The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative
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PLACE BASED: Two young writers inspired by the land

LeahGreen

JoshGarrettDavis

PLACE BASED: Two young writers inspired by the land

What: A reading with poet Leah Naomi Green (The Ones We Have) and author Josh Garrett-Davis (GhostDances: Proving Up on the Great Plains)

When: Friday, October 19, 6pm, with a reception to follow

Where: The Bridge, PAI 209 Monticello Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902

On Friday, October 19, the Bridge PAI is pleased to host poet Leah Naomi Green, whose first chapbook of poems won the 2012 Flying Trout Press Award and was published this month by the press, and author Josh Garrett-Davis, whose first book, Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains came out in August from Little, Brown. Green’s lucid verse about the small moments that give larger meaning to life draw on her experiences living on an intentional community outside of Lexington, Virginia with her partner, Ben. Her work is reminiscent writers as fine as Verlyn Klinkenborg, Wendell Berry, and Mary Oliver, and when Green looks at the world around her she uses it to access a world within herself and, via her poems, her readers as well. Josh Garrett-Davis also writes about place. In his case, the bleak landscape of South Dakota where he grew up, the only son of two East Coast back-to-the-landers. Garrett-Davis weaves the history of these Great Plains into the narrative of his experiences as a kid who just wanted to listen to punk music and move to New York City. Of course, when he did get to New York, the Plains called him home. The result is this beautiful book which John Jeremiah Sullivan calls “beautifully open-spirited.” “Its ambition never steps on its sense of humor,” says Sullivan. “Garrett-Davis reads his own life as an extension of a landscape that both nurtured and tried to stunt it.” Says Martha Sandweiss, author of Passing Strange, “With Ghost Dances, Josh Garrett-Davis bursts on the literary scene like a fresh, punk-voices Wallace Stegner, weaving the story of his own coming of age, into the tangled history of the Great Plains.” Please join us October 19, at 6pm to hear these two talented young writers read from their work, and celebrate their books, the first of what are sure to be many to come.

Attached please find a high-resolution image of the cover of Ghost Dances, as well as images of Garrett-Davis and Green. The photo credit for Garrett-Davis’s headshot goes to Joshua Simpson.

Leah Naomi Green is the author of the chapbook The Ones We Have. Her poems have appeared, among other places, in The Squaw Valley Review and Dirtcakes Literary Journal.  She is the recipient of the Flying Trout Press Award, the Dirtcakes Poetry Award, the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize, and the UC Humanities Center International Travel Grant, among other honors.  She received her M.F.A. from the Poetry Workshop at The University of California, Irvine and teaches Writing and Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University. She lives in Rockbridge County, Virginia where she and her partner Ben grow food and homestead on 80 acres with a small community.

Josh Garrett-Davis was born and raised in South Dakota. His first book, Ghost Dances: Proving Up on the Great Plains, was published in August by Little, Brown. His essays have been published in Dislocate, South Dakota History, the Rumpus, Lapham’s Quarterly online, and The Iowa Review online. He received an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and is currently a PhD student in U.S. history at Princeton. He is also an unaccomplished musician.

For questions call Nell Boeschenstein at 434-249-3900 or email her at nellboeschenstein@gmail.com.