In his piece, “Some Extensions on the Sovereignty of Science,” poet Alberto Rios writes, “When something explodes, / Turn exactly opposite from it and see what there is to see.” As lyric essayists, how might we, too, “turn away from the explosion” in order to more fully focus on the associative subject matter lurking in the “opposite” direction? By “turning away” from the subject matter with which we most urgently want to engage, are we able to capture our subject’s emotive power even more poignantly? Join Matthew Gavin Frank for a conversation on the power of association as an entry point into the lyric essay.
Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food, Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, Pot Farm, and Barolo; the poetry books, The Morrow Plots, Warranty in Zulu, and Sagittarius Agitprop, and 2 chapbooks. Preparing the Ghost was a New York Times Editors' Choice, an NPR Notable Book, and a New Yorker Book to Watch Out For. The Mad Feast was selected as a Staff Pick by The Paris Review, a Best Book of 2015 by Ploughshares, The Millions, and Paste Magazine, longlisted for the Art of Eating Prize, and featured in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and Entertainment Weekly.
His latest nonfiction book, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers (about, among other things, the ways in which carrier pigeons are used by diamond smuggling rings) came out February 2021 from W.W. Norton: Liveright. His work appears widely in journals and magazines, including The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Guernica, The New Republic, Iowa Review, Salon, Conjunctions, The Believer, The Normal School, The Best Travel Writing anthologies, The Best Food Writing anthologies, The Poetry Foundation, and as Notable selections in The Best American Essays anthologies. After spending 17 years in the restaurant industry, he’s now a professor of creative writing in the M.F.A. Program at Northern Michigan University, where he is also the Nonfiction/Hybrids Editor of the literary magazine, Passages North.
Sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild & L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library