A Talk by Douglas Kearney: Online & Pre-taped

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A Talk by Douglas Kearney: Online & Pre-taped

Past Event: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

At lectures.org

Co-Presented with the Bagley Wright Lecture Series

The dynamic Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist whose six books bridge thematic concerns such as politics, African American culture, the Trickster figure, and contemporary music. The format for this event will be a talk by Kearney, co-presented with the Bagley Wright Lecture Series. Q&A with WITS Writer-in-Residence Daemond Arrindell.

This event is online-only and will be pre-recorded.

Although this event has passed, you can still purchase a digital pass to view it through April 7 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be available to watch until 12:01 a.m. (PDT) on April 8.

This event is online-only and will be pre-recorded.

His most recent work, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), was awarded the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, and the silver medal for the California Book Award in Poetry. BOMB says Buck Studies “remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” Kearney describes the non-traditional layout of his poems as “performative typography.” On the relationship between his poetry and politics, he notes: “For me, the political is a part of how I see the world. My art making doesn’t begin without realizing who I am and what it means for me to be writing a poem and not doing something else.”

Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), is a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection. In it, Kearney writes, “If my writing makes a mess of things, it’s not to flee understanding, but to map (mis-)understanding as a verb.” Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014), Kearney’s third poetry collection, examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009) is a National Poetry Series selection, which “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues (Subito Press, 2016) collects several of Kearney’s libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. He was the guest editor for the 2015 Best American Experimental Writing.

Kearney has received a Whiting Writer’s Award and the Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, and was named a Notable New American Poet by the Poetry Society of America, He has been awarded fellowships from Cave Canem and The Rauschenberg Foundation. His work has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry, Iowa Review, Boston Review, and Indiana Review, and anthologies, including Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the SkyBest American PoetryBest American Experimental Writing, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Poets in America.

Raised in Altadena, CA, Kearney lives with his family a little west of Minneapolis, MN and teaches creative writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.

Daemond Arrindell is a multi-genre writer, arts educator, performer, and arts & equity consultant. He is a faculty member of TAT Lab: the Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab; Freehold Theatre, leading poetry and theatre residencies at Monroe Correctional Complex for men for over ten years; adjunct faculty at Seattle University; senior Writer-in-Residence through Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools Program; and Poet-in-Residence for Skagit River Poetry Foundation. His work has appeared in City Arts, Specter, and Crosscut magazines, as well as Poetry Northwest and Seattle Review of Books. Daemond is a Jack Straw Writer and a Jack Straw Writer’s Program curator, a VONA/Voices Writer’s Workshop fellow. He co-adapted the acclaimed novel Welcome To Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson into a stage production for Book-It Repertory Theater. In 2019, he performed his first one-man show, Frozen Borders, a performative exploration in imagery, poetry and emotion on the subject of the United States’ southern border.

Event Details


Know Before You Go

Need access to the digital event?

Most tickets have been emailed for Kearney’s event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email as well, will contain your digital access password. Return to the event page the night of the event at lectures.org and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PST) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Douglas Kearney something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at rahoogs@lectures.org—it might be asked during the event!


Open Books will have copies of Kearney’s work available for purchase online.


Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at online events. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select Sign Language Interpretation from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will reach out to you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services for online events, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at boxoffice@lectures.org, or Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 206.621.2230×10. For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility.


Poetry Series Sponsor
Charles B. & Barbara Wright
Essay Sponsor