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POSTPONED TO 2/14: Cambridge Public Library to Host A Pre-Valentine’s Day Poetry Reading and Discussion


2/1/20242 weeks ago

Main Library Mezzanine

The Cambridge Public Library will host poets Jill McDonough, Rachelle Toarmino, and Tawanda Mulalu for "Sweeter than Wine," a reading and conversation about the intersection of love and poetry on the eve of Valentine’s Day. On Tuesday, February 13, from 6-8 p.m., the poets will present in the Main Library Lecture Hall (449 Broadway). Each poet will read for about 20 minutes and then join the Library’s own Program and Events Coordinator, Zachary Bond, in a discussion of love poetry. This event is hybrid, and registration is required.

Three-time Pushcart prize winner Jill McDonough is the recipient of Lannan, NEA, Cullman Center, and Stegner fellowships. Her most recent book is American Treasure. She teaches in the MFA program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and offers College Reading and Writing in Boston jails.

Rachelle Toarmino is a poet from Niagara Falls, New York. She is the author of the poetry collection That Ex and several chapbooks, most recently Comeback with Foundlings Press. Her poems and essays on poetry have appeared in American Poetry ReviewBennington ReviewElectric LiteratureIterantLiterary HubPoets.orgThe Slowdown, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA in poetry at UMass Amherst, where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is also the founding editor-in-chief of Peach Mag, the poetry editor of Traffic East, and the founder and lead instructor of Beauty School, a new independent poetry school. She lives in Buffalo.

Tawanda Mulalu was born in Gaborone, Botswana, in 1997. His first book, Please make me pretty, I don’t want to die was selected by Susan Stewart for the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets and is listed as a best poetry book of 2022 by The Boston GlobeThe New York Times and The Washington Post. His chapbook Nearness was chosen as the winner of The New Delta Review 2020-21 Chapbook Contest, judged by Brandon Shimoda. Tawanda has also served as a Ledecky Fellow for Harvard Magazine and as the first Diversity and Inclusion Chair of The Harvard Advocate. He was recently awarded The Denver Quarterly’s 2022 Bin Ramke Prize for Poetry. 

“I’m excited for this panel of award-winning poets to address the audience’s burning questions about love poetry, like why do so many people read love poems at weddings? Why do so many Valentine’s Day cards feature rhyming verse? Is there something about love that is inherently poetic? Or is there something about poems that make them suitable vessels for human desire? And what do you need to know right now in order to write a poem so good and so true it will convince your crush to change their mind about you?” says Zachary Bond, the event’s moderator.

This event is cosponsored by the Cambridge Public Library Foundation. Porter Square Books will be on site.

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About the Cambridge Public Library:
At the Cambridge Public Library, we welcome all, inspire minds, and empower community. We support a Cambridge where everyone has equitable opportunities to learn, people live their best lives and democracy thrives. The Library’s programming provides an opportunity for civic dialogue, conversation, and learning, which includes exploring a wide range of views. Visit our website to learn more. Subscribe to our email list to stay up to date on our events here

The City of Cambridge does not discriminate, including on the basis of disability. We may provide auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures to people with disabilities. For more information, contact us at library@cambridgema.gov, 617-349-4032 (voice), or via relay at 711.