Roe Jan Writers Series: J. Mae Barizo
Wednesday, July 5
5:30 p.m. in-person & on Zoom
Roeliff Jansen Community Library
Hillsdale, NY 12529
Hillsdale author J. Mae Barizo will read from and discuss her new book of poetry, Tender Machines.
Spanning two decades, the poems in Tender Machines are set against the backdrop of changing landscapes—post 9-11 Manhattan, Manila, northern Mohave desert—as Barizo considers love and disaster, its impetus and aftermath. Punctuated by contrapuntal precision, Barizo’s lyrics swing between the domestic and the surreal, charting the city, motherhood, and an immigrant family’s haunted inheritance. Through sonnets, lush minimalism and other formally-restless configurations, she explores the subtleties of longing and colonial memory, and the emotional topographies that evolve. The poems in Tender Machines live in the space between the public and the private, braiding an intimate narrative. In this unflinching work, music and mothering become transformative, kaleidoscopic lenses through which to contemplate disasters both global and personal. This book is a moving testimony to intergenerational ties and the histories that bind us, with all their losses, departures and wonders.
J. Mae Barizo is a poet, essayist, and multidisciplinary artist. She is the author of two books of poetry, The Cumulus Effect (Four Way Books, 2015) and Tender Machines (Tupelo Press, 2023). Her book of hybrid essays on John Cage and the poetics of sound was a finalist for the Megaphone Prize and the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. She is also the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, Mellon Foundation, Critical Minded, Jerome Foundation and Poets House. Recent writing appears in Poetry, Ploughshares, Esquire, Los Angeles Review of Books, Paris Review Daily, Boston Review, BookForum, among others. An advocate of cross-disciplinary work, she has collaborated with artists such as Salman Rushdie, Mark Morris, and the American String Quartet. As a librettist, she is the inaugural recipient of Opera America’s IDEA award. Her opera DRIFT, is in development at the National Opera Center and her opera with composer Ron Robinson UNBROKEN was recently commissioned by the Opera Center of St. Louis. She is on the MFA faculty of The New School and lives in New York City and Hillsdale.