Home > Editor’s Note > The Launch of AGNI 97
Published: Wed Apr 5 2023
Art by Jin Suk
On Poetry On Fiction On Nonfiction
The Launch of AGNI 97

Monday, April 24th, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. EDT  ** **

In-person at Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon St., Boston

AGNI celebrates its NINETY-SEVENTH issue with readings by six contributors, some joining us live, some virtually:

> Danez Smith:                             Celebrated poet and author of four books, including Don’t Call Us Dead, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and a finalist for the National Book Award.

> Courtney Sender:                      Author of the story collection In Other Lifetimes All I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me, called “a deep and howling portrait of longing and loneliness” (The Boston Globe).

> Kai Maristed:                             Novelist, translator, and PEN/Hemingway Award finalist assesses the loss and legacy of her enigmatic father in an AGNI 97 essay.

> Ishion Hutchinson:                    Jamaican-born poet described as a “master of unexpected harmonies”—and, for his nonfiction, a recent recipient of the Susannah Hunnewell Prize—reads from his forthcoming collection of essays.

> Kim Garcia:                               Boston-based poet and author of The Brighter House, winner of the White Pine Poetry Prize.

> Anna Mazhirov:                        Ukrainian-American emerging writer whose story in AGNI 97 marks her first publication.

The evening will also feature live music by Boston-area poet and vocalist Charles Coe, who sings blues, funk, and gospel.

Our release party follows.

The spring issue includes fiction by Garielle Lutz, Via Bleidner, and Anna Badkhen; nonfiction by Tessa Fontaine, Benjamin Swett, and Anne Barngrover; poems by Kwame Dawes, Colin Channer, Nicole W. Lee, Hailey Leithauser, and John Yau; and hybrid work by Nick Flynn and Mandy Guttmann-Gonzalez. Cover artist Salman Toor’s opulent colors and imperiled undertones set the atmosphere.

Danez Smith is the author of four poetry collections, including Bluff (forthcoming 2024), Homie (2020), and Don’t Call Us Dead (2017), all from Graywolf Press. Their poetry and prose have been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, The**Best American Poetry, and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith’s work has received the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and has been a finalist for the NAACP Image Award in Poetry, the National Book Critic Circle Award, and the National Book Award. Former cohost of the Webby-nominated podcast VS (versus) and a member of the Dark Noise Collective, they live in Minneapolis near their people.

Courtney Sender is the author of In Other Lifetimes All I’ve Lost Comes Back to Me (March 2023, West Virginia University Press), called “a deep and howling portrait of longing and loneliness” by The Boston Globe. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times’Modern Love column, The Atlantic, and Slate. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and an MTS from Harvard Divinity School.

Ishion Hutchinson is the author of the poetry collections School of Instructions (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023), House of Lords and Commons (FSG, 2016), and Far District (Peepal Tree Press, 2010). Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, he directs the graduate writing program at Cornell University.

Kai Maristed is the author of the novels Broken Ground (Counterpoint, 2003), Fall (Random House, 1996), and Out After Dark (Permanent Press, 1993), finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, as well as the story collection Belong to Me (Random House, 1998). Her stories and essays have recently appeared in The Iowa Review, Epiphany, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is a playwright and translator, with a new translation and adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s Lulu currently in development.

Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House (White Pine Press, 2021), DRONE (The Backwaters Press, 2016), Madonna Magdalene (Turning Point Books, 2016), and a chapbook, Tales of the Sisters (Sow’s Ear, 2016). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Boston College.

Anna Mazhirov received her MFA in fiction from Syracuse University. “Colors” is her first published story. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Poet and vocalist Charles Coe sings blues, funk, and gospel and recites his original poetry for the Symphony of Crickets ensemble, organized by reed player and composer Ken Field. He has also sung with the New Orleans–style jazz and funk group Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble and plays and teaches the didgeridoo. His four books of poems include All Sins Forgiven: Poems for my Parents, Picnic on the Moon, Memento Mori, and the recently released Purgatory Road, all published by Leapfrog Press. E. Ethelbert Miller, co-editor of Poet Lore, says, “Coe writes like a man with polished wings, flying above it all while watching the high and low tides of life.”

Free and open to the public!  Contact us for accessibility or other questions: agni@bu.edu

Monday, April 24th, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. EDT  ** **


Goethe-Institut Boston, 170 Beacon St., Boston

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By the AGNI staff.

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