The Green Hour
When Alison Townsend purchased her first house, in south-central Wisconsin, she put down roots where she never imagined settling. To understand how she came to live in the Midwest, she takes a journey through personal landscapes, considering the impact of geography at pivotal moments in her life, vividly illuminating the role of mourning, homesickness, and relocations. Alison Townsend will appear on Crowdcast to discuss The Green Hour in conversation with Catherine Jagoe. Join the event at: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/the-green-hour. Before the event begins, you will see a countdown and the event image.
With sparkling, lyrical prose, The Green Hour undulates effortlessly through time like a red-winged blackbird. Inspired by five beloved settings—eastern Pennsylvania, Vermont, California, western Oregon, and the spot atop the Wisconsin hill where she now resides—Townsend considers the role that place plays in shaping the self. She reveals the ways that a fresh perspective or new experience in any environment can incite wonder, build unexpected connections, and provide solace or salvation. Mesmerizingly attentive to nature—its beauty, its fragility, and its redeeming powers—she asks what it means to live in community with wilderness and to allow our identities to be shaped by our interactions with it: our story as its story.
Alison Townsend is the author of two books of poetry, The Blue Dress and Persephone in America, which won the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition. Her poetry and nonfiction appear in numerous journals, including The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, Parabola, and Under the Sun, and have been recognized in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Essays 2020. Her many awards include the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize.
Catherine Jagoe's book Bloodroot won the 2016 Settlement House American Poetry Prize and the Council for Wisconsin Writers 2016 Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award, judged by New York poet Patricia Smith, author of Blood Dazzler. Smith writes that “Catherine Jagoe's poems, unreeling like snippets of cinema, more than satisfy my craving for story—her rhythms span two worlds—and those stories—those stories, arresting and achingly familiar—teach me to relish my role as witness." Bloodroot was selected as an Outstanding Work of Poetry by the Wisconsin Library Association's 2