Margaret Chula and Shawn Aveningo Sanders
We are pleased to host poets Margaret Chula and Shawn Aveningo Sanders at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 25th, to read from their most recent books, Shadow Man and What She Was Wearing, respectively.
In Shadow Man, Chula brings her father out of the shadows where he had been since 1957, the day her mother packed their five children—all under the age of ten—into the car and drove away. Over the years, Chula comes to accept the differences between a mother who wants China cups and a father content with Budweiser. Writing about these awkward, often heartbreaking, interactions with her estranged father, she discovers that there’s more than one truth and that each of us must find our own.
Chula lived in Japan for twelve years where she taught English and creative writing at universities in Kyoto. She has published many poetry books, the most recent being Daffodils at Twilight. Her poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, Kyoto Journal, Poet Lore, America’s Review, and Runes, as well as in numerous haiku journals (one of her haiku appears on Itoen tea bottles sold throughout Japan). She has been the Poet Laureate for Friends of Chamber Music since 2010. Chula lives in Portland, where she teaches and give workshops at universities, poetry societies, and Zen centers.
Sanders is an award-winning poet whose work has appeared in more than one hundred literary journals and anthologies. What She Was Wearing brings together poetry, prose, and letters to tell Sanders’ #MeToo story—one that has taken more than thirty years to reveal. This collection shares Sanders’ nightmare of being raped at a fraternity toga party, then examines the event from a variety of perspectives, including poems written from the viewpoint of her attackers; the toga she was wearing; homecoming years later; and even the moment she told her college-aged children. As Sanders’ story unfolds, readers see how significant the aftermath of rape can be and how it impacts a woman’s sense of self-worth.
Sanders is a Pushcart nominee (2015) and Best of the Net nominee (2017). She is the co-founder of The Poetry Box, along with her husband, Robert. They live in the suburbs of Portland.