Rachel DeWoskin discusses "Two Menus" with Suzanne Buffam

Rachel DeWoskin will discuss her book Two Menus on Thursday, April 16th at 7 pm. The author will be joined in conversation by Suzanne Buffam.

There are two menus in a Beijing restaurant, Rachel DeWoskin writes in the title poem, “the first of excess, / second, scarcity.” DeWoskin invites us into moments shaped by dualities, into spaces bordered by the language of her family (English) and that of her new country (Chinese), as well as the liminal spaces between youth and adulthood, safety and danger, humor and sorrow. This collection works by building and demolishing boundaries and binaries, sliding between their edges in movements that take us from the familiar to the strange and put us face-to-face with our assumptions and confusions. Through these complex and interwoven poems, we see how a self is never singular. Rather, it is made up of shifting—and sometimes colliding—parts. DeWoskin crosses back and forth, across languages and nations, between the divided parts in each of us, tracing overlaps and divergences. The limits and triumphs of translation, the slipperiness of relationships, and movements through land and language rise and fall together.

The poems in Two Menus offer insights into the layers of what it means to be human, to reconcile living as multiple selves. DeWoskin dives into the uncertain spaces, showing us how a life lived between walls is murky, strange, and immensely human. These poems ask us how to communicate across the boundaries that threaten to divide us, to measure and close the distance between who we are, were, and want to be.

Rachel DeWoskin is the author of Two Menus: Poems (The University of Chicago Press, 2020); Banshee (Dottir Press, 2019); Someday We Will Fly (Penguin, 2019); Blind (Penguin, 2014); Big Girl Small (FSG, 2011); Repeat After Me (The Overlook Press, 2009); and Foreign Babes in Beijing (WW Norton, 2005). She is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Arts at the University of Chicago, and an affiliated faculty member of the Centers for East Asian Studies and Jewish Studies.

Two Menus (Phoenix Poets) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780226682174
Availability: Order from our website for delivery.
Published: University of Chicago Press - March 13th, 2020

Event date: 

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Unabridged Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL 60657
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