Book Culture, New York: A Reading With David Austell & Yuyutsu Sharma

Join us at Book Culture on 112th as David Austell & Yuyutsu Sharma read from their latest poetry books, The Tin ManGaruda & New Poems of Astral PlanesQuaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake PoemsA Blizzard in My Bones: New York Poems on Friday, October 26th at 7pm.

Quaking Cantos is the creative response of a world-renowned Himalayan poet to the earthquakes that shook Nepal in 2015, killing thousands and leaving more than a million people homeless, vulnerable to the ravages of the harsh Himalayan environment. In the aftermath of the earthquakes, his North and Central American reading tours suspended, Yuyutsu returns to Nepal to bear witness to the devastation the “cosmic commotion” has caused in his own Himalayan home.

A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems is a brilliant and groundbreaking new work focusing on the “first city of the world” by the internationally acclaimed Himalayan poet, Yuyutsu Sharma. Reminiscent of F.G. Lorca, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’ Hara and Carl Sandburg, the poems constitute Sharma’s reflections on what it means for a Himalayan poet to transform to a new creation, a New Yorker.


David B. Austell, Ph.D. is Associate Provost and Director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University in New York City where he is also an Associate Professor of International Education in Teachers College-Columbia University (adjunct). David has over thirty years of executive leadership experience in International Education, and is a frequent writer and presenter in his professional field. David has undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his Ph.D. in Higher Education, focusing on International Education. His doctoral dissertation, The Birds in the Rich Forest, concerned Chinese students in the United States during the Student Democracy Movement. David was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan and Korea in 1992. He is also a poet, and The Tin Man is his third book.

Yuyutsu Sharma is a recipient of fellowships and grants from The Rockefeller Foundation, Ireland Literature Exchange, Trubar Foundation, Slovenia, The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature and The Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature, Yuyutsu RD Sharma is a distinguished poet and translator. He has  published nine poetry collections including, A Blizzard in my Bones: New York Poems (Nirala, 2016), Quaking Cantos: Nepal Earthquake Poems, (Nirala, 2016),  Milarepa’s Bones, 33 New Poems, (Nirala, 2012),  Nepal Trilogy, Photographs and Poetry on Annapurna, Everest, Helambu & Langtang (www.Nepal-Trilogy.de, Epsilonmedia, Karlsruhe, 2010), a 900-page book with renowned German photographer, Andreas Stimm, Space Cake, Amsterdam, & Other Poems from Europe and America, (2009, Indian reprint 2014) and Annapurna Poems, 2008, Reprint, 2012).

Event address:
Book Culture
536 W 112th St
New YorkNY 10025

American poet, Otis Kidwell Burger’s fabulous book, Cats, Love & Other Surprises in Nirala Series

 Cats, Love & Other Surprises by Otis Kidwell Burger

Illustrations by Katherine Burger

ISBN : 978-8182500891 2017 Hardback pp 65

Cats, Love & Other Surprises is an astonishing book of poems by 93-year old Otis Kidwell Burger, of New York City. Both a poet and a sculptor, Otis delights in the company of her cats in verse both whimsical and lyrical. Other poems reflect on a long life divided between New York City and a country cabin in the New England woods; these explore family memories, the vagaries of love, and the natural world, to which she is connected by both scientific curiosity (she was a zoology major at Cornell College) and philosophical questioning. The poems traverse territories from the quotidian to the metaphysical; from rejoicing in the return of a lost cat “sitting on my lap purring/and stitching us together again/with her tiny, needle-sharp claws” to imagining a prehistoric woman artist sitting on the floor of her cave, “whittling a bit of mammoth bone. /I don’t know yet if it will be/A horse or a bison. Prey. Food. Perhaps a charm for the hunter./Or perhaps a cave bear, immense, terrible./Death itself, but made small and manageable. A protection.” Solemn, yet also witty and accessible, these are American poems of great strength and a quirky animistic sensibility. They are also poignant. Musing on her unmatched “bachelor” socks, the poet imagines their lost, significant others and why they stepped out, never to return. In another poem, she mourns that “the darkness falls/And tucks us in our homes/No more telephones/No more visiting/No more conversations/No more sleepwalking, or I/Would be five miles away soon/And in bed with you.” Delightfully illustrated by her own daughter, Katherine Burger, this is a majestic little gift from a marvellous mother/daughter team.

American writer and artist Otis Kidwell Burger was born in 1923 in Staten Island, NY, and has lived in Greenwich Village since 1932. She graduated from Cornell University and married Knox Breckenridge Burger in 1946; they had two daughters, Neall and Katherine.

Her published work includes: An Interesting Condition, a novel; The String That Went Up, a children’s book; poetry in The New Yorker, Good Housekeeping, and Gourmet Magazine; science fiction in Galaxy and Astounding magazines. She’s written book reviews for The New York Times, Book of the Month Club; The Village Voice, and Kirkus Services, as well as articles in the Villager. All of the poems included in the book, except The Stag, were written in the last two years

Katherine Burger, Otis’ second daughter, is a playwright and artist. She and her husband Randy live in the Hudson Valley.