112th: Leah Umansky with Jennifer Franklin

Event date: 
04/18/2024 - 7:30pm

Join us Thursday, April 18th at 7:30pm for a reading and conversation for Of Tyrant, the new collection of poetry by Leah Umansky. She will be joined in conversation with Jennifer Franklin.

In order to facilitate this in-person author event, we will be partially closing the second floor starting at 6:45pm. Please review our Safety guidelines and register for the event using the link below. 


or register using the following link: https://forms.gle/r3Fg1Tn2thE56ook8

Praise for Of Tyrant 

“I can’t reiterate this enough: / the past / isn’t dead,” Leah Umansky says in the opening titular poem Of Tyrant, and goes on to weave a beautiful reflection of tyrants, past and present, political and domestic, interior and external. In a collection rich with symbolism, inventive form, and meditative verses, Umansky delves deep into what it means to be subjugated—and what it means to resist. Vulnerability is what centers these unflinching, evocative poems: in steadiness, in tenderness, and, yes, even in hope. —Hala Alyan, author of Hijra and The Twenty-Ninth Year

In this lyric examination of fury and tenderness of self in the world, Leah Umansky asks how it is that we go on living in this, “our riddle,” our crisis: “in the city of anarchy, in the veil,” when all else fails and the proverbial—and not so proverbial—tyrant of each moment takes all the airspace. When “courage is vulnerability,” and when “everyone else in the room seems to be “thumbing their anger, and carelessly flipping off the quiet,” Umansky speaks up. Even when “we are all of this now, of this tyrant,” she speaks up, even when she looks at us, at herself amongst us, and admits how this mythical but all-too-real “tyrant sees himself when he sees you”—Umansky still speaks up. Why, I asked myself, as I turned the pages—and then saw that in this, the act of speaking, the poet gives music to the emotional intelligence of balancing our moment in the phrasing, in the language we share still, despite it all: “in the heel of this butchering.” Beautiful, urgent, memorable, passionate work. —Ilya Kaminsky, author of Dancing in Odessa and Deaf Republic

Leah Umansky is an educator, curator, collagist and  writer in New York City. She is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, Of Tyrant, (Word Works Books, 2024) and two chapbooks, Straight Away the Emptied World and the Mad-Men inspired Don Dreams and I Dream. Umansky earned her MFA in Poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and has curated and hosted The COUPLET Reading Series in NYC since 2011. Her creative work can be found in The New York Times, The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day, USA Today, POETRY, and American Poetry Review. She has taught workshops to writers of all ages in such places as The Poetry School (UK), Hudson Valley Writers Center, and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Visible Ink Program.  She can be found at http://www.leahumansky.com @lady_bronte on twitter or @leah.umansky on IG

Jennifer Franklin holds degrees from Brown University and Columbia University School of the Arts. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections including If Some God Shakes Your House (Four Way Books, 2023), finalist for the 2024 Paterson Poetry Prize. With Nicole Callihan & Pichchenda Bao, she co-edited the anthology, Braving the Body (Harbor Editions, March 2024). In 2021, Franklin received both a NYFA/City Artist Corps grant and a CafĂ© Royal Cultural Foundation Literature Award. Her work has been published widely including in American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, The Nation, The Paris Review, Poetry Society’s “Poetry in Motion” and The Academy of American Poets “poem-a-day” series. She teaches craft workshops in Manhattanville’s MFA program and 24 Pearl Street of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. For the past ten years, she has taught manuscript revision at the Hudson Valley Writers Center, where she serves as Program Director.

** Of Tyrant will be available for purchase at the reading **

Event address: 
Book Culture
536 W 112th St
New York, NY 10025
Pre-Order Now Badge
Of Tyrant By Leah Umansky Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944585747
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Word Works - May 1st, 2024

If Some God Shakes Your House By Jennifer Franklin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781954245488
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Four Way Books - March 15th, 2023