Poetrio: Petra Kuppers, Rodney Terich Leonard, and Kevin Prufer

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Join us for our monthly poetry event featuring three poets. This month, we welcome Petra Kuppers, Rodney Terich Leonard, and Kevin Prufer. Click here to RSVP for this event. On the day of the event, we will send a reminder email with the link required to attend.

Like most of our events, this event is free. If you decide to attend and to purchase the authors' 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! 

PETRA KUPPERS is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. Her third poetry book, the ecosomatic Gut Botany (2020), was named one of the top ten poetry collections of 2020 by the New York Public Library. She is also the author of the queer/crip speculative short story collection Ice Bar (2018). She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective; teaches at the University of Michigan and at Goddard College; and co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. https://petrakuppersfiction.wordpress.com/

"Gut Botany charts my body / language living on indigenous land as a white settler and traveler," Petra Kuppers writes in the notes of her new poetry collection. Using a perfect cocktail of surrealist and situationist techniques, Kuppers submits to the work and to the land, moving through ancient fish, wounded bodies, and the space around her. The book invites the reader to navigate their own body through the peaks and pitfalls of pain, survival, sensual joy, and healing. Readers looking for experimental poetry that takes up space in their brains and bodies will dive deep and fast into this queer ecosomatic investigation.


RODNEY TERICH LEONARD was born in Nixburg, Alabama. An Air Force veteran who served during the Gulf War, his society profiles and poems have appeared in Southern Humanities Review, Red River Review, The Huffington Post, BOMB Magazine, The Cortland Review, Indolent Books-What Rough Beast, Four Way Review, The New York Times, The Amsterdam News, The Village Voice, For Colored Boys… (anthology edited by Keith Boykin) and other publications. Sweetgum & Lightning is his debut collection of poetry. He holds degrees from The New School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Teachers College Columbia University. A Callaloo poetry fellow, he received an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and currently lives in Manhattan.

Sweetgum & Lightning lets us into an extraordinary poetic universe, shaped by a vernacular rooted in the language of self, one's origins, and music. In poems that are deeply sensual in nature, Rodney Terich Leonard considers gender and sexuality, art, poverty, and community. Imagery expands through unexpected lexical associations and rumination on the function of language; words take on new meaning and specificity, and the music of language becomes tantamount to the denotations of words themselves. Through extensive webs of connotation, Leonard's narratives achieve a sense of accuracy and intimacy. The nuanced lens of these poems is indicative of the honesty of expression at work in the collection—one that affirms the essentiality of perception to living and memory.


KEVIN PRUFER was born in Cleveland, OH, and attended Wesleyan University, The Hollins Writing Program, and Washington University. He is the author of eight poetry collections, including the Four Way Books titles The Art of Fiction (2021); How He Loved Them (2018), long-listed for the Pulitzer, named a finalist for the Rilke Prize, and winner of the Julie Suk Award; Churches (2014), named one of the ten best poetry books of the year by The New York Times Book Review; In a Beautiful Country (2011), a Rilke Prize and Poets’ Prize finalist; and National Anthem (2008), named one of the five best poetry books of the year by Publishers Weekly and a finalist for the Poets’ Prize. Prufer is the recipient of many awards, including four Pushcart prizes, several awards from the Poetry Society of America (including the 2018 Lyric Prize), fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation, and several Best American Poetry selections. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

The Art of Fiction is Prufer’s eighth collection of poetry (and fifth with Four Way Books). Prufer’s career-spanning talent for estranging the familiar—and also for recording the unthinkable with eerie directness—recurs, enhanced and transformed by the collection’s meta-level attention to the role of fiction in our civic lives. Prufer describes, often through personae, a near future, tracing there the political gambit of Fake News and the role of the imagination in our self-understanding (whether it’s cogent or delusional). Via both satire and direct address (to the point of reader-squeamishness), Prufer aims to understand the ugly-casual atmosphere of our often racialized, pervasive distrust. The Art of Fiction fundamentally understands that fictions are deployed to divide us, and they work: they get under our skin. Prufer powerfully explores the roles of imagination and art in how we explain ourselves to ourselves.



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Virtual event
Gut Botany (Made in Michigan Writers) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780814347638
Availability: Special Order - Might Not Be Available. Contact Store at 828-254-6734 for Availability.
Published: Wayne State University Press - March 3rd, 2020

Sweetgum & Lightning Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945588747
Availability: Backordered at Our Warehouse. ETA Unavailable.
Published: Four Way Books - February 15th, 2021

The Art of Fiction Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945588723
Availability: Backordered at Our Warehouse. ETA Unavailable.
Published: Four Way Books - February 15th, 2021

Give Me Room to Move My Feet Cover Image
ISBN: 9782359260014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amalion Publishing - January 1st, 2009

SKU: x672389