more, visit https://www.leestockdale.com
Lee Stockdale, in his stark and memorable volume, Gorilla, takes head-on, fearlessly, the specter of mortality that looms and lords above us all. He dares it again and again and, ultimately, spits in its eye – with harrowing, surreal, and deadpan matter-of-fact razor-diction. At the heart of these poems is the speaker’s father’s death by suicide and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Stockdale provocatively, often brilliantly, always hauntingly, conflates these two tragedies and, indeed, mythologizes them. Gorilla underscores the imagination’s dogged grip on survival, language’s alchemy in forging cosmos from chaos, how the spirit moves and bears witness.
Mildred Kiconco Barya is a writer from Uganda and the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently The Animals of My Earth School by Terrapin Books, 2023. Her prose, hybrids, and poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, Tin House, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She’s now working on a collection of creative nonfiction, and her essay, “Being Here in This Body”, won the 2020 Linda Flowers Literary Award and was published in the North Carolina Literary Review. Mildred teaches creative writing and literature at UNC-Asheville, serves on the boards of African Writers Trust and Story Parlor, and coordinates the Poetrio Reading events at Malaprop’s Independent Bookstore/Café. She blogs here www.mildredbarya.com.
In the compassionate, playful, fable-like poems of The Animals of My Earth School, Mildred Kiconco Barya awakens us to the vividly singing, fully alive, non-human communities surrounding us. These poems demonstrate poetry's unique ability to prick us from our self-involved numbness and awaken us to wonder. There is great solace, tenderness, and innocence here-the kind of innocence capable of apprehending the creatures of the world-and thus the world itself-afresh. Like a literary Noah's ark of song, The Animals of My Earth School provides a place where all may dance and thrive. These poems provide pleasure and a glimmer of hope.