Shara Lessley’s Two-Headed Nightingale
Welcome to Late Night Debut. This month we feature poet Shara Lessley’s debut collection, Two-Headed Nightingale. Shara’s collection has been described as a confluence between the natural world and the world of female performers, filled with things deviant, anatomical, and dark. “It’s a vision of the natural world that fuses the sensibilities of Audubon and Ernst Haeckel, the science illustrator, whose work often has a near-sci-fi vibe (lovely but alien),” poet Bruce Snider wrote in Poetry Magazine. “I especially love Lessley’s dark, scrutinizing nature poems about subjects as various as ghost moths, icebergs, and dead starlings, all rendered with a profound sense of their monstrous beauty.”
Act 1: Host Paul Martone covers controversial and entertaining book stories in the news
Act 2: Co-hosts Lucas Bernhardt and Sarah Seybold discuss Shara’s debut
Act 3: Paul catches up with Shara, who is currently working on her next manuscript and living with her family in Jordan
The performance is often a kind of annihilation. That’s part of the bleakness of it. Even taking a work of art which has been interpreted as a kind of positive expression of somebody making progress. There’s a fairly persistant message that self expression isn’t always what it seems. —Lucas Bernhardt on “Song for the Catatonic”
PURCHASE TWO-HEADED NIGHTINGALE HERE
About Shara Lessley:
Shara Lessley is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her awards include an Artist Fellowship from the State of North Carolina, the Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Colgate University’s O’Connor Fellowship, The Gilman School’s Tickner Fellowship, and a “Discovery” / The Nation prize. Shara’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, The Missouri Review, and New England Review, among others. She currently lives in the Middle East where she’s completing her second collection, tentatively titled The Explosive Expert’s Wife.
About our co-hosts:
Lucas Bernhardt holds degrees from Portland State University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He teaches writing at Portland State University and is poetry editor of Propeller Quarterly.
Sarah Seybold’s poetry, fiction, and memoir have appeared or are forthcoming in ZYZZYVA, North Dakota Quarterly, Gargoyle, Cold Mountain Review, So to Speak, and elsewhere. She is a staff writer for Propeller Magazine. Sarah earned her MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Oregon. Originally from Indiana, she lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon.