Poetry Reading:Valerie Wallace & Shevaun Brannigan

Join us on Monday, April 2, at 6 pm
for a POETRY READING with 

Valerie Wallace, author of
House of McQueen

Shevaun Brannigan

"Wallace conducts a literary seance in her transcendent debut, serving as a scholar of and medium for the late iconic fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969-2010). Devising her poems using an extensive array of sources, Wallace manages to encapsulate the "monstrous and magical" visions that defined McQueen's oeuvre. Her biographical thesis, so to speak, can be seen in lines written from the designer's perspective: "People say I do it for the shock value/ I just like exploring the sinister side of life." Wallace's expert distillation of McQueen's life and words offers valuable insight on his whimsical and dark-minded vision. Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of Wallace's lyrical tapestry is the way in which she cultivates various voices and narratives; by quoting McQueen's friends and disciples, including such notable figures as Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, readers hear through them the fashion industry legend's call to "Perform my clothes like you're devastated." There are also witty moments, as when Wallace imagines McQueen's scissors whispering in his ear, "It's only cloth." Wallace's language locates a maelstrom of emotional and spiritual energy at the core of McQueen's evocative designs. Sensual, devastating, and lithe as silk, Wallace's work is a fitting tribute to McQueen's dynamic yet tragic life." - Publishers Weekly

Valerie Wallace's debut poetry collection House of McQueen is just out from Four Way Books, chosen by Vievee Francis for the Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry. In their starred review Publishers Weekly said that Wallace created "...a literary seance...serving as a scholar of and medium for the late iconic fashion designer Alexander McQueen...." Her work was chosen by Margaret Atwood for the 2012 Atty Award, and she has received an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award and the San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference Award in Poetry. Earning her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she now is the Associate Director of Communications for the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life at the University of Chicago and teaches courses and workshops throughout the Chicago area.

Shevaun Brannigan is a graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, as well as The Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House at The University of Maryland. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as Best New Poets 2012RhinoWashington Square Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She is the first place recipient of the 2015 Jan-ai Scholarship through the Winter Poetry and Prose Getaway. Her favorite poetry gig is the workshop she leads at her local Domestic Violence Shelter, and her work can be found at shevaunbrannigan.wordpress.com.
Event date: 
Monday, April 2, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
130 S. 34th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
House of McQueen (Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781945588112
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Four Way Books - March 6th, 2018

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