CLAUDIA KEELAN

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 7:00pm
Common Good Books
38 Snelling Ave S, St Paul
FREE

Join us as we welcome master poet Claudia Keelan! Keelan will read from her new book We Step into the Sea: New and Selected Poems (Barrow Street, 2018). A literary scholar and translator as well, Keelan’s other recent work includes Ecstatic Émigré, a book of essays in the Poets on Poetry Series from University of Michigan Press (2018), and Truth of My Songs: Poems of the Trobairitz (Omnidawn, 2015), which collects her translations of works by women troubadours.

"We Step into the Sea collects over three decades of work by one of the most singular voices in contemporary American poetry. It tells the story of a lyric poet who both probes and sheds the self in search of a "we," not to belong to, but rather, to care for, to serve: "I will hold us safely together, / we will consider the falling whole." In these poems of passive resistance and active celebration, we are given a panoramic view of a poet who insists that experimentation is an ethical imperative, one that will help us forge a kingdom of compassion that runs counter to empire."
—Sasha Steensen

Other praise for Claudia Keelan:

“These are beautiful, anguished political poems . . . Keelan writers both for herself and the many. Her language, as language, is intended to create change through a deliberate evenhanded musicality, but the poems are also desert-air-clear as to meaning.”
 —Alice Notley

“Keelan’s work, always politically engaged, here takes a tender and personal turn . . . A deep feeling collection not afraid to look loss in the face.”
 —Cole Swensen


Claudia Keelan was born in Southern California when it was still covered with orange groves, and NATO began the embargo still in place, against lovely Cuba. She’s taught in many writing programs, including the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Alabama, where she held the Coal Royalty Chair in Poetry, and the University of Nevada, where she is a Barrick Distinguished Scholar and editor of the journal Interim. Her honors include the Beatrice Hawley Award from Alice James Books, the Cleveland State University Poetry Prize, the University of Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Award, and the Jerome Shestack prize from the American Poetry Review.

Keelan lives in the Mojave Desert with the poet Donald Revell, son Ben, daughter Lucie, standard poodle Miss Margaret Jarvis, and a worried schnauzer named Dugan.