Poetry Reading & Book Signing with Afaa M. Weaver

october, 2023

15oct2:00 pmFeaturedPoetry Reading & Book Signing with Afaa M. WeaverThe Hickory Stick Bookshop2:00 pm Hickory Stick Bookshop, 2 Green Hill Road Washington Depot, CT 06793

Event Details

The Hickory Stick Bookshop is delighted to welcome poet Afaa M. Weaver who will be here to do a reading and sign copies of his latest book of poetry called “A Fire in The Hills” on Sunday October 15th at 2:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. If you are unable to attend this event, you may reserve signed copies of “A Fire In The Hills” by calling The Hickory Stick Bookshop at (860) 868 0525, or shop our website 24/7 at www.hickorystickbookshop.com.

In “A Fire in the Hills”, Afaa focuses on one of the central threads in his body of work. His ongoing project of an articulation of self in relation to the external landscape of the community and the world and the writing of spirit through those revelations of sublimation of self gives way here to a material focus. The racial references are explicit as are the complexities of life lived as a Black man born in America in the mid-twentieth century. These are poems emanating from an attempt to follow Daoist philosophy for most of his life. Knowledge of other is in relation to knowledge of self, and self is an illusory continuum, a perspective wherein the poet embodies the transcendent arc of Malcolm X’s life as credo.

Weaver, a poet, playwright, and translator, is the author of numerous poetry collections, including “A Fire in the Hills” (Red Hen Press, 2023). He is the recipient of the May Sarton Award, a Pew Fellowship, a Fulbright scholarship, and the Gold Friendship Medal from the Beijing Writers’ Association; was the first African American poet to serve as Poet-in-Residence at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts; and held an endowed chair at Simmons College for twenty years. He has been on the faculty at Cave Canem since its inception, becoming its first elder in 1998.

Academy Chancellor Kwame Dawes observes of Weaver: “For over three decades, Afaa Michael Weaver has quietly and without fanfare put together a tremendous body of work that has allowed us to see the America of the last half century in all its upheavals and transformations as it contends with the meaning of freedom and justice. He combines his rootedness in the African American poetic with a fierce commitment to the idea of belonging despite America’s long history of willfully deferring the dream of liberty, to, in effect, compel the nation to expand its understanding of itself and to embrace a more capacious sense of its constitution. And in so doing, Weaver has achieved something that only a few poets, most notably Joseph Millard and Philip Levine, have in the last few decades, which is to engage the idea of a working-class sensibility, not as a limitation, but as an opportunity to create art of depth, sophistication, and spiritual power. Afaa Michael Weaver is a major and necessary American voice.”

Earlier in September Weaver received the Wallace Stevens Award, which is given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. The award carries a stipend of $100,000. Recipients are nominated and elected by the Academy’s Board of Chancellors.

The splendid “A Fire in the Hills” holds lyrical inventories, telepathic persona poems, “southern chants for spells,” “spinning top hairdos,” and invented forms. Afaa Weaver can write any kind of poem you can imagine. He is our black nonconforming formalist breaking free of form to shape a spirit of witness. He is both our sage bear-poet of wisdom and our wily fox-poet of mischief. He’s been writing long enough to resist all classifications except that of Master Poet.
–Terrance Hayes, winner of the 2019 Hurston/Wright Award for American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Artist photo credit – Catherine Laine


(Sunday) 2:00 pm


Hickory Stick Bookshop

2 Green Hill Road Washington Depot, CT 06793