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It Must Be a Misunderstanding: London Launch with Forrest Gander

Sunday 3 Jul 2022, 19:00 to 21:30

Torriano Meeting House
99 Torriano Avenue


Please join us to celebrate the London launch of It Must Be a Misunderstanding: New and Selected Poems by Coral Bracho, translated by Forrest Gander. Forrest will read from and discuss the new collection with poet and translator Leo Boix. The evening will be hosted by Carcanet poet Lisa Kelly.

Doors will open at 19:00 and the event will start at 19:30. Entry is £4 or £5 on on the door depending on pocket. Let us know you can make it by registering through Eventbrite or joining the Facebook event. The event will open with a short open mic, readers from the floor will be asked to read one poem before the main event.

Mexican poet, teacher and translator Coral Bracho was born in Mexico City in 1951. She has published several books, two in English thanks to the brilliant poet-translator Forrest Gander, who has put this composite volume together, the first time Bracho has been extensively published in the UK.

In Mexico she is a formidable presence and influence, one of the most significant writers since Octavio Paz. Her wide-lined, semantically rich poems may remind us of Jorie Graham's experimental manner. 'Her diction spills out along ceaselessly shifting beds of sound,' says her translator. Her early poems 'make sense first as music, and music propels them'.

It Must Be a Misunderstanding is her most personal collection of poems, treating her mother's Alzheimer's and death. She finds tenderness, humour, grace, and even a kind of bravery in the interactions of people who encounter each other in a 'Memory Care' facility. In the parallel worlds of residents, a wall might be seen as a man's starched suit, shadows are real, quiet is strafed with stutters of speech. Things exist and don't exist at one and the same time. 'As they do,' we are tempted to say in response to the lavish tenderness and empathy of the poems. Bracho gradually reveals her mother's inimitably strong, quirky nature.

Doors will open at 19:00. Guests will be able to sign up for the open mic which begins at 19:30, followed by the main event: Forrest will read from the new book and discuss the translation and publication with Leo Boix. Copies of the book will be available to purchase on the night.

For the well-being of others, please do not attend this event if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. You may wish to consider taking a lateral flow test before attending and we suggest wearing a face covering unless exempt.

There have been poetry readings on Sunday nights at Torriano Meeting House since 1982. As well as the evening's main readers invited from a broad range of literary practice, there are usually a number of 'poets from the floor', who may include full-time poets and also beginners presenting a piece in public for the first time. The range has spanned Stephen Spender and John Heath-Stubbs to Labi Siffre and John Hegley.

About the speakers:

Forrest Gander, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in California. Gander is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and the Best Translated Book Award. His many translations include Then Come Back: the Lost Neruda Poems, Alice, Iris, Red Horse: Selected Poems of Gozo Yoshimasu, and Firefly Under the Tongue: Poems by Coral Bracho.

Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet born in Argentina who lives and works in London and Deal, Kent. His debut English collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021) was awarded the PBS Wild Card Choice and was selected as one of the best five books of poetry by The Guardian (August 2021). He has been included in many anthologies, such as Ten: Poets of the New Generation (Bloodaxe), The Best New British and Irish Poets Anthology 2019-2020 (BlackSpring Press), Islands Are But Mountains: Contemporary Poetry from Great Britain (Platypus Press), 100 Poems to Save the Earth (Seren Books), Why I Write Poetry (Nine Arches Press), 100 Queer Poems (Vintage/Penguin), and Un Nuevo Sol: British Latinx Writers (flipped eye), among others. His poems have appeared in many national and international journals, including POETRY, PN Review, The Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry London, The Manchester Review, The White Review, Ambit, The London Magazine, Asymptote, The Morning Star, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, Letras Libres, Litro Magazine, BathMag, Prism International, Contra journal, The Acentos Review and elsewhere. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works program, co-director of Un Nuevo Sol, an Arts Council national scheme to nurture new voices of Latinx writers in the UK, an advisory board member of the Poetry Translation Centre and a board member of Magma Poetry. He has written poems commissioned by Royal Kew Gardens, the National Poetry Library, Bradford Literary Festival, Estuary Festival, Un Nuevo Sol and La Linea Festival, among others. He was the recipient of the Bart Wolffe Poetry Prize Award, the Keats-Shelley Prize and a PEN Award, The Society of Authors' Foundation and K. Blundell Trust grant as well as being awarded 2nd prize in The Charles Causley International Poetry Competition.

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