Join us for a reading with author Kaveh Akbar, who will read from his debut novel, Martyr! A conversation with author Henry Hoke will follow. This in-person event will be free and open to the public. We recommend arriving early for the best seating.
About the Book: Cyrus Shams is a young man grappling with an inheritance of violence and loss: his mother’s plane was shot down over the skies of the Persian Gulf in a senseless accident; and his father’s life in America was circumscribed by his work killing chickens at a factory farm in the Midwest. Cyrus is a drunk, an addict, and a poet, whose obsession with martyrs leads him to examine the mysteries of his past—toward an uncle who rode through Iranian battlefields dressed as the Angel of Death to inspire and comfort the dying, and toward his mother, through a painting discovered in a Brooklyn art gallery that suggests she may not have been who or what she seemed.
Kaveh Akbar’s Martyr! is a paean to how we spend our lives seeking meaning—in faith, art, ourselves, others.
About the Author: Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. He is the author of two poetry collections: Pilgrim Bell and Calling a Wolf a Wolf, in addition to a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic. He is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Spiritual Verse: 110 Poets on the Divine. He lives in Iowa City.
About the Moderator: Henry Hoke is the author of five books, most recently the novel Open Throat (MCD/FSG) and the memoir Sticker (Bloomsbury). He cocreated the performance series Enter>text in Los Angeles, and edits humor at The Offing.
Martyr! will be released on January 23. To order the book, please see below for the New Dominion Bookshop book order form or call the shop at 434-295-2552.
"Kaveh Akbar is a radiant soul, a poet so agile and largehearted it comes as no surprise that his first leap into fiction is elegant, dizzying, playful. Martyr! is the best novel you’ll ever read about the joy of language, addiction, displacement, martyrdom, belonging, homesickness for people longed for but forever unknown, the way art as eruption of life gazes back into death, and the ecstasy that sometimes arrives—like grace—when we find ourselves teetering on the knife-edge of despair."
New Dominion Bookshop Book Order Form
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Kaveh Akbar Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan, Henry Hoke Photo Credit: Myles Pettengill