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Katie Willingham reads from her collection "Unlikely Designs" with special guest Su Hwang

Poet and Macalester alum (Class of 2011)  Katie Willingham will be at Common Good Books to read from her debut collection Unlikely Designs, from University of Chicago Press.


A collection intent on worrying the boundaries between natural and unnatural, human and not, Unlikely Designs draws far-ranging source material from the back channels of knowledge-making: the talk pages of Wikipedia, the personal writings of Charles Darwin, the love advice doled out by chatbots, and the eclectic inclusions on the Golden Record time capsule. It is here we discover the allure of the index, what pleasure there is in bending it to our own devices. At the same time, these poems also remind us that logic is often reckless, held together by nothing more than syntactical short circuits--wellI meansorryyes--prone to cracking under closer scrutiny. Returning us again and again to these gaps, Katie Willingham reveals how any act of preservation is inevitably an act of curation, an outcry against the arbitrary, by attempting to make what is precious also what survives.


Katie Willingham teaches writing at the University of Michigan.

Su Hwang was awarded the 2016-17 Minnesota Emerging Writers Grant from the Loft Literary Center, and Coffee House Press In The Stacks Fellowship at Dickinson House in East Flanders, Belgium. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she grew up in New York then moved to San Francisco before transplanting to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota, where she received her MFA in Poetry. She is also the recipient of the Michael Dennis Browne Fellowship in Poetry, the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, and her first poetry collection was a finalist with Pleiades Press, BOAAT Press, and Noemi Press.Her poems have appeared in Ninth LetterAnomaly (formerly Drunken Boat)Tinderbox Poetry Journal,, and elsewhere. Su currently lives in Minneapolis.

Event date: 
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
38 S Snelling Ave
St Paul, MN 55105
Unlikely Designs (Phoenix Poets) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226472379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - August 24th, 2017