Join us for a reading with poet Gregg Shapiro and fiction writer Philip Dean Walker in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Week in DC!
According to Jericho Brown, in Gregg Shapiro's More Poems About Buildings and Food (Souvenir Spoon Books, 2019), the poet manages the feats of “fitting in, disappearing, hiding in one’s own grief and view of the world” which Brown describes as a "lovely little book". Of More Poems About Buildings and Food, Denise Duhamel says that reading his poems, “I felt like I was sitting in my friend’s kitchen, dishing about everything—Shapiro writing so beautifully what needs to be said.” Yes, there are poems about buildings and food in the book, the two subjects often appearing in the same poem. Alternately serious and humorous, Shapiro also writes about family, lovers and spiders.
PHILIP DEAN WALKER is a Class of 2000 graduate of Middlebury College (B.A. American Literature) and received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University in 2013. His first book, At Danceteria and Other Stories was cited by Kirkus Reviewsas a "Best Book of 2017," received from them a starred review, and was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. His newest collection, Read by Strangers, was again cited by Kirkus Reviews as a "Best Book of 2018" and also received a starred review. Walker was a general contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2016. His books have been taught in college courses from NYU to George Washington University.His work has appeared in several magazines, journals, and anthologies including Big Lucks, Collective Fallout, Jonathan, Callisto, Glitterwolf Magazine, theNewerYork, Anak Sastra, Carbon Culture Review, Lunch Reviewand Driftwood Press.He lives in Washington, D.C. and is currently at work on two new books.
READ BY STRANGERS is a collection of sixteen stories that explore the complexities of the human experience. From weary men seeking a ride back from a club but find themselves trapped to a woman addicted to a virtual reality game who is neglecting her newborn to a man whose fantasies about sleeping with his neighbor’s wife have begun to take over his life, the characters in each of these stories are enveloped in their commitment to their own person desires. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews noted that, "Walker’s scintillating stories crackle with frank sexuality and deadpan comedy. There’s a satirical edge to many of them, but they are always grounded in prose that’s realistic but extraordinarily vivid and even nightmarish…the result is a deep dissection of lives where the barriers to human connection can take on sometimes-comic, sometimes-monstrous proportions."