Please join us for what promises to be a delightful and engaging evening with Maggie Millner, author of Couplets.
A dazzling love story in poems about one woman’s coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming undone. A woman lives an ordinary life in Brooklyn. She has a boyfriend. They share a cat. She writes poems in the prevailing style. She also has dreams: of being seduced by a throng of older women, of kissing a friend in a dorm-room closet. But the dreams are private, not real.One night, she meets another woman at a bar, and an escape hatch swings open in the floor of her life. She falls into a consuming affair—into queerness, polyamory, kink, power and loss, humiliation and freedom, and an enormous surge of desire that lets her leave herself behind.
Maggie Millner’s captivating, seductive debut is a love story in poems that explores obsession, gender, identity, and the art and act of literary transformation. In rhyming couplets and prose vignettes, Couplets chronicles the strictures, structures, and pitfalls of relationships—the mirroring, the pleasing, the small jealousies and disappointments—and how the people we love can show us who we truly are.
“In this riveting debut, Maggie Millner makes the rhyming couplet—that supposedly staid, outmoded vehicle of 18th century moralism—an engine of radical metamorphosis and scorching sex. Couplets plunges us into desire so fierce it overwrites existence, exiling us from the lives we know. This is an endlessly inventive, wise, exhilarating book.”
—Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You
“A dazzling, feather-light tour de force—witty and effervescent and insightful, and so sexy, and so real. I want a time machine so I can give this book to my Eugene Onegin-obsessed teenage self!”
—Elif Batuman, author of Either/Or
-“I want to throw this book across the room in rage at how good it is. Thrilling in its sincerity and intelligence, Couplets gives us everything: artistry, pathos, hilarity, style, and the sense (rare and wondrous) of a beautiful mind at work.”
—Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of All This Could Be Different
Maggie Millner is the author of Couplets, forthcoming from FSG (USA) and Faber & Faber (UK) in early 2023. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, POETRY, Kenyon Review, BOMB, The Nation, and elsewhere. She is a Lecturer at Yale and a Senior Editor at The Yale Review.
Maggie was the 2020–'21 Olive B. O'Connor Fellow in Poetry at Colgate University, the 2019–'20 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, and the 2016–'18 Jan Gabrial Fellow at NYU, where she received her MFA. She is also the recipient of fellowships from Poets & Writers, the Community of Writers, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, the Disquiet Literary Program, and the Fine Arts Work Center, as well as the Robert & Adele Schiff Award, the 10th Annual Narrative Poetry Prize, and the Third Coast Poetry Prize.