Saturday, October 22nd @ 6:30 p.m.
Poet Ed Bok Lee reads from Whorled
“These poems are filled with ‘a certain historical color of light.’ They’re funny, slyly political, and gorgeous. Working with a variety of forms and modes, Ed Bok Lee rocks my socks off. I love this book.” —Sherman Alexie
“His poems are alternately devastating and grandstanding, word-drunk and built for speed. . . . There is another other/ in the other of every/ Another,” goes the opening poem, “All Love Is Immigrant.” It’s a beautiful poem charged with a breathtaking idea. Whorled is a book that believes love is like a superior kind of capital: It’s a force that flows into new markets, sensing absences, and fills them, whether it’s a debased kind of space or an ennobling one.” —John Freeman, editor of Granta, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune
Experience one of the most dynamic voices in contemporary poetry as Ed Bok Lee reads from his recent poetry collection, Whorled (Coffee House Press, September 2011).
In Whorled, Ed Bok Lee looks toward a global future, one where the dividing lines between state, religion, race, history, and culture have been blurred to the extent that the very idea of difference requires a new understanding. What does it mean to be a Global Citizen in an era of constant war, rampant industrialization, and ever-advancing technology? Whorled strives to give a voice to those left out with words of loss and longing, confrontation and celebration. From gambling Buddhists at a Midwest Native American casino, to a Russian rave, Lee’s ever-wandering cultural and spiritual nomads struggle to make sense of what it means to be a citizen of an increasingly homeless world.
Ed Bok Lee was raised in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota. A former bartender, phys ed instructor, journalist, and translator, he studied in the U.S., South Korea, Kazakhstan, and Russia, earning an MFA from Brown University. Lee has shared his work in journals and anthologies, and on public radio and MTV, and teaches part time at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. Lee is the author of Real Karaoke People, which was the winner of an Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice) and the PEN Open Book Award, and most recently, Whorled.