SPECTRA Release Party: Emily Kingery's “Invasives" at Rozz-Tox -- March 31.

Friday, March 31, 8 p.m.

Rozz-Tox, 2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island IL

Lauded by Midwest Writing Center founder and executive director Ryan Collins as "vivid in both its danger and humor," author and St. Ambrose University professor Emily Kingery's new chapbook Invasives will enjoy a reading and release party at Rock Island venue Rozz-Tox, the March 31 event also featuring readings by Kingery's fellow poets Melissa Estes, Lexi Birks, and Lola Nakashima Brooke.

Kingery is a poet and professor of English at St. Ambrose in Davenport, as well as a member of the Midwest Writing Center's board of directors, and her work appears widely in national journals. She has been selected for several honors and awards in poetry and prose, including the 2022 Laureate Prize and 2022 Pablo Neruda Prize, with Kingery's debut poetry chapbook Invasives a semi-finalist in the New Women’s Voices Series and a finalist at Harbor Editions and Thirty West Publishing House.

According to Like You author Beth Roberts, "In her Invasives, Emily Kingery exposes the exposed. Dirt bags and bright girls further prove that wet is light and dirt is dark – but it’s all intimate, none of it disposable, all necessary to the story. We think we know what story that is: it’s the one we always deserved, the always that needs us in it. Never only a small town. Never just a neighbor boy. These poems inhabit a body that is all will, and willing to be more. 'We had visions more necessary than eyes,' Kingery says. To visualize with her is to see, ever more clearly, how we got here."

Ryan Collins, meanwhile, states, "Invasives achieves a rare feat for a chapbook: it not only creates a world, but it renders an entire life heart-beating through that world, propelled through nights of adolescent self-destruction, defying easy notions of virtue toward a tougher kind of grace. Vivid in both its danger and humor, risk and abandon here are channeled through deft formal execution and booming lyricism, opening up poems that deliver not only a brilliant story, but a thrilling, consuming experience. The characters and incidents intersecting this story are animated and bound together by a tenderness toward the difficulties encountered ('secrets no more than / hands changing color in cold') as a necessity to acquire the vision and wisdom extending through these poems, like the end of a sunset under an endless Midwestern sky.”

The SPECTRA release party for Emily Kingery's Invasives takes place on March 31, the doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. event, and donations to the free reading are welcome. Copies of Kingery's chapbook will be available for purchase, and more information on the night is available by contacting the Midwest Writing Center at (309)732-7330 and MWCQC.org.

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