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caption: Poet Yona Harvey
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Poet Yona Harvey
Credit: Courtesy of Yona Harvey

Lyric World: You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love

Yona Harvey is an American poet and an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. She also counts herself among the first Black women to write for Marvel Comics. She reads here from her second poetry collection, You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love.

About Harvey's collection poet Maya Marshall wrote:

The book begins with desire in an attic and ends with two women haunting all God’s rivers after Earth’s glaciers melt. Its scale is massive in terms of time and space, yet remains grounded in song, history, and crystalline images. There is only one dominant speaker here, and she has eyes on many scenes: from Charleston, South Carolina to imagined districts in outer space. Harvey’s book is sober and steady. Even in poems where the speaker seems ill-at-ease, the writer who brings together poems of the destruction of a Black church, a son’s concussion, a marriage’s internal dares and hopes and failed but tender attempts, is herself at ease with reality even as she argues things ought to change, could be different—better.

Lyric World: Conversations with Contemporary Poets is curated by Shin Yu Pai and presented by Town Hall Seattle. Pai is the author of ten books of poetry. Her latest collection is Ensō. This event took place on October 5, 2020.