After inclement weather cancelled their February 20 Writers Speak Wednesdays session, Kyla Marshell and Shane McCrae rescheduled for a spring day that promised sunshine and not one snowflake in the sky: April 10, which just so happens to be in National Poetry Month. These talented poets will take the stage of Duke Lecture Hall, located on the first floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton (39 Tuckahoe Road), following the April 3 session with short story writers Amy Hempel and Julia Slavin.
As with all of the free author readings and talks in the Writers Speak lineup, the night begins with a short meet and greet and wine reception at 6:30 p.m., after which Marshell and McCrae will read from and talk about their work at 7 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow the readings.
Marshell is currently at work on a memoir about a chance encounter with a distant relative that leads her to seek out other lost and hidden members of her family. Her poems, essays, articles and interviews have been published by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine, The Guardian, Hannah Magazine, BuzzFeed, the Poetry Foundation and many others. She has earned an Academy of American Poets College Prize, a Jacob K. Javits fellowship, and she is a Cave Canem and MacDowell Colony fellow. In 2013, she made the list of Ebony‘s “7 Young Black Writers You Should Know.”
Originally from Boston, Marshell spent her adolescent years in Maryland, Kentucky and Maine before settling in New York. She is a graduate of Spelman College with a BA in English and of Sarah Lawrence College with an MFA in Creative Writing.
McCrae has penned six books of poetry, including In the Language of My Captor, Forgiveness Forgiveness, Blood, Mule and The Animal Too Big to Kill, winner of the 2014 Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award. His newest collection, The Gilded Auction Block, was published on February 12, 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
An esteemed Columbia University assistant professor, McCrae is the recipient of a Whiting Award, an NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize. The Harvard Magazine praised his writing, saying, “His poems hurtle down the page, in fragments and echoes and dislocations, communicating amazement or horror or hunger or vulnerability with brutal precision. His syntax doubles back on itself; words are fractured, lines interrupted; sometimes the whole enterprise races to a halt.”
Additional programs scheduled for the spring Writers Speak series include: authors Sharon Dolin and Chloe Caldwell on April 24 and a showcase of readings by MFA students on May 1.