Lawrence Matsuda & Tess Gallagher

We have hosted poet, graphic novelist, educator and bon vivant Larry Matsuda at Elliott Bay several times over the years, and have looked forward to hosting a reading to help launch his debut novel My Name is Not Viola (Endicott and Hughes) into the world. Based on the life of his mother, this novel explores the trauma experienced by a Japanese American woman and her family, both during and long after the Incarceration. The book's evocative cover features art by Roger Shimomura, (who, like Larry Matsuda, spent some of his childhood in Minidoka), and a portrait by Seattle artist Alfredo Arreguin.

"The story of America's WWII concentration camps has been told from many angles, but never has the psychological trauma of reentry been presented with such heartbreaking intensity. We follow the young Hanae's journey from Seattle to prewar Hiroshima and back again, then suffer (and sometimes laugh) with her through the incarceration and its grueling aftermath against the tension of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Her life is a revealing chapter of the American experience." —Jay Rubin.

Larry Matsuda will be joined by his longtime friend and teacher, Tess Gallagher, who will read from her most recent poetry collection, Is, Is Not (Graywolf). Is, Is Not upends our notions of linear time, evokes the spirit and sanctity of place, and hovers daringly at the threshold of what language can nearly deliver while offering alternative corollaries as gifts of its failures. Tess Gallagher’s poems reverberate with the inward clarity of a bell struck on a mountaintop. “Impressively wide-ranging in its intellectual inquiry. . . . Gallagher’s craft excels as she balances image and abstraction, grounding the wild flights of the speaker’s philosophical imagination.”—Publishers Weekly.

Tess Gallagher's previous books include, Midnight Lantern, and she lives and writes in both Port Angeles and in Sligo. To note: Tess Gallagher has been with Graywolf Press from its beginnings, for all intents and purposes. And she has been at the heart of things with Elliott Bay’s readings since we began doing these over thirty-five years ago. We'll end the evening with some back and forth between poets with a reading from Boogie-Woogie: Crisscross (Madhat), based on their years long, intercontinental collaboration/exchange. What a delight. And what a way to "Zoom" into this year's holiday season.

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My Name Is Not Viola Cover Image
By Lawrence Matsuda, Tess Gallagher (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780999364628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Endicott & Hugh Books - December 18th, 2019

Is, Is Not: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555978419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - May 7th, 2019

Friday, December 11, 2020 - 6:00pm
Virtual Event
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