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Avid Poetry Series: Michael Dumanis in Conversation with Sabrina Orah Mark for Creature

Creature by Michael Dumanis
Event date: 
Thursday, February 22, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event Location

Avid Bookshop invites the public to an author event and book signing with Michael Dumanis in celebration of his book of poetry, Creature. This event is on Thursday, February 22, 2024, from 7pm-8pm at Avid Bookshop. Michael Dumanis will be in conversation with local poet and author Sabrina Orah Mark. There will be a signing after the discussion.

For accessibility requests, contact Please submit your request at least two weeks before the event.


"Creature is a brilliant book, a gift that fills needs we didn’t know we needed. At the crux of it is a voice that refuses to be nailed down to some single identity, a craft so capacious it evades even as it seduces. What Michael Dumanis manages in these poems is the variety and diversity inherent in any life when the one who’s living it is willing to pay attention: “I am solid gold, I say, and I am capable/of loving you until the final asteroid/hides Omaha under an ocean of ash,/but you’re unavailable.” This book is a word-drunk movement.  I am so envious that I didn’t write it." -Jericho Brown

Michael Dumanis’s Creature is the poetry book this year you have to read. Steeped in issues of morality, mortality, plasticity, and existence itself, Dumanis paints a picture of life that is as breathtakingly beautiful as it is terrifying. Just as Dumanis writes, “There’s more beyond / but not too much,” the book asks us over and over again what it means to be a living thing and the answer we are given is not simple or easy to swallow. Each poem’s landscape of perfectly chosen and placed language is a land to wish upon. For just as “Everything will be taken away before it’s handed back,” Creature tells us there is hope after loss, even if it is fractured. There is hope in this book, too, as it speaks: “I forget my life, but then I remember my life.” After all, there is poetry still to write which replaces the silence of death: “When I grow up, I do not want to be a headstone./ When I grow up, I want to be a book.” There’s no doubt that Creature contains the real poetry we have been waiting for for a very long time. Read it and feel your spirit cleansed with the truth of our present and our future—”we, who are about/ to steer our dinghy/ into the open sea.” -Dorothea Lasky


Michael Dumanis was born in the former Soviet Union and lived there until his parents were granted political asylum in the United States. He holds a BA from Johns Hopkins, an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD from the University of Houston. The author of My Soviet Union, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the co-editor of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century, he is the recipient of the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. He lives in Vermont, where he teaches at Bennington College and serves as editor of Bennington Review.


Raised in Brooklyn, NY, Sabrina Orah Mark earned a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University. She also earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD in English from the University of Georgia. She is the author of the poetry collections Tsim Tsum and The Babies (winner of the Saturnalia Book Prize). Her collection of stories, Wild Milk, won the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Short Story and was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction.  Happily, her collection of essays on fairy tales and motherhood which began as a monthly column in The Paris Review, was recently published by Random House.  Mark’s awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center, and a Creative Capital Award. In addition to teaching private workshops she currently teaches nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for the Bennington Writing Seminars. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Reginald McKnight, and their two sons.  You can read more about her here:

Creature (Stahlecker Selections) By Michael Dumanis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781954245761
Availability: May be on our shelves (or available in 5-10 business days)
Published: Four Way Books - September 15th, 2023

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Happily: A Personal History-with Fairy Tales By Sabrina Orah Mark Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593242476
Availability: May be on our shelves (or available in 5-10 business days)
Published: Random House - March 14th, 2023