Local poet Jayson Iwen is reading his award-winning poetry live online, in lieu of visiting bookshops around the country.
The book he is reading from is the Winner of the 2020 Miller Williams Poetry Prize.
In this long poem—almost a novel-in-verse—Jayson Iwen examines the intimate thoughts and feelings of two would-be poets: Roze Mertha, a teenage girl growing up in a trailer park, and William Blud, a veteran navigating age and loneliness in an apartment he shares with an Afghan refugee. Deftly crafting distinct voices for these characters in the upper midwestern terrain they inhabit, Iwen explores the quiet heartbreak and tenderly treasured experiences of two apparently unremarkable people using poetry to understand a world that doesn’t make much space for them.
Bonus from the comments, by his most adoring fans: “It’s so cool you got Weird Al to do the videos for you.”
Congratulations, Jayson, and thank you for reading to us.
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