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Pittsburgh Launch: "Show Us Your Papers" Anthology

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Contributors to the new anthology from Main Street Rag, "Show Us Your Papers," share their poetry in the Pittsburgh book launch.

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Join us for the Pittsburgh launch of the Show Us Your Papers poetry anthology! Featuring readings from Denise Duhamel, Julie Marie Wade, Liz Ahl, Nancy Krygowski, Doralee Brooks, Kayla Sargeson, Ellen McGrath Smith, Halsey Hyer, Sarah Williams-Devereux, and Valerie Bacharach, as well as the editors Cherise A. Pollard, Daniela Buccilli, and Wendy Scott.

Copies of Show Us Your Papers are available here on Main Street Rag's website. Our ready-to-ship website also has a wide selection of recommended and best-selling books, store merch, book subscription boxes, and more. You can request specific books you don't see on the site through this form, too. All orders ship from our store in Pittsburgh.

You can also purchase several of these contributors' books on our Bookshop.org list for recent and upcoming events. Check out our curated lists and picks on our main Bookshop.org affiliate page, or use the search bar in the upper center-right to look for any book. (Using the book's ISBN usually works best.)

This event will be hosted on Zoom. You'll receive the link to the Zoom meeting the day of the event via email. Free registration/ticket sales will end at 6:30pm ET on 1/29. Please email events@whitewhalebookstore.com if you miss this cut-off and need a ticket. For questions, check out our FAQ for events here.

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About Show Us Your Papers:

Show Us Your Papers speaks to a crisis of identity and belonging, to an increasing sense of vulnerability amid rapid changes in the USA. While corporations wait to assign us a number, here are 81 poets who demand full identities, richer than those allowed by documents of every sort. Here are poems of immigration and concentration camps, of refugees and wills, marriage and divorce, of lost correspondence and found parents, of identity theft and medical charts. In an era where the databases multiply, where politicians and tech companies sort us into endless categories, identifying documents serve as thumbtacks. They freeze the dancing, lurching, rising and falling experience of our lives. The disconnect between our documents and our identities is inherent, reductive, frustrating, and, too often, dangerous. Yet we cannot live without them. In this anthology 81 poets offer a richer sense of our lives and histories—richer than any “official paper” allows. These lyric and narrative forms demand that readers recognize our full identities: personal, familial, national, and historical.

About the readers:

Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry is Second Story (Pittsburgh, 2021). Her other titles include Scald; Blowout; Ka-Ching!; Two and Two; Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems; The Star-Spangled Banner; and Kinky. She and Maureen Seaton have co-authored four collections, the most recent of which is CAPRICE (Collaborations: Collected, Uncollected, and New) (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). And she and Julie Marie Wade co-authored The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose (Noctuary Press, 2019). She is a Distinguished University Professor in the MFA program at Florida International University in Miami.

Julie Marie Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published 12 collections of poetry and prose, most recently the book-length lyric essay, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing (The Ohio State University Press, 2020) and the hybrid-forms chapbook, P*R*I*D*E (VCFA/Hunger Mountain, 2020) as well as a collaborative collection of essays, The Unrhymables (Noctuary Press, 2019) with Denise Duhamel. A winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir, Julie makes her home in Dania Beach with her spouse Angie Griffin and their two cats.

Liz Ahl is the author of Beating the Bounds (Hobblebush Books, 2017), Home Economics (Seven Kitchens Press, 2016), Talking About the Weather (Seven Kitchens Press, 2012), Luck (Pecan Grove Press, 2010), and A Thirst That’s Partly Mine (winner of the 2008 Slapering Hol Press chapbook contest). Her poems have appeared recently in Naugatuck River Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, Atticus Review, and Nimrod, among others. She has been awarded residencies at Playa, Jentel, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Holderness, New Hampshire.

Nancy Krygowski is the author of The Woman in the Corner (University of Pittsburgh Press) which was named one of the top 100 (or so) books of poetry for 2020 by Library Journal. Her first book, Velocity, won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Nancy teaches English to refugees and immigrants in addition to leading poetry workshops at Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic writing program

Doralee Brooks lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where she teaches at the Community College of Allegheny County and chairs the Developmental Studies Department. She also teaches for the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops at Carlow University. Doralee is a fellow of the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project (95) and Cave Canem (97 and 99). She holds an MFA from Carlow University. Her poems have appeared in Voices from the Attic, Paterson Literary Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Dos Passos Review among others. Doralee’s chapbook, When I Hold You Up to the Light, won the 2019 Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Contest published by Main Street Rag.

