Kenning Editions presents a book launch with Olivia Lott and Daniel Borzutzky reading from Soleida Ríos’s The Dirty Text and Devin King reading from his The Grand Complication, Saturday, September 7th, 5:00 PM at The Dial Bookshop, 410 S Michigan Ave #210, Chicago, IL 60605. Free and ADA accessible. Details can be found here.
Soleida Ríos is an acclaimed Cuban poet whose work draws from Afro-Cuban traditions as well as writers as diverse as Juan Rulfo and Aimé Cesaire. She has published fourteen books from 1977 to the present, and The Dirty Text (El Texto Sucio) is her first book to appear in English. Written in the 1990s in Cuba, it is a book of poems, a book of stories and, most vividly, a book of dreams. Barbara Jamison worked personally with Ríos and produced the first draft of this book. Her intimate engagement with and belief in Ríos’s writing led the way, but unfortunately, Jamison passed away before her work could be concluded. In 2017, scholar and translator Olivia Lott took on this project with a remarkable sense of dedication and enthusiasm. Lott edited the translation with the greatest respect for the work that had been done before her, and with a vast understanding of Ríos’s project within the context of Cuban writing at large.
Devin King is the poetry editor of the Green Lantern Press and the author of CLOPS, The Resonant Space, and These Necrotic Ethos Come the Plains. Says John Tipton: “Devin King’s Grand Complication is a dizzy fugue of forms–regular stanzas in radical variety. And the sources of its argument are just as varied–The Thebaid of Statius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Melrose Place. It’s reminiscent of Zukofky’s omnivorous, inventive formalism. King orchestrates actors and narratives into a weltering long poem: William leads stoners to his apartment, thinking Julia will follow, but instead, she leads Abbie into Luke’s room and Mike follows, though Mike had flirted with Julia before she jumped in the pool while Amphiaraus was swallowed by the earth. I know. It’s complicated.”