Uche Nduka and Sophia Dahlin reading from new poetry
Facing You/Spotlight #19, by Uche Nduka
Natch/Spotlight #20, by Sophia Dahlin
both published by City Lights Books
about Facing You
From acclaimed Nigeria-born, Brooklyn-based poet Uche Nduka, a book of love poems written with compact elegance and vivid eroticism.
Facing You is a collection of love lyrics, as well as an exploration of what goes into making the public and private self, from acclaimed Nigerian American poet Uche Nduka. Passionate and erotic, Facing You nonetheless resists being hermetically sealed within the relationship, and is subject to the intrusions of “the dubious world”: war, exile, protest, and police violence intrude but cannot defeat Nduka’s expressions of desire, where reality and surreality are one. “These poems were written openly and freely about my vision and experience,” he writes, “crossing the wires of sex and prophecy.”
Queer pastoral lyrics take on the romantic sublime in a stunningly assured debut collection.
Sophia Dahlin’s first full-length collection, Natch, is a dazzling array of queer erotic lyrics demanding pasture in the romantic sublime. By turns dreamy, hysterical, earthy, and perverse, the poems of Natch speak the dialogue of a person’s parts, the dynamism of a queer body desiring something between rest and consumption. In her stunningly assured voice, compounded of bravado and vulnerability, Dahlin outlines the threshold where feeling takes over the body’s functioning, desire leads us past deciding, and we are so lustful that we are not dead when we have finished dying.
Uche Nduka is an itinerant poet and professor living in Brooklyn. He was born in Nigeria, was raised bilingual in Igbo and English, and earned his BA from the University of Nigeria. He left Nigeria in 1994 and settled in Germany after winning a fellowship from the Goethe Institute. In 2007, he immigrated to the United States, where he would earn his MFA from Long Island University, Brooklyn. Nduka is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including the U.S.-published books Living in Public (2018), Nine East (2013), Ijele (2012), and eel on reef (2007). His work has been translated into German, Finnish, Italian, Dutch, and Romanian.
Sophia Dahlin earned her BA from Bard College and her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Her work has appeared in many journals, including BOMB, Fence, Lambda Literary, Denver Quarterly, and The Recluse. With Jacob Kahn, she edits the chapbook press Eyelet. She lives in Oakland, California, where she teaches with California Poets in the Schools, conducts generative writing workshops, and hosts readings.