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Thu, Nov 09


Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum

The Unquiet Country: An Evening of Poetry and Opera

The Unquiet Country: An Evening of Poetry and Opera
The Unquiet Country: An Evening of Poetry and Opera

Time & Location

Nov 09, 2023, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, 93 Pike St #307, Seattle, WA 98101, USA

About the Event

Entre Ríos Books and Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum invite you to an evening of poetry and opera celebrating the debut collection, “The Unquiet Country,” by Seattle author Patrick Milian. Sopranos Susan Payne O’Brien and Clarice Alfonso will perform work created by composer Emerson Eads and commissioned specifically for this book, “A Prime Number of Lines for Lili & Nadia Boulanger.”  The evening will conclude with a wine reception.

"The Unquiet Country" explores the history and relationships of French sisters, pianists, and composers Lili and Nadia Boulanger. The collection isn't merely their poetic biography, but a queering of their biography, a contemplation on illness, fame, or its absence, and ultimately, power. It raises the question of how we can attain power for ourselves in a patriarchal and anti-queer society. In counterpoint with the Boulangers' lives, Milian employs a multi-vocal approach to delve into divas, femme-fatales, and his own history as a queer poz Cuban-American. Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) is arguably the most influential composition pedagogue of the twentieth century, while Lili Boulanger (1893-1918) holds the distinction of being the first woman to win the Prix de Rome composition prize.

Patrick Milian is a queer, Cuban American writer and teacher in Seattle, Washington. Milian holds an MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Washington. He teaches writing and literature at Green River College. He is the author of The Unquiet Country, forthcoming from Entre Ríos Books, and the chapbook Pornographies, from Greying Ghost. His work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, Gulf Coast, Mid-American Review, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. Northwest Art Song and Line Upon Line Percussion have performed his musical collaborations. He has received the Joff Hanauer Fellowship from the Simpson Center for the Humanities, the David A. Robertson Dissertation Fellowship, the Richard J. Dunn Teaching Award, and a Pushcart Prize nomination.

Anative of Taiwan, pianist Michelle Huang has a rewarding career as a dynamic soloist and chamber musician. She is equally at home performing music ranging from the esteemed masters to the novel voices. A devoted educator, she held teaching positions at Lincoln Memorial University, Edward Waters College, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Huang received a Doctor of Music in Piano Performance from Florida State University. Currently she resides in Seattle, WA with her husband and maintains a vibrant private teaching studio, where she works with a group of pre-college piano students with immense talent.

Clarice Alfonso, soprano, has been praised by audiences for her musical elegance, passion, and dynamic expression. She is active recitalist and opera performer with recent engagements with Seattle Opera, Northwest Opera in Schools, Puget Sound Concert Opera, The Ladies Musical Club of Seattle, Emerald Ensemble, Opus 7 and Opera On Tap. She is one of the founding members of Forte Chicago, an all-women’s opera improv ensemble. This winter she will be performing the role of Lucy in The Telephone with Engage Opera of Kingston and will be a featured soloist with North Corner Chamber Orchestra of Seattle.

Susan Payne O'Brien is a poet, performer and director living in the Seattle area. Her writing for theater has been seen on the stages of 2nd Story Chicago, Around the Coyote, Links Hall, The Piven Theatre Workshop and The International Puppetry Festival. As a director and performer her work has been seen at The Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, DePaul University and The Chicago College of Performing Arts. This season Susan will be directing Kamala Sankaram's Opera, Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers with Seattle Opera. As a soloist, she will be performing with Seattle Pro Musica and The Auburn Symphony in their spring concert of Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Sea Symphony.

About Entre Ríos Books

We are a gay-owned and queerly run independent press publishing poetry, works about poetry, translations, and collaborations between poets and artists of all types. We have a specific interest in publishing contemporary Argentinian poetry in bilingual editions.


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