University of Wyoming MFA Student Reading Series presents…
Valzhyna Mort & Michael Zapruder
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 @ 7:00 pm
Second Story Books
Mort, born in Minsk, Belarus (former Soviet Union), in 1981, made her American debut in 2008 with a poetry collection Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon Press), co-translated by the husband-and-wife team of Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Pultizer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright. There is an urgency and vitality to her poems; the narrative moves within universal themes—lust, loneliness, the strangeness of god, and familial love—while many poems question what language is and challenge the authority that delegates who has the right to speak and how. The New Yorker writes, “Mort strives to be an envoy for her native country, writing with almost alarming vociferousness about the struggle to establish a clear identity for Belarus and its language.” Her new book of poetry, Collected Body, is due out from Copper Canyon in 2011. She lives and teaches in Baltimore, Maryland.
For years, Zapruder played lead guitar in other people’s bands until the 1999 release of his album 52 Songs. For his ambitious debut, Zapruder composed and recorded a song a week for an entire year. Every album since has marked his evolution through the restless development of his arrangements, recording techniques, and unique lyrical approach that earned him the 2009 Independent Music Award for Best Folk/Singer-Songwriter Album. Zapruder’s most recent album, the soon to be released Pink Thunder, is a collaboration with poets touring on the rock-esque Poetry Bus. He lives in Oakland, CA.