I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood
Due to illness, our event with Tiana Clark has been canceled. We are working on rescheduling an event with her for the four-day celebration in October.
For prize-winning poet Tiana Clark, trees will never be just trees. They will also and always be a row of gallows from which Black bodies once swung. This is an image that she cannot escape, but one that she has learned to lean into as she delves into personal and public histories, explicating memories and muses around race, elegy, family, and faith by making and breaking forms as well as probing mythology, literary history, her own ancestry, and, yes, even Rihanna. I Can’t Talk About the Trees without the Blood, because the speaker in this triptych book cannot engage with the physical and psychic landscape of the South without seeing the braided trauma of the broken past—she will always see blood on the leaves.
Doors will open for this event at 6:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Seating will be by general admission.
Tiana Clark is the author of the I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood, winner of the 2017 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and Equilibrium (Bull City Press, 2016), selected by Afaa Michael Weaver for the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. Clark is the winner of a 2019 Pushcart Prize, as well as the 2017 Furious Flower’s Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize and 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. Tiana held the 2017-2018 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2015, BOAAT, Crab Orchard Review, Thrush, The Journal, and elsewhere. Tiana has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Frost Place Poetry Seminar. She teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.