Rae Armantrout at Diesel, a Bookstore

Rae Armentrout, a Vallejo native who now teaches at the University of California San Diego, is a force in contemporary poetry. After attending UC Berkeley in the Sixties, Armentrout and her peers became the avant-garde Language Poets, wielding a hard, strategic use of words that rebelled against the sentimentality of the confessional poem and instead surgically unpacked contemporary culture with each curated stanza. She’s been writing ever since, and in 2009 her book Versed won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Now, she’s releasing Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2015, an anthology of her work from the titular period that also includes twenty-five new poems. Armantrout will be at Diesel, A Bookstore (5433 College Ave., Oakland) on October 14 from 7–8 p.m. for a conversation with Oakland poet and Mills College professor Stephanie Young. Of course, she’ll discuss the new book and sign copies.

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