Phosphorescence September 2021 featured poets:
Chloe Martinez, Rodney A. Brown, Elizabeth Metzger and Moriel Rothman-Zecher
This virtual program is free to attend and is part of the Emily Dickinson Museum’s 2021 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival. Registration is required. Registration is now available through the Festival’s virtual platform
To Emily Dickinson, phosphorescence, was a divine spark and the illuminating light behind learning — it was volatile, but transformative in nature. Produced by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series celebrates contemporary creativity that echoes Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. The Series features established and emerging poets whose work and backgrounds represent the diversity of the flourishing contemporary poetry scene. The 2021 Series will be a virtual event to ensure the health and safety of participants. While we are disappointed not to gather together in Amherst, we are excited to connect with a global community of friends and writers. Join us on the last Thursdays of each month to hear from poets around the world as they read their work and discuss what poetry and Dickinson mean to them.
Amherst Books is the preferred book seller for the Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series.
This program is co-produced by The Common, a literary organization based at Amherst College with a mission to deepen our individual and collective sense of place. The Common publishes works that embody particular times and places and feature new and underrepresented voices from around the world.
About the program host: Sofia Belimova is a senior at Amherst College and the fourth annual Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow at The Common, where she has worked since 2019. Her writing has been published in The Amherst Student, The Common, and Cerealization, an online publication that pairs artists and writers. In May 2021, she received the The Peter Burnett Howe Prize for fiction and the 19th Century English Novel Prize. Sofia’s literary interests include ballads and folktales, contemporary poetry, and the Gothic aesthetic. She is currently writing a thesis on William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.
About this month’s poets:
Chloe Martinez is a poet and scholar of South Asian religions. She is the author of the chapbook Corner Shrine (Backbone Press, 2020) and a full-length collection, forthcoming from The Word Works in Fall 2021. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Waxwing, Shenandoah, The Common and elsewhere. She teaches at Claremont McKenna College.
Rodney A. Brown is a poet, writer, choreographer, and interdisciplinary artist whose work draws on he(r) experiences with AIDS, mental illness, and homelessness. He(r) writing has appeared in the Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies, and their performances on Black lives and mental health have been sponsored at the Society of Dance History Scholars’ Congress on Research in Dance and the United States Conference on AIDS. They taught as a choreographer at the university level and attended the Saint Francis College MFA program in creative writing.
Elizabeth Metzger is the author of the chapbook, Bed (Tupelo, 2021), selected by Mark Bibbins for the Sunken Garden Poetry Contest, and Lying In, forthcoming from Milkweed in 2023. She is also the author of The Spirit Papers (UMass, 2017), winner of the Juniper Prize for a first book of poetry, and the chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Horsethief, 2017). She was the 2013 winner of the Narrative Magazine Poetry Prize, and her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, among other places. Her prose has recently been published in Conjunctions, Literary Hub, Guernica, and Boston Review. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Moriel Rothman-Zecher is the author of the novel Sadness Is a White Bird (Atria Books, 2018), for which he received the National Book Foundation’s ‘5 Under 35’ Honor, and which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Piece Prize, the winner of the Ohioana Book Award, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, the winner of the Cincinnati Books by the Banks Author Award, and long listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. His essays and poems have been published in The Common Magazine, Haaretz, The New York Times, The Paris Review’s Daily, Runner’s World, The Tel Aviv Review of Books, ZYZZYVA Magazine, and elsewhere.
Support Phosphorescence and Honor Someone Special:
Admission to all Phosphorescence events is free, but online donations, especially those made in honor or memory of family, friends, or colleagues are heartily encouraged and vital to the future of our programs. All gifts are tax deductible.