POETRY@TheBreman Featuring Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris
// William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

POETRY@TheBreman Featuring Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris

POETRY@TheBreman Featuring Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris
Apr 18 2023 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

POETRY@TheBreman Featuring Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris


WHEN: April 18th at 7:00PM
WHERE: The Breman Museum or Virtually Via Zoom
The Breman Museum will present poets Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris in a program coinciding with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at 7PM Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Jewish poet Kaminsky has been an important voice on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict since Russia invaded his homeland a year ago and We Lived Happily During the War -- the first poem from his collection Deaf Republic, a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award in poetry -- went viral.
“Poetry now is as necessary as ever — not because it is pretty or fancy but because it helps us to articulate the most impossible moments: It gives us a gasp, a scrap of air in our lungs,” he told Atlanta Magazine last year. “When we have nothing else, we can still hold a handful of words in our memory, a tune, and that might be all we have got now to survive — we don’t know yet. But if we are lucky, it is there, stored in our memories.”
Kaminsky, whose reading on April 18 will include We Lived Happily During the War, was selected by the BBC as one of the “12 artists that changed the world” in 2019. Meanwhile, his wife, poet Katie Farris, has been immersed in a struggle of a more personal sort, with breast cancer.
“Katie’s war zone is her own body,” Kaminsky told Atlanta Magazine. “Her bravery and her ability to find music and vivid imagery and stories from the intensity of her waiting is so much more crucial than mine can ever be. I am watching her in awe.”
In her poem Why Write Love Poetry in a Burning World, published late last year on Granta.com, Farris wrote,
Why write love poetry in a burning world?
To train myself, in the midst of a burning world
to offer poems of love to a burning world.
Farris and Kaminsky will do a book signing, including Farris’ just-published collection Standing in the Forest of Being Alive, following their reading.
“On Yom HaShoah, as we remember and mourn the 6 million European Jews lost amid the horrors of the Holocaust, The Breman will also take measure of contemporary struggles, both political and personal,” said Breman Executive Director Leslie Gordon. “Poets can help us make sense and, as Ilya Kaminsky has said is his mission, to witness and share ‘lyricism in the whirl of our griefs.’”
Farris and Kaminsky are former residents of Atlanta, where he served as the Bourne Chair in Poetry at Georgia Tech and the director of Poetry@Tech. Kaminsky joined Princeton University as a professor of creative writing in January. Farris, a former Georgia Tech associate professor of literature, media and communication, is a visiting associate professor at Princeton.

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