9th Ave: Elizabeth Metzger with Ryann Stevenson and Brian Tierney

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 - 7:00pm

Cover of Elizabeth Metzger's new poetry collection, Lying In. The cover is a brown mustard color with a drawing of a bed in flames in the center. The title and author names are written in bright yellow, chalk-like type.
Join us on Wednesday, May 3 at 7pm PT when Elizabeth Metzger celebrates her latest collection, Lying In, at 9th Ave!
Featuring Ryann Stevenson and Brian Tierney

Masks Encouraged for In-Person Attendance
Or watch online at the link below


Praise for Lying In
“Elizabeth Metzger’s Lying In is a book orbiting sacrifice, orbiting the way(s) one generation gives life then gives way to the next. She writes, ‘In wildfire ash / I teach our son the alphabet.’ A finger writes letters in the dust of dead trees—what is missing, what is gone, becomes language, literally becomes the shapes from which language is formed. Later, Metzger writes, ‘I brought a weather with me // but it was not expectable / that he would stay this long,’ and I tremble. Really, there is something of Dickinson’s elemental shudder in Metzger’s lyric; I feel it in that deep molten core of me only real art can touch. ‘What vision can be given? / What visible is true?’ Lying In is brilliant, no bullshit. Elizabeth Metzger has become one of my favorite living poets.”—Kaveh Akbar

“Elizabeth Metzger’s Lying In is a brave book about what enormous things you will do for those you love. Told from the perspective of bedrest, the book uncovers and examines the pain and possibility we all hold within us while lying still. Within this book, poetry lies itself on its own spacious bed, telling us all about the very strangeness of being and what great energy it takes to bother to exist at all. Metzger writes, ‘Child I bend around you / like a boat. / If you live / do not blame the wave.’ Within these lines, we are all the children of poetry, left there wondering if someone will save us. This book will save us.”—Dorothea Lasky

About Lying In
A devastating, vulnerable collection tracing high-risk pregnancy and new motherhood amid grief.

“All my life all I’ve wanted was to be myself / and someone else,” writes Elizabeth Metzger. From the shadowy perspective of confinement, where the presence of death unsettles all outcomes, these poems examine an expansion and fracturing of the self—into motherhood as well as childhood, into past selves and future unknowns. The child becomes parent, the parent becomes child, the child arrives but in doing so is lost. New loss haunts new life, and life becomes “one or two lives.” The door is more valuable than the prize behind it.

With ambivalence as well as deep feeling, Metzger wonders how a single body can be expected to hold both immense joy and immense mourning, profound longing and creeping numbness, when one so often overtakes the other. She plunges into the darkness inside—of the gloomy room, the inner body, the afterlife and the pre-language mind—and sends back “a searchlight across the underworld,” Eurydice in search of herself.

Aching and contemplative, Lying In is an exquisite portrait of an in-between time—and of the person who emerges on the other side. “Isn’t it obvious how we’ve changed?”

About Elizabeth Metzger
Elizabeth Metzger is the author of Lying In, as well as and The Spirit Papers, winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook Bed. Her poems have been published in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and Poem-a-Day. Her essays have been published in Boston Review, Guernica, Conjunctions, PN Review, and Literary Hub, among others. She is a poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and she lives in California.

About Ryann Stevenson
Ryann Stevenson's
first book, Human Resources, was selected by Henri Cole for the 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in The Adroit JournalBennington ReviewThe Cortland ReviewDenver Quarterly, and Kenyon Review, among others. She lives in Oakland, California. 

About Brian Tierney
Brian Tierney
is the author of Rise and Float (Milkweed 2022), winner of the Jake Adam York Prize and finalist for The National Poetry Series. His poetry can be found in Paris Review, Kenyon Review, AGNI, NER, Los Angeles Review of Books, and others. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and a graduate of the Bennington College Writing Seminars, he lives in Oakland, Ca., where he teaches poetry at The Writing Salon.

Lying in: Poems By Elizabeth Metzger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781639550104
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Milkweed Editions - April 11th, 2023

A devastating, vulnerable collection tracing high-risk pregnancy and new motherhood amid grief.

Human Resources: Poems By Ryann Stevenson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571315182
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Milkweed Editions - June 14th, 2022

Winner of the Max Ritvo Poetry
Prize, Ryann Stevenson's Human Resources is a sobering and
perceptive portrait of technology's impact on connection and power.
Human Resources follows
a woman working in the male-dominated world of AI, designing women that don't
exist. In discerning verse, she workshops the

Rise and Float: Poems By Brian Tierney Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571315199
Availability: Click the TITLE to view store availability
Published: Milkweed Editions - February 8th, 2022

Chosen by Randall Mann as a winner of the Jake Adam York Prize, Brian Tierney's Rise and Float depicts the journey of a poet working--remarkably, miraculously--to make our most profound, private wounds visible on the page.

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