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Book Launch Event - Katie Schmid, Katie Marya, and Kate Gaskin
Book Launch Event - Katie Schmid, Katie Marya, and Kate Gaskin


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Book launch event for Katie Schmid, Katie Marya, and Kate Gaskin

Location: 1600 N. Cotner Blvd. Lincoln NE
Date: Saturday, April 15, 2023
Time: 3 to 5 pm Central Time
Public Welcome!


Katie Schmid is a National Endowment for the Arts fellow in poetry. Her debut book, Nowhere, was released by the University of New Mexico Press.

A book of wild imagination and linguistic play, Nowhere begins by chronicling the pain that the speaker and her absent father endure during the years they are separated while he is in prison. The alternative universe the speaker builds in order to survive this complex loss and its aftermath sees her experimenting with her body to try to build connection, giving it away to careless and indifferent lovers as she dreams of consuming them in the search for a coherent self. But can the speaker voice her trauma and disjunction? Can anyone, or is suffering something that cannot be said, but only hinted at? Ultimately the book argues that the barest hour of suffering can be the source of immense creative power and energy, which is the speaker's highest form of consolation.

Katie Marya is a writer and literary translator. Her debut poetry collection Sugar Work was the Editor's Choice for the Alice James Book Award and was published in June 2022. She lives in Lincoln, NE where she is finishing a PhD in Creative Writing and working on a second book. 

“Marya's debut lands in the gorgeous, messy place where the sacred and profane overlap. Sugar Work has a compelling narrative bent and generous eyes, stunning in its southern reality and recognition of suffering and work. Marya is a psychologically astute poet, a bright new talent in touch with her own humanity and that of others—allowing strippers dignity on stage, and looking upon addicts and her own young self with nuance and compassion.”
—Megan Mayhew Bergman

“Sugar Work demonstrates the astonishing resilience of the writer’s psyche, and makes deeply American poetry out of the strip club, the born-again, the mob trial, the Vegas sun, and most tenderly, of the mother’s body revealed, concealed, loved and examined under the watchful eye of a truly gifted writer.  These are rigorous, vivid, memorable poems and this book is a remarkable and important debut.”
—Mark Wunderlich

“Whitman’s image of the crescent moon ‘carry[ing] its own full mother in its belly’ could describe the creative labor in Katie Marya’s debut collection. In Sugar Work, Marya captures the child’s awe while carrying the mother as myth and memory. It’s work, but sweet, the way any blues is sweet. As the child becomes an adult, her mother—imago now—weighs differently on the mind. These poems have a captivating intensity of beauty and care.”
—Gregory Pardlo

Kate Gaskin is the author of Forever War (YesYes Books 2020), winner of the Pamet River Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Guernica, and Ploughshares among others, and her work has been anthologized in the 2019 Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2022 she was a recipient of the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award sponsored by Poets & Writers. Currently, she is a poetry editor for The Adroit Journal.

In Kate Gaskin’s compelling debut collection, Forever War, the poet offers readers an intimateview of what a military marriage is not; these are poems that disrupt consoling narratives about life on the home front, deployments and redeployments, reunions, and the soldier’s reentry into the civilian sphere. From our current military campaigns to a striking sequence about Vietnam, Gaskin confronts the seemingly infinite cycle of war in which we seem to have found ourselves,what she calls “the same / Groundhog Day of special ops / humping across dry lands / most Americans could never name.” In these poems, the military spouse articulates the indifference of many American civilians—“There are no explosions here,” she says, “only people shrugging / into the cold.”—and voices the grief of knowing that her husband’s “first marriage / is to the sky,” and, worse still, that her own speech must be burdened with “the dumb and bloody language” of war.


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