Take a Break With Poets During Winter Institute

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Booksellers are invited to enjoy brief poetry readings between sessions during the 2021 Winter Institute (Wi16) Poetry Interludes.

The American Booksellers Association has invited a number poets to read during poetry interludes throughout all three days of the institute, including Amanda Gorman, who presented a poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, as well as Ross Gay, torrin a. greathouse, Chris Martin, and Warsan Shire.

The schedule for the poetry interludes is as follows:

Thursday, February 18

11:30 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. ET: Amanda Gorman

Change Sings, Viking Young Readers

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history (reciting at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021), as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied sociology. She has written for the New York Times and has three books forthcoming with Penguin Random House, including Change Sings.

1:00 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. ET: Warsan Shire

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems, Random House

Warsan Shire is a Somali British writer and poet. She was awarded the inaugural African Poetry Prize; served as the first Young Poet Laureate of London; is the author of two chapbooks, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body; is the youngest ever member of the Royal Society of Literature; and is included in the Penguin Modern Poets series alongside Sharon Olds and Malika Booker. She provided the poetry for the Peabody Award-winning visual album Lemonade and Black Is King in collaboration with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and wrote the short film Brave Girl Rising, narrated by Tessa Thompson and David Oyelowo.

4:30 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. ET: torrin a. greathouse

Wound From the Mouth of a Wound, Milkweed Editions

torrin a. greathouse is a transgender cripple-punk and MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. They are the author of Wound From the Mouth of a Wound, which was selected as the winner of the 2020 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. They are also the author of boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018) and assistant editor of The Shallow Ends. In 2020, they received fellowships from Zoeglossia and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Their work is published in POETRY, Ploughshares, and The Kenyon Review.


Friday, February 19

11:30 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. ET: Ross Gay

The Book of Delights, Algonquin Books

Ross Gay is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Book of Delights, a genre-defying book of essays, and four books of poetry, including his most recent, i. Gay is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’. A founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project, Gay has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.

3:40 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. ET: Warsan Shire

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head: Poems, Random House


Saturday, February 20

11:30 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. ET: Chris Martin

Things to Do in Hell, Coffee House Press

Chris Martin is the author of four books of poetry and the recipient of grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He is the co-founder and executive director of Unrestricted Interest, an organization dedicated to helping neurodivergent learners transform their lives through writing. He lives in Minneapolis, where he professes at Hamline University and Carleton College.

The 2021 Winter Institute will be held virtually from Thursday, February 18, through Saturday, February 20. The full Wi16 schedule can be found here. Questions about the event can be sent to [email protected].