Sunday Author Talk with Ilsye Kusnetz

by Darlyn Finch Kuhn on January 21, 2015

Sunday, February 1st at 2 p.m., enjoy a Sunday Author Talk with Ilsye Kusnetz at the Winter Park Library.

Ilyse Kusnetz

The winner of the 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, Kusnetz will read and discuss her work, and sign her collection, Small Hours.

By turns poignant and hopeful, raging and joyful, Small Hours interweaves the personal and the political, connecting family history to moments within a larger historical arc of injustice and oppression. The poems in this collection bear witness to those whose stories have fallen into the fractures of history and been lost, their “mouths opening / below earth, their bodies / burning like forbidden books,” about whom “we know almost nothing.” These poems ask us to recall the tyrants of the past as similar abuses of power repeat themselves in the present. Forgiveness and understanding vie with the memory of events that can never be redressed, only remembered, and sometimes redeemed.


Here’s what folks are saying about Small Hours:

Small Hours contains poetry of historic and global empathy, various in its subjects though not in its voice, which is clear, fierce, precise, and thoughtful.

—Dorianne Laux, 2014 T. S. Eliot Prize judge
Ilyse Kusnetz’s Small Hours has great range and lyrical precision. She moves from the historical to the surreal to the intensely personal with marvelous control, often blending the three. Even the darkest of her poems are illuminated by the vivacity of an imagination and the surprise of language that always seems to be in the act of discovering itself.
—Stephen Dunn
Drawing deftly from history, science, public and personal lives, these poems knock the wind out of me with their indelible imagery and music, their sense of shared humanity in our compassion and cruelty, ignorance and brilliance, rage and tenderness. They find the spiritual and cosmic in the quotidian, and somehow pack all the world’s love, yearning, pain, and beauty into one poem—poem after poem, not unlike the lovers who end the collection—”our fingers cupped the universe like water.”
April Ossmann, author of Anxious Music

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