Teresa K. Miller
Wed., Nov. 17 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online
In conversation with Elmaz Abinader
Borderline Fortune is a meditation on intangible family inheritance—of unresolved intergenerational conflicts and traumas in particular—set against the backdrop of our planetary inheritance as humans. As species go extinct and glaciers melt, Teresa K. Miller asks what we owe one another and what it means to echo one’s ancestors’ grief and fear. Drawing on her family history, from her great-grandfather’s experience as a schoolteacher on an island in the Bering Strait to her father’s untimely death, as well as her pursuit of regenerative horticulture, Miller seeks through these beautifully crafted poems to awaken from the intergenerational trance and bear witness to our current moment with clarity and attention.
A graduate of Barnard College and the Mills College MFA program, Teresa K. Miller is the author of sped (Sidebrow) and Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky) as well as co-editor of Food First: Selected Writings from 40 Years of Movement Building (Food First Books). Her poems and essays have appeared in ZYZZYVA, AlterNet, Entropy, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. Originally from Seattle, she tends a mini orchard near Portland, Oregon.
Elmaz Abinader is an author and a performer. Her most recent poetry collection, This House, My Bones, was The Editor’s Selection for 2014 from Willow Books/Aquarius. Her other books include a memoir, Children of the Roojme: A Family’s Journey from Lebanon, and a book of poetry, In the Country of My Dreams…, which won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award. Her plays include Ramadan Moon, 32 Mohammeds, and Country of Origin and have been performed worldwide, and she is a recent finalist in the Rita Dove Poetry Contest. Most recently her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Mizna, Fifth Wednesday, and Nimrod. She is currently completing a novel called Almost a Life, about a woman leaving Lebanon in the middle of the civil war and emigrating to the US. Elmaz is one of the cofounders of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices). She teaches at Mills College and is an instructor at the Oakland YMCA.
Teresa K. Miller photo courtesy of the author; Elmaz Abinader photo courtesy of the author