VIRTUAL - Justin Jannise (How to Be Better by Being Worse) & Randall Mann (A Better Life) in conversation with Deborah Paredez (Year of the Dog)

Start: 
Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 7:00pm
Location: 
Virtual

This event will be hosted on Zoom. Click here to register.


Local author and University of Houston graduate student Justin Jannise will discuss poetry, publishing, and criticism with poets Randall Mann and Deborah Paradez. All three writers will read from their most recent publications and respond to audience questions.


Justin Jannise is the author of How to Be Better by Being Worse, which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize from BOA Editions. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Best of the Net, Copper Nickel, Yale Review, and New Ohio Review. Recently a recipient of the Inprint Verlaine Prize in Poetry, Glasstire's Greater Houston Art Writing Prize, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Gulf Coast, Justin is completing his Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston. 

Randall Mann is the author of four previous poetry collections, most recently Proprietary, as well as a book of criticism, The Illusion of Intimacy: On Poetry. His poems have appeared in the The Adroit JournalLit Hubjubilat, and Paris Review. He lives in San Francisco.

Deborah Paredez is a poet, performance scholar, and cultural critic. She is the author of the poetry volumes, Year of the Dog (BOA Editions 2020) and This Side of Skin (Wings Press 2002), and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke 2009)She is the Co-Founder of CantoMundo, a national organization for Latinx poets. She lives in New York City where she teaches creative writing and ethnic studies at Columbia University.

Local author and University of Houston graduate student Justin Jannise will discuss poetry, publishing, and criticism with poets Randall Mann and Deborah Paradez. All three writers will read from their most recent publications and respond to audience questions.


How to Be Better by Being Worse  

Selected by Richard Blanco as winner of the 2019 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Justin Jannise turns the self-help manual on its head in How to Be Better by Being Worse. These poems flout, subvert, question, and ignore the rules with exploratory energy. Queer experiences are celebrated―from crushing on long-dead, sad-eyed poets to drag divas dancing at Halloween parties―gender constructs are questioned, and familial transgressions are laid bare for the world. Delightfully modulating between flippant, sincere, and back again, How to Be Better by Being Worse freely indulges in harmless wickedness as its speaker grows in self-awareness, slowly learning to let go of inherited shame while continuing to seek self-forgiveness for the harms he has caused the outside world.

A Better Life

In his poetry (“at once boisterous and lubed, anxious and ambivalent,” Kenyon Review), Randall Mann has always had his finger on the pulse of modern life. In this liminal new book, he considers an existence both queer and multiracial (“they called me yellow in Lexington”) in the rift between the “fluorescent rot” of childhood and the “action; / transaction” of a sex-app midlife. “A writer of breathtaking honesty” (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times), Mann merges raw subject matter with formal ease. Better Life shows him at the height of his gifts, through the clipped, haunting truths of its rhymes and rhythms.

Year of the Dog

In the tradition of women as the unsung keepers of history, Deborah Paredez’s second poetry collection tells her story as a Latina daughter of the Vietnam War. The title refers to the year 1970—the Year of the Metal Dog in the lunar calendar—which was the year of the author’s birth, the year her father prepared to deploy to Vietnam along with many other Mexican-American immigrant soldiers, and a year of tremendous upheaval across the United States. Images from iconic photographs and her father’s snapshots are incorporated, fragmented, scrutinized, and reconstructed throughout the collection as Paredez recalls untold stories from a war that changed her family and the nation.In poems and lamentations that evoke Hecuba, the mythic figure so consumed by grief over the atrocities of war that she was transformed into a howling dog, and La Llorona, the weeping woman in Mexican folklore who haunts the riverbanks in mourning and threatens to disturb the complicity of those living in the present, Paredez recontextualizes the Vietnam era, from the arrest of Angela Davis to the haunting image of Mary Ann Vecchio at the Kent State Massacre, never forgetting the outcry and outrage that women’s voices have carried across time.

How to Be Better by Being Worse (New Poets of America #45) Cover Image
By Justin Jannise, Ricard Blanco (Foreword by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781950774234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions - April 13th, 2021

A Better Life: Poems Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780892555314
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Persea - April 6th, 2021

Year of the Dog (American Poets Continuum #178) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781950774012
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: BOA Editions - April 14th, 2020