Four Chambers present’s their latest book release, a collection of poems entitled “Ms. X’s Ocean” by Elizabeth McNeil. THe event takes place Saturday, February 18th, 2017 at 7 pm at the Hive 2222 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006. This event is free and open to the public. Parking is available along Cypress St. or surrounding neighborhoods. For more information visit their website or RSVP to the Facebook event. You can download a press release or the event flier. For a sneak preview, you can view a packet of sample poems.
Like Anne Sexton’s Transformations nearly half a century before her, Ms. X’s Ocean harbors a host mythical revisions—Daphne, Mary Magdalene, the mermaid, the fairytale haired girl—while presenting, in broader strokes, an allegory of contemporary femininity. Scouring the ground of trauma, Ms. X shape shifts her way through incest, rape, sexual abuse, and abortion. Ms. X endures with unflinching grimness, driven by the fact that she simply has to survive. With a masterful grasp of imagery and craft—ranging from the ragged grit of hard-boiled noir to the high, transfigurative lyric of an aboriginal dreamtime—McNeil creates a shattered looking-glass, its language sharp as shards, portraying a woman who, through the sheer determination of her self-authorship, through her re-immersion in pure mother earth, finds a way to fit the jagged pieces of herself back together, walking “unafraid at last / into the church of [her] beating heart.”
Elizabeth McNeil is an instructor in Languages and Cultures at Arizona State University. She also teaches memoir and poetry writing in the greater community, working with children, veterans, inmates, church groups, and writers over fifty. She has published numerous scholarly and creative works, including poetry in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Fourteen Hills, Flyway, and the Chaminade Literary Review, among other journals; the award-winning chapbook Why We Need to Come Home (Butte County Poetry Center & Press, 1988); a monograph, Trickster Discourse: Mediating Transformation for a New World (Lambert, 2010); and, as lead editor, two scholarly collections with Palgrave Macmillan, Sapphire’s Literary Breakthrough: Erotic Literacies, Feminist Pedagogies, Environmental Justice Perspectives (2012), nominated for the 2013 Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Frederic W. Ness Book Award for an outstanding book that “contributes to the understanding and improvement of liberal education,” and Mapping Queer Space(s) of Praxis and Pedagogy (Queer Studies in Education Series, 2017).