Everything Must Go & Odes for You
Poets Kevin Coval, Shira Erlichman, and Angel Nafis come together for a joint reading to start the Wisconsin Book Festival off right!
About Everything Must Go: Everything Must Go is an illustrated collection of poems in the spirit of a graphic novel, a collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston. The book celebrates Chicago’s Wicker Park in the late 1990’s, Coval’s home as a young artist, the ancestral neighborhood of his forebears, and a vibrant enclave populated by colorful characters. Allston’s illustrations honor the neighborhood as it once was, before gentrification remade it. The book excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.
About Odes to Lithium: In this remarkable debut, Shira Erlichman pens a love letter to Lithium, her medication for Bipolar Disorder. With inventiveness, compassion, and humor, she thrusts us into a world of unconventional praise. From an unexpected encounter with her grandmother's ghost, to a bubble bath with Bjӧrk, to her plumber's confession that he, too, has Bipolar, Erlichman buoyantly topples stigma against the mentally ill. These are necessary odes to self-acceptance, resilience, and the jagged path toward healing. With startling language, and accompanied by her bold drawings and collages, she gives us a sparkling, original view into what makes us human.
About BlackGirl Mansion: "Angel Nafis’ poems swallow blood and witness truth at its deepest roots. Nafis writes, “I count myself among the graced” and you do not doubt the wisdom of her spirit and her craft in BlackGirl Mansion. The poems you will find here climb mountains! They share the glory and pains of survival against and within the narrative of family and womanhood. They fight for the love they are and know. The cadence of her heart is to be celebrated! The poems of Angel Nafis undo gravity with their shine and holler. Listen, for hers is an original and astonishing voice: “I am here now,/speaking and giving/in bursts/of chest, and effort,/and temperature.” - Rachel Eliza Griffiths, author of "Mule & Pear" and "Miracle Arythmia "
Kevin Coval is a poet & author of A People's History of Chicago, Everything Must Go: The Life & Death of an American Neighborhood & over ten other full length collections, anthologies & chapbooks. He is the founder & editor of The BreakBeat Poets series on Haymarket Books, Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, which won a MacArthur Award in 2016, & founder of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, the world's largest youth poetry festival, now in more than 19 cities around North America. He's got a lot of hustles. He also is the recipient of the 2019 Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Advocacy Award, the 2018 Studs Terkel Award & the 2017 John Peter Altgeld Freedom of Speech Award. He co-hosts the podcast The Cornerstore on WGN Radio cuz he is in love with listening & can be found on the interconnected networks @kevincoval.
Shira Erlichman is a writer, visual artist, and musician. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed Reader, Nomadic Press, The Rumpus and PBS NewsHour’s Poetry Series, among others. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and was awarded a residency by the Millay Colony, the James Merrill Fellowship by the Vermont Studio Center, and the Visions of Wellbeing Focus Fellowship at AIR Serenbe. Her first children’s book Be/Hold is forthcoming from Penny Candy Books. She is half of the Odes for You Tour with poet Angel Nafis. As a musician she’s performed across the US, sharing stages with TuNe-YaRdS, CocoRosie and Mirah. She’s independently released seven albums, including Subtle Creature which premiered in BUST Magazine and was hailed as a "spectacular mystery." Born in Israel, raised in Massachusetts, she now lives in Brooklyn. Learn more at www.officialshira.com.
Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press/ New School Poetics, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, Buzzfeed Reader and elsewhere. Nafis is a Cave Canem fellow, the recipient of a Millay Colony residency, an Urban Word NYC mentor, and the founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon. In 2011 she represented NYC at both the Women of the World Poetry Slam and the National Poetry Slam. She is half of the Odes For You Tour with poet, musician and visual artist Shira Erlichman, and, with poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective, an internationally touring Black Feminist poetry duo. Facilitating writing workshops and reading poems globally, she lives in Brooklyn. In 2016, Nafis was a recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and in 2017 she was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.