Antidote Books September Poetry Reading


We Sailed on the Lake, Bill Carty’s second collection of poetry, consists of lyrics of spiraling awareness. As a signal lamp, unused, mirrors the sky, these poems reflect approaching storms, near-misses, and the violence inherent in nature, country, and economy.

The poems in We Sailed on the Lake are closely observed, finding unexpected affinities within urban and natural environments alike. As one poem states, “to cross the lake / you’ve got to make each step / pertain to the water,” and these poems explore relationality in many forms, moving from gentrifying cities to coastal beaches, from the sculptures of antiquity to YouTube searches, cataloging passing days “of which light is the measure.”

Alternating longer, occasionally narrative poems with short lyrics, this collection plays with time and ideas of promise, from youth to parenthood, noting how the self negotiates the artifices, be they technological or of self-design, that infringe upon reality and experience.

Bill Carty is the author of Huge Cloudy (Octopus Books, 2019), which was long-listed for The Believer Book Award. His poems have appeared in the 32 Poems, Best American Poetry, Denver Quarterly, Iterant, jubilat, Kenyon Review, Paperbag, and other journalsHe has received poetry fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Artist Trust, Hugo House, and was awarded the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. Originally from coastal Maine, Bill now lives in Seattle, where he is Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest. He teaches at Hugo House, the UW Robinson Center for Young Scholars, and Edmonds College. 

The poems in Paul Hlava Ceballos’s debut collection banana [ ] reveal the extractive relationship the United States has with the Americas and its people through poetic portraits of migrants, family, and personal memories. At the heart of the book is a long poem that traces the history of bananas in Latin America using only found text from sources such as history books, declassified CIA documents, and commercials. The book includes collage, Ecuadorian decimas, a sonnet series in the voices of Incan royalty at the moment of colonization, and a long poem interspersed with photos and the author’s mother’s bilingual idioms. Traversing language and borders, history and story, traditional and invented forms, this book guides us beyond survival to love.

Paul Hlava Ceballos has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Artist Trust, and the Poets House. His work has been published in POETRYPleiadesTriquarterlyPoetry Northwest, and BOMB, among other journals and newspapers. His collaborative chapbook, Banana [ ] / we pilot the blood shares pages with Quenton Baker, Dr. Christina Sharpe, and Torkwase Dyson. He received his MFA from New York University and currently lives in Seattle.

Taking its title from Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Leslie Sainz’s Have You Been Long Enough at Table explores the personal and historical tragedies of the Cuban American experience through a distinctly feminine lens. Formally diverse with echoes of Spanish throughout, this debut collection critiques power and patriarchy as weaponized by the governments of the United States and the Republic of Cuba. In investigating the realities of displacement and inherited exile, Sainz honors her imagined past, present, and future as a result of the “revolution within the revolution”—the supposed emancipation of Cuban women.

Through lyric and associative meditations, Sainz anatomizes the unique grief of immigrant daughters, as her speakers discover how family can be a microcosm of the very violence that displaced them. What emerges is a spiritual blueprint for disinheritance, radical self-determination, and the nuanced examinations of myth, ritual, and resistance.

Leslie Sainz is the author of the debut poetry collection Have You Been Long Enough at Table, forthcoming from Tin House in September 2023. The daughter of Cuban exiles, she is the recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. A three-time National Poetry Series finalist, she’s received scholarships, fellowships, and honors from CantoMundo, the Miami Writers Institute, the Adroit Journal, and the Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts at Bucknell University. She is the managing editor of New England Review