On Friday, November 12, from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Rochester poet Jean Prokott will be at the new Garden Party Books (602 7th St NW) for a poetry reading and book signing. Jean was awarded the 2021 Howling Bird Press Poetry Prize for The Second Longest Day of the Year from among more than two hundred submissions received from across the country. Prokott will be joined by local poets and writers, Sue McMillan (Rochester poet laureate), Lisa Higgs, Pamela Sinicrope, and Melissa Brandt, who will read a few poems to open the evening. Light food and refreshments will be provided.
The Second Longest Day of the Year tackles a variety of subjects, such as mental health, the pandemic, women’s rights, and even our famous corn tower, with notes of both seriousness and humor. “I see the book as a reflection of the inner vs. outer selves we experience day-by-day, hour-by-hour,” Prokott says. “Each of us goes from trying to understand, existentially, who we are, what our place is, what grief does to us—while at the same time trying to understand the same things from a political perspective. The collection moves between how our personal experience defines us as much as how political culture defines us.”
According to Sierra DeMulder, author of Today Means Amen, “The Second Longest Day of the Year offers us a poetic landscape that is easily entered but not lightly forgotten. Jean Prokott’s writing is agile. It moves gracefully from a stark wittiness and conversational observations to unforgettable imagery evoking the true palpability of grief. You’ll find yourself pausing between pages to reflect and revel; to mourn or query; to grow and keep going.”
The Second Longest Day of the Year will be available for purchase at Garden Party Books. Negative Covid test or proof of vaccination are required to attend.
Jean Prokott has work published or forthcoming in Arts & Letters, Angel City Review, Anomaly, and Adirondack Review, among other journals; she is a recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a recipient of the Joan Ramseyer Poetry Award, a finalist for the RHINO Founder’s Prize, and a finalist for the Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize. She has an MFA from Minnesota State University Mankato and a Master of Science in Education.
Howling Bird Press is a student-run publishing house at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The press launched in 2014 and is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Augsburg University: www.augsburg.edu/mfa. For additional information, please contact Jim Cihlar, publisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook and Instagram: @howlingbirdpress Twitter: @HowlingBirdPrs