Wendy Willis and David Biespiel
We welcome Wendy Willis and David Biespiel to Broadway Books on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7 pm to read from their new books and talk about writing in multiple genres, how they decide which genre works best for the material, and the ramifications of those decisions. Wendy Willis's new collection of essays is These are Strange Times, My Dear: Field Notes from the Republic, published by Counterpoint Press. David Biespiel's new collection of poems is Republic Cafe, published by the University of Washington Press
In These are Strange Times, My Dear, Willis explores everything from personal resistance to the rise of political podcasts, civic loneliness to the exploitation of personal data, public outrage to the opioid crisis -- all with a poet's gift for finding the sacred in the mundane, hope in the dark. She often returns to the demanding question posed by Czech writer, activist, and politician Vaclav Havel: What does it mean to live in truth? Willis is a lawyer, the executive director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, and the founder and director of Oregon's Kitchen Table at Portland State University. She also writes at twowomenandarepublic.com. Her most recent poetry collection, A Long Late Pledge, was just named a finalist for an Oregon Book Award.
Republic Cafe is a meditation on love during a time of violence and a tally of what appears and disappears in every moment. Mindful of epigenetic experience as our bodies become living vessels for history's tragedies, Biespiel praises not only the essentialness of our human memory but also the sanctity of our flawed, human forgetting. The book details the experience of lovers in Portland on the eve of and days following September 11, 2001. Biespiel, poet-in-residence at Oregon State University and president of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters, was also just named a finalist for an Oregon Book award for his memoir The Education of a Young Poet.