Thursday, October 18
EAST BAY BOOKSELLERS welcomes James Cagney to read from his poetry collection Black Steel Magnolias in the Hour of Chaos Theory on Thursday, October 18th at 7pm. He will be joined in conversation by Erica Dawson.
James Cagney was born in Oakland, Ca., 1968. He was named after his father, a retired forklift mechanic. His mother, Juanita, worked as a beautician and teaching supervisor at several local beauty schools. Raised an only child, James was 19 before being told he was adopted. In his biological family, he was youngest of six. James’ father was diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer the year he attempted to leave home for University. After his father’s death, he supported his mother and grandfather until their deaths. In those intervening years, James studied writing and poetry independently, via the public library, workshops and the abundant open mic scene in the Bay Area.
ERICA DAWSON is the author of two previous collections of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014), winner of the 2016 Poets’ Prize, and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser Press, 2007), winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Barrow Street; Bennington Review; three editions of Best American Poetry; Crazyhorse; Harvard Review; Life: 50 Poems Now; the Pushcart Prize XLII: Best of the Small Presses; Rebellion; Resistance; Virginia Quarterly Review; and numerous other journals and anthologies. She lives in Tampa, Florida, and is an associate professor at University of Tampa, where she also directs the low-residency MFA program.