Alexandra Teague|Or What We'll Call Desire
Join us to celebrate the local launch of Alexandra Teague's latest poetry collection from Persea Books, OR WHAT WE'LL CALL DESIRE. There will be a book signing after the reading.
This heartrending and darkly playful new collection by Alexandra Teague tries to understand the edges of self in a patriarchal culture and in relation to a family history of mental illness and loss. In poems that mix high art and popular culture (from classical Greek statues to giant plaster artichokes, Cubism to Freudian Disney dolls), Teague interweaves self-reflection with the stories and lives of mythic and historic female figures, such as the dangerous-wise witch Baba Yaga and early-20th-century sculptors’ model Audrey Munson--calling across time and place to explore desire, grief, and the representation and misrepresentation of the female form.
"A book of wonders and a book of wondering, this is Alexandra Teague’s most ambitious, accomplished, and intimate book yet. . . . She turns still life into carousel, end times into art.”--Mary Szybist
"The women of art, history, fairytale, and our own fraught and tenuous present speak out from its pages: the watched have been watching, and they see all the wretchedness and the wonder in the world around them. . . . This is an urgent and exacting book about the grace, and the cost, of survival." --Molly McCully Brown
Alexandra Teague is most recently the author of Or What We’ll Call Desire (Persea, 2019). Her prior books include The Wise and Foolish Builders and Mortal Geography, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Prize and the California Book Award Gold Medal in Poetry, and the novel The Principles Behind Flotation, as well as the co-edited anthology Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence. She has been the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship; an NEA Fellowship; two University of Idaho research fellowships, including the Kurt Olsson Early Career Fellowship, which helped fund the research for Or What We'll Call Desire; and most recently, a fellowship to Civitella Ranieri. After a year’s sabbatical in Wales, she is newly back at UI, where she is a professor of creative writing.
New poems that showcase high-art and popular culture, vamps and giant artichoke statues, and Freudian Disney dolls in a poignant exploration of cultural and personal legacies.