Poetry Reading to celebrate Fog and Smoke by Katie Peterson, with Hannah Baer and Maureen McLane

February 29, 2024 7:00pm

Poetry Reading to celebrate Fog and Smoke by Katie Peterson, with Hannah Baer and Maureen McLane

Katie Peterson



Thursday,  February 29th

7 to 8:30 PM

In Person and Live Stream | Donation Based


This evening of poetry and conversation brings together three writers – Katie Peterson, Hannah Baer, and Maureen McLane – to celebrate the publication of Peterson’s 2024 collection of poems, Fog and Smoke. Fog and Smoke is about intimacy and misunderstanding. It mixes fortitude and joy with panic and fear. Writing to and from the California landscape, the book sees fog and smoke as literal―one a habitual, natural weather event, the other an increasingly common aftereffect of the West’s drought-caused fires. But these aspects of the atmosphere are also metaphysical. Fog and smoke reflect the true conditions (and frustrations) of our ability to perceive and to connect. Poems in the collection treat family life, parenthood, gender, and our relationship with the natural world. Peterson, Baer, and McLane will all read from their work. This will be followed by conversation and questions from the audience. Books will be for sale at a celebratory discount.

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Free, $5, $10, $25, $50, $100


Katie Peterson is the author of Fog and Smoke, published by FSG in January 2024. Her previous book, Life in a Field (2021) is a collaboration with the photographer Young Suh. She is the author of four other books of poetry: This One Tree (New Issues, 2006), Permission (New Issues, 2013), The Accounts (University of Chicago, 2013), and A Piece of Good News (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019). Her work has been translated into French, Korean, and Portuguese, and a Selected Poems in French (translated by Aude Pivin), with an introduction by Louise Gluck, will be published by Cheyne Editeur in 2024. Peterson’s lyric poems explore interior and exterior landscapes, exposure, and shelter. “A poem is a place,” Peterson stated in an interview with the Harvard Gazette. “It does not describe a place.” In her artist’s statement, Peterson explains, “I like a poem that feels logical but is not—a poem in which thinking takes the shape of a hallucination. I like a poem in which all of my intelligence fails. I am forced to use other tools: desire, anger, recklessness. I pursue beauty and memory not to preserve them but to try, against odds, to preserve that perishable pursuit.” Peterson teaches at UC Davis. She lives in California with her family. Deer frequent her yard.

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