Kayla Sargeson is the author of the full-length collection First Red (Main Street Rag, 2016) and the chapbooks BLAZE (Main Street Rag, 2015) and Mini Love Gun (Main Street Rag, 2013). With Lisa Alexander, she co-curates the Laser Cat reading series. Sargeson lives in Pittsburgh where she teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University and the Community College of Allegheny County.

Ellen McGrath Smith teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and in the Carlow University Madwomen in the Attic program. Her poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The American Poetry Review, Talking Writing, Los Angeles Review, and other journals and anthologies. Books include Scatter, Feed (Seven Kitchens 2014) and Nobody's Jackknife (West End Press 2015).

Halsey Hyer is earning their MFA in Poetry at Florida International University while assistant teaching in the Writing & Rhetoric Program. They’re an Editor for Seven Kitchens Press, Associate Editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, member & mentor of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops, and collective member of The Big Idea Bookstore. Their poem, "Boy Wears Bra," was selected as a finalist for the 2021 James Hearst Poetry Prize. Their poems can be found or are forthcoming in North American Review, Rappahannock Review, The Blue Nib, Voices From the Attic XXV, and elsewhere.

Valerie Bacharach received her MFA from Carlow University. She is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic poetry workshops. Her writing has appeared or will appear in the following publications: Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Uppagus, Voices from the Attic, The Ekphrastic Review, Talking/Writing, Rogue Agent, and Vox Viola. Her chapbook, Fireweed, was published in August 2018 by Main Street Rag. Her second chapbook, Ghost-Mother, will be published by Finishing Line Press.

Sarah Williams-Devereux is a poet and teacher of writing. Her poetry appears in the journals F(r)ictionLog, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art & Healing, Sampsonia Way Magazine, and Pittsburgh City Paper; in the anthologies Show Us Your Papers (Main Street Rag, 2020), Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just Me? Women Over 40 Write on Aging (Social Justice Anthologies, 2020), Nasty Women & Bad Hombres (Lascaux Editions, 2017), Pittsburgh Love Stories (The New Yinzer, 2004), and multiple volumes of Voices from the Attic (Carlow University Press); and on WESA-FM’s Prosody. She is currently working on a poem to be installed in 2022 on the North Main Street Bridge in Greensburg, PA, as part of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art’s Bridging the Gap public art project. She teaches poetry workshops for the Madwomen in the Attic program at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA, and is managing editor of Voices from the Attic, their annual anthology. Certified in writing group leadership from Amherst Writers & Artists, she is pursuing an MA in teaching writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Cherise A. Pollard, Ph.D., is Professor of English and Director of the Poetry Center at West Chester University of PA. A Cave Canem and Callaloo Fellow, Pollard was awarded a grant from the Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund. Her work has appeared in several journals including 5AM, Affilia: The Journal of Women in Social Work, African American Review, Connotations Press, The Healing Muse, The Mom Egg, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, PoemMemoirStory, and Rattle. Her poem, “Sugar Babe” was a Finalist for the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. Her chapbook, Outsiders, was chosen by C.M. Burroughs as the winner of the 2015 Susan K. Collins/Mississippi Valley Chapbook Contest sponsored by the Midwest Writing Center. Along with Wendy Scott Paff and Daniela Buccilli, Pollard is co-editor of the Show Us Your Papers poetry anthology (Main Street Rag Press, 2020)

Daniela Buccilli's chapbook is What it Takes to Carry (Main Street Rag, 2019). Some of her poems can be found in Pennsylvania English, Coal River Review, Paterson Literary Review, Cimarron Review, and Italian Americana, and in anthologies. She holds degrees from Penn State (education), University of Pittsburgh (fiction), and Carlow University (poetry). Besides being a co-editor for Show Us Your Papers, she has mentored with the Madwomen in the Attic, read for Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and taught and unionized in public high schools.

Wendy Scott's book is a 2020 Neruda Poetry Prize Semi-Finalist. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Nimrod International Journal, New Letters, and Green Mountains Review, and many others. Her book, Soon I Will Build an Ark, was published by Main Street Rag in 2014. Wendy Scott is an editor of the Pittsburgh Poetry Journal and has an MFA and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught writing at universities, elementary schools, and halfway houses. Scott is a proud member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing groups at Carlow University.

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