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Rusty Morrison with Maw Shein Win

May 7 @ 7:00 pm

City Lights and Black Ocean Books present

Rusty Morrison celebrating the launch of her new collection “Risk” Published by Black Ocean

Rusty will be reading together with the poet Maw Shein Win

From the co-publisher of acclaimed poetry press Omnidawn, Risk engages directly with limitations, both those that structure the literal form of the poems and literary form and those that are both unavoidable and self-inflicted.

In Risk, award-winning poet Rusty Morrison uses a constraining form of seven-syllable segments with breaks between to explore questions of limitation. In these poems, she is not just writing about constraints, but living inside and seeing how to manage them. In this way, the speaker of these poems actively experiences limitations as event, not aftermath.

Drawing on the idea of philosopher and critic Hélène Cixous who writes that “the border makes up the homeland, it prohibits and gives passage in the same stroke,” in Risk Morrison aims where the border and framings she uses offer understanding and where boundaries should be pushed against and passed beyond, as frightening as that might be.

Check out Maw Shein Win‘s Process Notes on RISK

Rusty Morrison has been the co-founder, co-publisher of Omnidawn (www.omnidawn.com) since 2001. Her five books include After Urgency (won Tupelo’s Dorset Prize), the true keeps calm biding its story (won Ahsahta’s Sawtooth Prize, James Laughlin Award, N.California Book Award, & DiCastagnola Award from PSA), and most recently: Beyond the Chainlink (Ahsahta; finalist for the NCIB Award & NCB Award). She was awarded a fellowship by UC Berkeley Art Research Center’s Poetry & the Senses Program (in the program’s inaugural year of 2020). Her poems have appeared on the Poetry Foundation website, on their podcast series Poetry Now, in Colorado Review, Fence, Iowa Review, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. Her creative nonfiction & poetry has appeared in Entropy; and her nonfiction at Harriet. Her critical essays appeared at Kenyon Review and Pleiades among other places. She is a recipient of fellowships from UC Berkeley’s Arts and Research Center, Civitella Ranieri, Djerassi, and other artist residencies. She has taught in MFA programs, been a visiting poet at colleges, and teaches workshops through Omnidawn and elsewhere. She offers private consultations. For more info, see her website: www.rustymorrison.com

Maw Shein Win’s most recent poetry collection is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) which was nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, longlisted for the PEN America Open Book Award, and shortlisted for CALIBA’s Golden Poppy Award for Poetry. She is the inaugural poet laureate of El Cerrito, CA. Win’s previous collections include Invisible Gifts and two chapbooks, Ruins of a glittering palace and Score and Bone. Win often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers and her Process Note Series features poets on their process. She teaches poetry in the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco and was selected as a 2023 YBCA 100 Honoree. Along with Dawn Angelicca Barcelona and Mary Volmer, she is a co-founder of Maker, Mentor, Muse, a new literary community. Win’s full-length collection Percussing the Thinking Jar (Omnidawn) is forthcoming in Fall 2024. Visit her website at: mawsheinwin.com

This event made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.


May 7
7:00 pm


City Lights Bookstore
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City Lights
261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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