April 18- Rae Armantrout, Laura Sims, Valzhyna Mort

Rae Armantrout has published ten books of poetry, including: Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), selected by the New York Times as one of the most notable books of 2007; Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), a finalist for the PEN USA Award in Poetry; Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan, 2001), also a finalist for the PEN Center USA Award; The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001); Made To Seem (Sun & Moon, 1995); and The Invention of Hunger (Tuumba, 1979).

Armantrout’s poetry has been widely anthologized, appearing in Language Poetries, (New Directions), In The American Tree, (National Poetry Foundation), Postmodern American Poetry (Norton), Poems for the Millennium, Vol. 2 (University of California), American Women Poets of the 21st Century (Wesleyan), and several editions of Best American Poetry. She is also the author of a prose memoir, True , which was published by Atelos in 1998. She has taught writing for almost twenty years at the University of California, San Diego.

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Laura Sims is the author of two books of poems: Practice, Restraint, winner of the 2005 Fence Books Alberta Prize, and Stranger, forthcoming from Fence Books in March of 2009. Her book reviews and essays have appeared in Boston Review, New England Review, Rain Taxi, and The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and she has recently published poems in the journals Denver Quarterly, Colorado Review, CAB/NET, and Crayon. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches writing at Baruch College in Manhattan.

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Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk, Belarus (part of the former Soviet Union), in 1981, Mort has been praised as “a risen star of the international poetry world” by the Irish Times. When she moved to the United States in 2005, she had already published her first book, I’m as Thin as Your Eyelashes (Belarus, 2005). Her debut collection in America is titled Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon, 2008). She composes her poems in Belarusian as attempts are being made to revitalize the traditional language, which lends her work both conventional and groundbreaking tones. Mort reads her work in both Belarusian and English.

Mort received the Crystal of Vilenica award in Slovenia in 2005 and the Burda Poetry Prize in Germany in 2008. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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