Manuel Gonzales, Yona Harvey, and Gary Jackson

We Wear the Masks: Poetry and Fiction inspired by Comic Books

Monday, March 13, 2017, 7:30 pm
Folger Theatre


Missing You, Metropolis heralds a new voice unafraid to embrace pop culture, and to discover in it a world at once paradoxical, desired, and cruel.”                         —Rain Taxi Review of Books


PEN/Faulkner Fiction and the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series come together to explore the evolving influence that comic books have on writers. The writers will read from their work and participate in a post-reading conversation moderated by Dr. Tara Betts, Visiting Lecturer at University of Illinois-Chicago. Using handwritten poems and passages, the artists of Ink Brick, a micro-press for comic book poetry, will create one-of-a-kind comic book broadside for this event.

Manuel Gonzales is the author of The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the John Gardner Prize for Fiction, and the novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! He teaches creative writing for the University of Kentucky and the Institute of American Indian Arts. 

Yona Harvey is the author of Hemming the Water, which won the 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and is a co-author of the Marvel Comics series Black Panther: World of Wakanda

Gary Jackson is the author of Missing You, Metropolis which was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He is an assistant professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Discounted tickets for students, seniors and military members are available by calling the Folger box office.


From MacArthur eats dinner with The Atomic Man

I need you to go into Manchuria.
Show them what it means to interfere.
You ask if that’s wise. You fear escalation—
A raised fist will provoke the gun.
But every cell in your body can split atoms,
just bleeding could divide a country in two.
Don’t argue your godhood. Be a symbol.
Float above their bunkers, let them try
to destroy you. Let them fail.
From Missing You Metropolis © 2010 by Gary Jackson, published by Graywolf Press. Used with permission.