Alex Dimitrov and Randall Mann

City Lights presents Alex Dimitrov reading from his new book of poetry, Together and by Ourselves from Copper Canyon Press and Randall Mann reading from his new book, Proprietary: Poems from Persea Press.

About Together and by Ourselves and Proprietary: Poems:

Together and by Ourselves, Alex Dimitrov’s second book of poems, takes on broad existential questions and the reality of our current moment: being seemingly connected to one another, yet emotionally alone. Through a collage aesthetic and a multiplicity of voices, these poems take us from coast to coast, New York to LA, and toward uneasy questions about intimacy, love, death, and the human spirit. Dimitrov critiques America’s long-lasting obsessions with money, celebrity, and escapism?whether in our personal, professional, or family lives. What defines a life? Is love ever enough? Who are we when together and who are we by ourselves? These questions echo throughout the poems, which resist easy answers. The voice is both heartfelt and skeptical, bruised yet playful, and always deeply introspective.

In Proprietary, Randall Mann critiques corporate culture, depicting (and slyly rebuking) the American materialism that erupted in the 1980s and has metastasized ever since. For years, Randall Mann has been hailed as one of contemporary American poetry’s most daring formalists, expertly using craft as a way of exploring racy subjects with trenchant wit and aplomb. His new collection, Proprietary, depicts with the insights of a longtime insider the culture of corporate America, in which he’s worked for years, intertwined with some of his tried-and-true subjects, including gay life in the wildly disparate worlds of San Francisco and northern Florida.