The Poetry of Oliver de la Paz and Rita Mookerjee

Oliver de la Paz and Rita Mookerjee
Poetry Reading
Thursday, December 7 at 7pm


The Diaspora Sonnets by Oliver de la Paz
Long-listed for the National Book Award in Poetry
Winner of the New England Award for Poetry

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In 1972, after Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, Oliver de la Paz’s father, in a last fit of desperation to leave the Philippines, threw his papers at an immigration clerk, hoping to get them stamped. He was prepared to leave, having already quit his job and having exchanged pesos for dollars; but he couldn’t anticipate the challenges of the migratory lifestyle he and his family would soon adopt in America. Their search for a sense of “home” and boundless feelings of deracination are evocatively explored by award-winning poet de la Paz in this formally inventive collection of sonnets.

 

Broken into three parts—“The Implacable West,” “Landscape with Work, Rest, and Silence,” and “Dwelling Music”—The Diaspora Sonnets eloquently invokes the perseverance and bold possibilities of de la Paz’s displaced family as they strove for stability and belonging.

The Diaspora Sonnets powerfully captures the peculiar pangs of a diaspora “that has left and is forever leaving.”



Oliver de la Paz is the Poet Laureate of Worcester, MA for 2023-2025. He is the author and editor of seven books: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth, His newest work, The Diaspora Sonnets, was published by Liveright Press in June 2023.

National Book Award in poetry. With Stacey Lynn Brown he co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A founding member, Oliver serves as the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board. He has received grants from the NEA, NYFA, the Artist’s Trust, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and has been awarded multiple Pushcart Prizes. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU. Scroll down to see a complete list of Oliver's books.

 

 

False Offering by Rita Mookerjee

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Rita Mookerjee's False Offering, while providing a trenchant critique of the oppressiveness of "white space," is also glittery, culinary sumptuous, and scythe sharp. Shot through with equal parts "nectar and venom," Mookerjee's poems pirouette with muscular grace in a kaleidoscopic whirl of myth and alchemy, gods and feasts, rot and rose gold. False Offering is a feminist ledger of "battle armor meeting ballet." Like a medieval tapestry, it is piped through with an elaborate galaxy of nightviolets, rosewater, bonedust, "snakes and shibari," origami, and the KKK. It is a rare book in that even while flipping the middle finger; it has its hands held out in tenderness to those in need. ―Simone Muench, Poetry Editor, JackLeg Press

 

 

 

 

Rita Mookerjee is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Worcester State University. In 2020, she was a Fulbright Research Fellow in Kingston, Jamaica. She is the author of False Offering, (JackLeg 2023). Her poems can be found in CALYX, Copper Nickel, New Orleans Review, the Offing, and Poet Lore. She serves as an editor at Split Lip Magazine, Sundress Publications, and Honey Literary.

 

 

 

Event date: 
Thursday, December 7, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
372 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602
Pre-Order Now Badge
The Diaspora Sonnets By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781324095170
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Liveright - June 4th, 2024

False Offering By Rita Mookerjee Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781956907049
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Jackleg Press - November 15th, 2023

Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry) By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$15.95
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ISBN: 9780809323821
Published: Southern Illinois University Press - April 11th, 2001

Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry) By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$18.95
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ISBN: 9780809327744
Published: Southern Illinois University Press - September 25th, 2007

Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry) By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$14.95
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ISBN: 9781931968744
Published: University of Akron Press - March 1st, 2010

Post Subject: A Fable By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$14.95
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ISBN: 9781937378899
Published: University of Akron Press - August 1st, 2014

The Boy in the Labyrinth: Poems By Oliver de la Paz Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781629221724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Akron Press - July 30th, 2019