Date and Time
Dec 2, 2018 6:30 pm
Lindsay Bernal’s What It Doesn’t Have to Do With explores through sculpture, painting, pornography, and performance art changing views on gender and sexuality. The elegiac meditations throughout this collection link the objectification of women in art and life to personal narratives of heartbreak, urban estrangement, and suicide. Haunted by the notions of femininity and domesticity, the protagonist struggles to define the self in shifting cultural landscapes. Ezra Pound, Louise Bourgeois, and Morrissey coexist within the unruly, feminist imagination of these poems. Through quick turns and juxtapositions, Lindsay Bernal navigates the paradoxical states of grief and love, alternating between vulnerability and irony, despair and humor. Her wry, contemporary voice confronts serious subjects with unpredictable wit.
The summer Joshua Mensch was ten years old, his parents sent him to an isolated youth wilderness camp in Nova Scotia. The camp was, in many ways, a shy, introverted boy’s dream—long, unstructured days, endless free time, and very few rules. But the camp was also where Don, the camp’s charming and enigmatic director, preyed upon the young boys in his care.
Seamlessly blending the genres of poetry and memoir, BECAUSE: A Lyric Memoir is a narrative poem that offers a gripping account of the author’s experience of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of an adult he trusts.
Mensch’s devastating debut adds a compelling new voice to the conversation around sexual assault. He captures the experiences of an uncoordinated and socially awkward young boy, who summer after summer returns to a camp where he is able to make great lifelong friends, while simultaneously becoming an object of its director’s obsession. Heartbreakingly clear-eyed in its account, BECAUSE bears witness to one boy’s experience of an abuse that continues for years, until Don’s dramatic international flight from the authorities five years after they meet.
About the Authors
Joshua Mensch is a poet, visual artist, and a founding editor of the online literary journal B O D Y. His poetry has appeared in several magazines, including Plume, Brick, the Collagist, and Smartish Pace. He grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, and lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic.
Lindsay Bernal’s poetry collection, What It Doesn’t Have to Do With, published by the University of Georgia Press, won the 2017 National Poetry Series competition. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Conjunctions Online, Gulf Coast, OVERSOUND, Tikkun, and other journals.For over a decade, Bernal has coordinated the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maryland.