At this reading, we’ll hear poems read by two debut poets: Kai Carlson-Wee, celebrating the publication of RAIL (BOA Editions) and Diana Khoi Nguyen, celebrating the publication of Ghost Of (Omnidawn). They will be joined by poets Emily Van Kley and Kathryn Smith, both of whom are also celebrating beautiful new books: The Cold and the Rust (Persea) and BOOK OF EXODUS (Scablands Books).
Kai Carlson–Wee is the author of RAIL (BOA Editions, 2018). He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and his work has appeared in Ploughshares, Best New Poets, AGNI, New England Review, Gulf Coast,and The Missouri Review. His photography has been featured in Narrative Magazine and his poetry film, Riding the Highline, has screened at film festivals across the country. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco and is a lecturer at Stanford University.
Emily Van Kley’s collection, The Cold and the Rust, was awarded the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. Her poetry has also been honored with the Iowa Review Award, the Florida Review Editor’s Award, and the Loriane Williams Prize for Poetry from The Georgia Review. You can find her recent work in Barrow Street, RADAR, Narrative Magazine, and Best American Poetry 2017, among others. Raised on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, she now lives in Olympia, Washington, with her partner, where she also teaches and performs aerial acrobatics.
Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. She is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, and PEN America, among others. In addition to winning the 92Y “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Contest, she has also received awards and scholarships from the Academy of American Poets, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Currently, she lives in Denver she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing from the University of Denver. www.dianakhoinguyen.com
Kathryn Smith‘s debut collection, BOOK OF EXODUS, narrates the imagined experiences of a Russian family who lived for 40 years in the Siberian taiga, utterly isolated from society. Smith’s poems have been published in Poetry Northwest, Bellingham Review, Redivider, Pinwheel, the Collagist, and elsewhere. She was a 2013 artist in residence at Holden Village, a 2017 Spokane Arts Grant Award recipient, and a 2017 writer in residence at Whitworth University. Originally from the Olympic Peninsula, she received her MFA in creative writing from Eastern Washington University and lives in Spokane.