Live Stream | Poet Quartet: Rachel Custer, Matt Donovan, Jodie Hollander, and Marybeth Holleman

Image shows photos of the book covers of Flatback Sally Country, The Dug-Up Gun Museum, Nocturne, and Tender Gravity and author photos of Nicole Callihan, Rachel Custer, Matt Donovan, Jodie Hollander, and Marybeth Holleman

Join us for our monthly poetry reading series coordinated by Mildred Barya. This month, we welcome Rachel Custer, Matt Donovan, Jodie Hollander, and Marybeth Holleman.

This live streamed virtual event is free but registration is required.

Please click here to register.

The link required to attend will be emailed to registrants prior to the event.

All of the poets' new books will be available to purchase at the event. You may also order online below or call us at 828-254-6734.

If you decide to attend and 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. Thank you!

Rachel Custer is the author of Flatback Sally Country (Terrapin Books) and The Temple She Became (Five Oaks Press, 2017). She is Editor-At-Large for OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. She was a 2019 NEA fellow. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals, including Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, B O D Y, One Art, and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. She currently resides online at 

"Rachel Custer’s poetry collection, Flatback Sally Country, is hard-hitting and harrowing and almost hypnotically beautiful in its deft singing of the stories of America’s vast middle, of the flyover, flatback land pinned beneath the derision of coastal elites. Personas like Tommy Two Fingers, Old Maid, and Flatback Sally herself tell us of lives “lived alone behind / the turned back of the world,” nursing “the desperate shame // of broken teeth, of ugliness / that can’t afford disguise.”… Flatback Sally Country is a timely, vitally important book by one of the most gifted young poets writing today." —Francesca Bell 


Jodie Hollander is the author of two poetry collections, Nocturne (2023) and My Dark Horses (2017), both published by Liverpool University & Oxford University Presses. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Poetry Review, The Yale Review, The Harvard Review, PN Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry London, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a MacDowell fellowship, a Fulbright fellowship in South Africa, and also the originator of 'Poetry in the Parks,' in conjunction with several National Parks and Monuments in the US. She currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. For more, visit

"Nocturne, Jodie Hollander's second collection following her stunning 2017 debut, My Dark Horses, is certainly of the night - these poems chant and sing the scales of human experience against a backdrop of unknowable wildness. Her poems chime with the music of the spheres collaborating in a symphony that is both an aural feast and a reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. Nocturne makes truly beautiful music." —Victoria Kennefick


Matt Donovan is the author of The Dug-Up Gun Museum (BOA 2022) and Missing Department (Visual Studies Workshop, Fall 2023), a collection of poetry and art made in collaboration with the artist Ligia Bouton. He is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Rome Prize in Literature, a Pushcart Prize, and an NEA Fellowship in Literature. Donovan serves as Director of the Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith College. For more, visit

In The Dug-Up Gun Museum, Matt Donovan is anthropologist, empath, parent, skeptic, participant-observer, critic, and mourner, as he takes us on a riveting tour (and indictment) of America’s gun culture. These profoundly moving and wildly expansive documentary poems travel through NRA Headquarters, Emergency Rooms, school hallways, memorials, museums, battle reenactments, police test-firing ranges, crime scenes, and historical sites searching for answers to an elusive question: how can this country be as hypervigilant as it is careless when it comes to lives of its citizens? With equal parts curiosity, grief, and rage, Donovan limns a clear-eyed hymn to one of the most pressing national issues of our time. —Erika Meitner


Marybeth Holleman is the author of the poetry collection tender gravity and the nonfiction The Heart of the Sound. She’s co-author of Among Wolves and co-editor of Crosscurrents North. Her award-winning work has appeared in Orion, Christian Science Monitor, Sierra, North American Review, AQR, Minding Nature, The Guardian, and elsewhere. Raised in North Carolina’s Smokies, Marybeth now lives in Alaska. For more, visit

Such intimate knowledge of place tethers the ecopoetry of Marybeth Holleman’s tender gravity to the land and seas around her home in Anchorage, Alaska. There is sorrow in these poems—for a murdered brother who is remembered in the haunting lines of “the warm dark,” and for all the oil spills, global warming, the vanishing species—but also serenity and a piercing love. The poems’ longing for enlightenment is fulfilled not through renunciation but through closer and closer attention to the actual light “that breathes wide // up mountainside to ridgeline across alpine field studded with lichen-red rocks,” the “light / glinting off cobalt pool,” the “light mediating fields awash in tasseled grass / to burn luminous amber.” This is a beautiful book. —Ann Fisher-Wirth


Mildred Kiconco Barya is a writer and poet. She has written short-stories and essays for various publications, features and travel articles for newspapers. Her first collection of poetry titled Men Love Chocolates But They Don't Say won the National Award for poetry publication 2002. She is also the author of the poetry collections The Price of Memory and Give Me Room to Move My Feet. Barya is Assistant professor of Creative Writing and World Literature at University of North Carolina-Asheville. Learn more at

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Flatback Sally Country By Rachel Custer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947896628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Terrapin Books - March 20th, 2023

The Dug-Up Gun Museum By Matt Donovan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781950774753
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - November 8th, 2022

Nocturne (Pavilion Poetry Lup) By Jodie Hollander Cover Image
ISBN: 9781802078138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liverpool University Press - June 1st, 2023

Tender Gravity By Marybeth Holleman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781597099370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Boreal Books - August 9th, 2022

The Animals of My Earth School By Mildred Kiconco Barya Cover Image
ISBN: 9781947896635
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Terrapin Books - April 10th, 2023

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

SKU: x672389