IN PERSON - Craig Beaven and Emily Pérez

Friday, September 23, 2022 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Brazos Bookstore will be hosting Houston author Craig Beaven and Emily Pérez in person on Friday, September 23 at 6:30pm.

Face Masks are required to attend the event.

Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You - Craig Beaven
Selected by Pulitzer Prize finalist Ellen Bass, Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You explores the political and social climate of the last 6 years through the lens of the author's mixed-race family. The long title poem uses teaching in a classroom—in a world of classroom gun violence—to meditate on love, race, language, and terror.  The second sequence makes those fears personal and individual, while the third traces these topics to the deep historical past. Throughout, Beaven asks questions about the idea of terror in a world where terror and violence are perpetrated by the government, police officers, students, and neighbors hiding behind social media aliases. In poems narrative and complex, Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You reclaims the power of selfhood and language.  

What Flies Want - Emily Pérez 
In What Flies Want, disaster looms in domesticity: a family grapples with its members' mental health, a marriage falters, and a child experiments with self-harm. With its backdrop of school lockdown drills, #MeToo, and increasing political polarization, the collection asks how these private and public tensions are interconnected. 

The speaker, who grew up in a bicultural family on the U.S./Mexico border, learns she must play a role in a culture that prizes whiteness, patriarchy, and chauvinism. As an adult she oscillates between performed confidence and obedience. As a wife, she bristles against the expectations of emotional labor. As a mother, she attempts to direct her white male children away from the toxic power they are positioned to inherit, only to find how deeply she is also implicated in these systems. Tangled in a family history of depression, a society fixated on guns, a rocky relationship, and her own desire to ignore and deny the problems she must face, this is a speaker who is by turns defiant, defeated, self-implicating, and hopeful. 

Craig Beaven earned an MFA in poetry from Virginia Commonwealth University and PhD from the University of Houston. Beaven’s collections of poetry areNatural History (Gerald Cable Book Award, 2019), Teaching English Lit on the Day After a Shooting (CutBank Chapbook Prize Winner), and Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You (Anhinga Press Poetry Prize). He is a recipient of scholarships and fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center, the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, and the Sewanee Writers Conference. His work has appeared in Prairie SchoonerWestern Humanities ReviewCarolina QuarterlyHollins CriticAtlanta ReviewSpoon River Poetry Review, the Best New Poets anthology, and many others. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Emily Pérez is the author of What Flies Want, winner of the Iowa Prize; House of Sugar, House of Stone; and two chapbooks. She co-edited the anthology The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood. A CantoMundo fellow and Ledbury Critic, her poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Copper Nickel, Poetry, and Fairy Tale Review, and her reviews appear in RHINO, LA Review of Books, The Guardian, and The Georgia Review. She teaches in Denver, where she lives with her family. Find more at


Teaching the Baby to Say I Love You By Craig Beaven Cover Image
ISBN: 9781934695753
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Anhinga Press - September 10th, 2022

What Flies Want: Poems (Iowa Poetry Prize) By Emily Pérez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781609388430
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: University Of Iowa Press - May 11th, 2022