In Conversation: John Freeman & Aleksandar Hemon
In Conversation: John Freeman and Aleksandar Hemon
On Maps & Poetry
Join us as we welcome John Freeman in conversation with novelist Aleksandar Hemon as they discuss How does the map create our sense of space - the borders that contain us, or release us.
John Freeman's new book of poetry, MAPS, maps the present by way of the past, drawing upon memories of childhood, family, and former loves. Simultaneously international and intimately domestic, MAPS is nostalgic with a cool head, and able to examine the world with insightful compassion and grace.
"John [Freeman] delights in and is thoroughly devoted to writing and to books. He is my kind of person."―Louise Erdrich
“What is mapped here, in John Freeman’s exquisite and robust poetry debut, are the territories of loss, pain, violence, and reckoning that make up a life. And also those of love, remembrance, and unabashed passion that make that same life livable. Maps is a consolation and a delight.” ―Tracy K. Smith
John Freeman is the founder of the literary biannual, Freeman's. He has written two books of nonfiction, How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, and Maps, a collection of poems. Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today's New York, an anthology about inequality in NYC, was published by Penguin in 2015. A follow-up volume -- Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation -- is out this fall. The former editor of Granta, his work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review and The New York Times, and has been translated into more than than twenty languages. He lives in New York City, where he is writer in residence at New York University and teaches at The New School.
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles, which will be published by Riverhead Books on May 14, 2009. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.