Lindsay Tigue and Jesse Diamond

In System of Ghosts, Lindsay Tigue details the way landscape speaks to isolation and personhood, how virtual and lived networks alter experience. She questions how built environments structure lives, how we seek out information within these spaces, and, most fundamentally, how we love.

Rooted in the personal, the speaker of this collection moves through society and history, with the aim of firmly placing herself within her own life and loss. Facts become an essential bridge between spatial and historical boundaries. She connects us to the disappearance of species, abandoned structures, and heartbreak abandoned spaces that tap into the searing grief woven into society's public places. There is solace in research, one system this collection uses to examine the isolation of contemporary life alongside personal, historical, and ecological loss. While her poems are intimate and personal, Tigue never turns away from the larger contexts within which we all live.

System of Ghosts is, at its core, an act of reaching out across time, space, history, and across the room.

Lindsay Tigue is the author of System of Ghosts, winner of the 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize and published by the University of Iowa Press. She writes poetry and fiction and her work appears in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Rattle, diode, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other journals. She was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and has received a James Merrill fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University and is a current PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. She is originally from Michigan and now lives in Athens, Georgia.


In Swimming the Hellespont Mavro Diamond forges a voice from crucial elements of Jewish, lesbian, and feminist identity. In 2015, with a sense of real achievements for the LGBT community, Diamond’s poems vividly force us to remember the groundwork of liberation: the costs of pressing through ignorance and invisibility toward the achievement of psychic wholeness and erotic love against the grain of cultural and political intransigence. In poignant poems, the poet gives voice to the casualties of homophobia and the pressures of cultural conformity. In moments we feel the claustrophobic space of the patriarchal 50’s reach combustion. 

Jesse Mavro Diamond‘s poetry has been published in many journals in the U.S. Her awards include first place in Eidos magazine’s international poetry competition for “A Very Sober Story,” the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival’s “One of Ten Best Poems in the U.S.” for “Swimming The Hellespont,” and “Chetwynd Morning” was a finalist for the 2014 Lascaux Prize for Poetry and will be published in The Lascaux Prize 2014, Lascaux Books. “An Elegy for Devron” was musically scored by composer Mu Xuan Lin and premiered at Jordan Hall in 2008. For many years, Mavro Diamond has taught writing courses in Boston area colleges and high schools. She currently teaches English at Boston Latin School.

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Porter Square Books
25 White St.
Cambridge, MA 02140
System of Ghosts (Iowa Poetry Prize) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609384012
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: University Of Iowa Press - April 1st, 2016

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