VIRTUAL EVENT: Join us online for a poetry reading and book launch for Santa Cruz Poet Laureate David Allen Sullivan's Black Butterflies Over Baghdad. David will be joined by Farnaz Fatemi, who will read her own poetry. Iraqi artist Hassan alnawar will introduce David and read one of the poems in Arabic. This event is cosponsored by the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, a Writer's Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz mountains that supports and inspires writers of all levels through their writers-in-residence programs.
Click here to watch the event! The featured book may be purchased below.
Word Works Books, the independent poetry publisher of this book, will be featuring a book giveaway. All who attend are eligible to win one of four special bundles!
A poem from Sullivan's Black Butterflies Over Baghdad, Word Works, 2021:
Up late with Yousif al-Timimi—former interpreter now living in Salt Lake City with his family—as the last candles pool I ask: What's the hardest thing you saw? He'd been called to Camp Taji's main gate about a suspicious package a woman was carrying. When he arrived she was clutching a crimped-over paper bag to her chest and the men were yelling at her with their AKs. He made them stand down, then approached, asked what she had. She slowly unrolled it. Inside, the head of her son. She was asking the American soldiers to help look for the body so she could bury him properly. Yousif says: As she talked she continued to stroke her son's hair.
Santa Cruz poet laureate David Sullivan's books include Strong-Armed Angels, Every Seed of the Pomegranate, a book of co-translation with Abbas Kadhim from the Arabic of Iraqi Adnan Al-Sayegh, Bombs Have Not Breakfasted Yet, and Black Ice. Most recently, he won the Mary Ballard Chapbook poetry prize for Take Wing, and published Black Butterflies Over Baghdad with Word Works Books. He teaches at Cabrillo College, where he edits the Porter Gulch Review with his students. He lives in Santa Cruz with his family. Read more on his website. His poet laureate project is Agents of Change: A Collaborative Art & Poetry Project, where local artists submit their work, and local poets write about it.
A poem by Farnaz Fatemi from How to Love the World, edited by James Crews:
Everything Is Made of Labor
The inchworm's trajectory:
pulse of Impulse. The worm
is tender. It won't live
long. Its green glows.
It found a place to go.
Arrange us with meaning,
the words plead. Find the thread
through the dark.
Farnaz Fatemi is a founding member of The Hive Poetry Collective in Santa Cruz County. Her first book, Sister Tongue, was selected by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith as winner of the Wick Poetry Prize and will be published in 2022 by Kent State University Press. Farnaz's poetry and prose appear in Catamaran Literary Reader, Crab Orchard Review, Grist Journal, SWWIM Daily, Tahoma Literary Review, and several anthologies, including Essential Voices: Poetry of Iran and its Diaspora and How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope. She has been an artist in residence at Djerassi Resident Artist Program, PLSYA, Willapa Bay AiR, Marble House Project, and I-Park Foundation. Farnaz taught Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, from 1997-2018. Read more on her website.
(Please note: This book cannot be returned.)