January Gill O'Neil, Misery Islands, and Kirun Kapur, Visiting Indira Gandhi's Palmist

Two Massachusetts poets share works from their new collections.

At the center of her second book are two islands off the coast of Salem, Massachusetts, through which O'Neil finds the rough terrain of marriage and what it means to love in the face of adversity. She navigates the waters of transition with exuberance and reflection, and discovers new ways to make the ordinary extraordinary.

January Gill O’Neil is the author of Misery Islands (fall 2014) and Underlife (2009), both published by CavanKerry Press. She is the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and an assistant professor of English at Salem State University. Recently, she was elected to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) board of directors.

"Kirun Kapur's debut volume Visiting Indira Gandhi's Palmist offers worlds of striking richness. From family lore marked by the 1947 partition of British India and the chaos that ensued, Kapur crafts a saga that is both personal and public. Her exploration of lives intersecting yet separated across time, culture, and continent reveals the many ways in which we carry, renounce, and rediscover the past. Kapur introduces us to an astonishing range of characters—a father who 'speaks five languages, quotes Frost as easily as Ghalib' ('Meat and Marry'); a mother and onetime nun who foreswore her 'Benedictine coif' for love ('Family Portrait, USA'); Cain and Abel of the Bible; Prince Arjuna of the Gita. At the heart of this quest, however, is an inquisitive mind examining our creation stories—personal, historical, and mythical. Through poems that are masterfully paced and densely layered, Kapur sets out to explore the tensions of our most basic human bonds: love and duty, violence and communion, family and nation." — Ned Balbo

Kirun Kapur is the winner of the Arts & Letters Rumi Prize in Poetry and the Antivenom Poetry Award for her first book, Visiting Indira Gandhi’s Palmist (Elixir Press, 2015). Her work has appeared in AGNI, Poetry International, FIELD, the Christian Science Monitor and many other journals. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and has been awarded fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Vermont Studio Center and MacDowell Colony. She is the founder and co-director of the North Shore arts program The Tannery Series and serves as Poetry Editor at the Drum literary magazine. Kapur grew up in Honolulu and now lives north of Boston.

Event date: 
Friday, October 9, 2015 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
Misery Islands Cover Image
ISBN: 9781933880464
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: CavanKerry Press - November 1st, 2014