Book Launch for Jose Padua’s A Short History of Monsters, hosted by Silvana Straw

Wednesday, April 24th 6:30pm, at Kramerbooks, Washington DC
Jose Padua book launch at Kramerbooks, April 24, 6:30 PM

“We are the happy riders on the stream of Padua’s consciousness . . . a smart, sympathetic mind at work.”
—Billy Collins

Drawing on the spirit of New York City in decades past, A Short History of Monsters presents the sins and obsessions of a poet nimble in beat and slam traditions. In his full-length colletion, Jose Padua wrestles with an American dream interrupted by failure, excess, and other nightmares. Often brash and unruly, these poems range from recollections of lost, drunken days to unadorned manifestations of hope. Throughout, the speaker redefines his relationship to pop culture, praising it, skewering it, and mourning it by turns.

The poems that make up A Short History of Monsters tend toward both dark humor and epiphany, diving deeply into their own despair and rising up again with existential absurdity. This is a poetry that gets down into the grit and grime of the real world, digging out a space to experience being alive as miraculous in and of itself.

About the Author:
Jose Padua’s first full length book, A Short History of Monsters, was chosen by former poet laureate Billy Collins as the winner of the 2019 Miller Williams Poetry Prize and is now out from the University of Arkansas Press. His poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in publications such as Bomb, Salon.com, Beloit Poetry Journal, Exquisite Corpse, Another Chicago Magazine, Unberables, Crimes of the Beats, Up is Up, but So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene, 1974-1992, and others. He has written features and reviews for Salon, The Weeklings, NYPress, Washington City Paper, the Brooklyn Rail, and the New York Times, and has read his work at Lollapalooza, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Public Theater, the Living Theater, the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe, the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and many other venues. He was a featured reader at the 2012 Split This Rock poetry festival and won the New Guard Review’s 2014 Knightville Poetry Prize.

About the Moderator:
Silvana Straw is a writer, performer and cultural organizer. She has performed and produced shows in venues including GALA Theater, The Kennedy Center and the Nuyorian Poets Cafe. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Huffington Post, Gargoyle, Conversations Across Borders, and on the Library of Congress podcast, The Poets and Poem.

Click here to see the listing at Kramerbooks.

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8 responses to “Book Launch for Jose Padua’s A Short History of Monsters, hosted by Silvana Straw

  1. YAY! Jose’s book is out!

  2. Wow. I’d like to come to this. Getting there would be a herculean effort. How long will they let you read for?

    • shenandoahbreakdown

      wow, that would be cool! It’ll probably only be about an hour and a half program at the most, though. I do want to try to read in Pennsylvania sometime, maybe at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg or maybe somewhere in Lanacaster…

      • I’d definitely make the midtown scholar. I put Kramerbooks on my calendar. I’ll see what’s going on that week. You moved back to dc?

      • shenandoahbreakdown

        cool! yes, we’re in DC again, though we still have our house in the Shenandoah Valley, too–for now, anyway…

  3. Won’t see you on Wednesday. Please let me know when you’re at the midtown scholar.

    • shenandoahbreakdown

      sorry you can’t make it–will let you know about Midtown Scholar (have been in touch with them, and will try to work something out)

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