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Wisconsin Book Festival presents Jesse Lee Kercheval and Rebecca Dunham

Meeting Room 301
Thursday, Sep 19, 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Jesse Lee Kercheval, the Zona Gale Professor of English at UW-Madison and Rebecca Dunham, Director of the MFA Program at UW-Milwaukee read from their latest works. They will sign books after the event.

About America That Island off the Coast of France by Jesse Lee Kercheval: A speaks to the impossibility of emigration, of ever being the citizen of only one country. Born in France, raised in Florida, Kercheval now divides her time between the U.S. and Uruguay. The poems hurtle across literary and linguistic borders toward a lyricism that slows down experience to create a new form of elegiac memoir. Against the backdrops of Paris, Montevideo, and Florida, the poems explore citizenship and homelessness, motherhood and self, family and freedom, turning over and over again the very meaning of the word home, as the poems, like the poet, make the fraught journey back and forth between America and France. As Kercheval wonders in her poem "The Red Balloon," "is leaving / ever painless? Is returning?"

About Strike by Rebecca Dunham: “The poems of Rebecca Dunham’s Strike invoke the terse, noiseless monstrousness of the toxic-domestic, the ‘once-us,’ in which ‘to fall numb is not to fall/out of pain.’ This collection is Plathian in its riven depiction of anger, which both ‘presses/down and in,’ where denial ‘is beaten to silver foil, to silver leaf,’ and in which ‘[o]ver the butcher/paper’s sheets’ her ‘red story sprawls.’ In poems whose edges are honed on a whetstone of impeccable craft, and which delve into history, archetype, and ekphrasis, Dunham exposes the face that ‘ripples beneath her mask’ and builds a ravishing myth of the unveiled lyric interior.” —Diane Seuss

More information at

Conor Moran