S298. Writing the Disaster: The Poetics of Extremity

E143-144, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Being in the world means having things happen to you. Life “chafes its puckered index at us” (Hart Crane), opening the mind, corroding the body. Disability, suicide, murder, natural disaster, and personal experience can be traumatic. How writers write out of that extremity––thrive or perish––is moving instruction in survival. This panel of poets have all shown a profound responsivity to conditions of extremity. They share their stories, showing how they survived with, through, and against writing.



Matthew Cooperman is the author of five books of poetry, including, most recently, Spool, and the text-and-image collaboration Imago for the Fallen World. A collaboration—NOS with Aby Kaupang—is forthcoming. A poetry coeditor of Colorado Review, he is Professor of English at Colorado State University

Nicole Cooley is the author of a novel and six books of poems, including most recently Of Marriage. She is the director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY.

Aby Kaupang is the author of NOS, disorder not otherwise specified, Disorder 299.00, & Little “g” God Grows Tired of Me. She holds master’s degrees in both CW & Occupational Therapy & served as Fort Collins' Poet Laureate from '15–'17.

Matt Rasmussen is the author of Black Aperture, which won the 2013 Walt Whitman Award and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize and the 2015 Holmes Poetry Prize from Princeton University, he is a founding editor of the independent poetry press Birds, LLC.

Brian Turner.

February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center