Department of English Poetry Reading: Philip Metres

Iontas Sky
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 16:00 to 17:00

About this Event

In the second event of our Poetry and Poetics reading and discussion series, Maynooth English Department is delighted to host multi-award-winning poet Philip Metres, who will read from, and talk about, his new poetry collection, Shrapnel Maps. The event will include an interactive Q&A with the poet, featuring questions from Maynooth students and attendees of the webinar.

Organised by Dr Catherine Gander and Dr Karl O'Hanlon.

This event will take place via Zoom webinar. Registered attendees will be sent the secure link the day before the event.

About the book:

Writing into the wounds and reverberations of the Israel/Palestine conflict, Philip Metres’ fourth book of poems, Shrapnel Maps, is at once elegiac and activist, an exploratory surgery to extract the slivers of cartography through palimpsest and erasure. A wedding in Toura, a suicide bombing in Jerusalem, uneasy interactions between Arab and Jewish neighbors in University Heights, the expulsion of Palestinians in Jaffa, another bombing in Gaza: Shrapnel Maps traces the hurt and tender places, where political noise turns into the voices of Palestinians and Israelis. Working with documentary flyers, vintage postcards, travelogues, cartographic language, and first person testimonies, Shrapnel Maps ranges from monologue sonnets to prose vignettes, polyphonics to blackouts, indices to simultaneities, as Palestinians and Israelis long for justice and peace, for understanding and survival.

"In the afterword of the book, Metres asks a question that continues to rattle in my mind: 'How can we listen better, attentive to the shards of pain, and invite the gentle flowing of kindness?' One small answer is to read a book like Shrapnel Maps. The book is an invitation to listen better, bear witness, and begin these difficult conversations. The book is a cacophony of voices. In the poems meant to be read aloud, the reader can imagine the bustle to talk over each other, an Israeli voice drowning out a Palestinian voice, and vice versa. Demolition, destruction, and chaos—a rift between valleys, between neighbors. But if you’re willing to listen, to really sit with the poems, you can begin to discern the humanity within the chaos." --Melanie Tafejian, Kenyon Review

“Shrapnel Maps is so beautiful. Half dream, half nightmare, all real. Filled with the remnants of what people hope for and what they are willing to do, and everything that remains afterwards. It’s a confrontation to identity and it dares to conjugate love as a defiance to the capacity of violence. Extraordinary. . . . elegant and devastating and compelling and complex.” —Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian, and conflict mediator

About the author:

Philip Metres is the author of ten books, including Shrapnel Maps (2020), The Sound of Listening: Poetry as Refuge and Resistance (2018), Pictures at an Exhibition and Sand Opera (2015). His work has garnered fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Watson Foundation. He has been awarded the Adrienne Rich Award, three Arab American Book Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and the Hunt Prize. Metres has been called “one of the essential poets of our time,” whose work is “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original.” He is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University, and lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Book online here: