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Ethna McKiernan Book Launch

August 6, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Ethna McKiernan Book Launch, cover art for 5th book of poetry.

A READING and book signing to celebrate the publication of Light Rolling Slowly Backwards: New & Selected Poems by Ethna McKiernan

Readers: Ethna McKiernan with Peg Flanagan, Tom Murtha, and James Rogers

Reception begins at 7:30 pm. The reading begins at 8:00 pm. Copies of Light Rolling Slowly Backwards will be available for purchase.

Light Rolling Slowly Backwards is Ethna McKiernan’s fifth and most ambitious collection of poetry. McKiernan, who has a gift for metaphor, gives us 120 poems in her latest volume, a third of which are new. Her work, which some critics have compared to Mary Oliver and Adrienne Rich, ranges from the hilarious (police arrest her girl scout troupe of 13-year olds prancing in nighties at midnight on a Chicago street) to an elegy for George Floyd (where she tosses a “grenade of grief up to the sky”) to “The Radiation Room” where she compares the light beams sweeping her body for cancer to the reassuring twinkle of winter constellations overhead and “everyone she’s ever loved.”

Ethna McKiernan has been twice awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant in poetry. Her first book, Caravan, was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award and her work has been widely anthologized, including in The Notre Dame Book of Irish American Poetry, 33 Minnesota Poets, and more. McKiernan holds an MFA from Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her fourth book, Swimming With Shadows, was published by Salmon Poetry (Ireland) in 2019. McKiernan works in Street Outreach for a non-profit serving the Minneapolis homeless population. In an earlier life, she was CEO of Irish Books and Media, Inc., a school bus driver, and a grape picker in France.


August 6, 2021
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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The Celtic Junction
836 Prior Ave North
Saint Paul, MN 55104 United States
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