University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems: A Reading by Beatrix Gates

The Burning Key: New & Selected Poems: A Reading by Beatrix Gates

October 18, 2023

6:00 pm

Longfellow Books, Portland, ME

Free and open to the public.

Join us for a reading from The Burning Key, New & Selected Poems (1973-2023) (Thera Books 2023) by Beatrix Gates, award-winning poet, book artist, and lesbian feminist publisher. Gates, founder of Granite Press (Penobscot, Maine, 1975-1989) and hopalong press (Monterey, Massachusetts, 1973-1975) will be in conversation with Jennifer Tuttle, director of the Maine Women Writers Collection at the University of New England.

The Burning Key highlights LGBTQ+ stories of love, loss, and activism, combining Gates’ new work, poetry from limited editions, and selections from published books. The poems become a meditation on hope as resistance. Gates will read from poems juxtaposing story and song across the years speaking to many kinds of kinship, love and family that mark the power of survival as a form of joy. Gates’s literary legacy lies in her unflinching awareness that brings wounds to surface and violence to account, commemorating necessary truths with clear-eyed accuracy. The poems offer testimony to sustaining intimate relationships and bridging intergenerational social movements, and the voices needed for these stories connect through the poet’s eyes, mind, and heart. Gates says, “I have a need to connect and stay curious. Connecting is about survival in dealing with the world.”As a pioneer in the Women-in-Print movement of lesbian writers and artists, Gates will also speak to the role of lesbian feminist publishing in Maine and nationally. The reading and conversation will provide insight into the poetry at the core of so much progressive action in the past half-century and continuing in the present.

More information on the Longfellow Books website.