The McEver Poetry Reading - 2022


The McEver Poetry Reading - 2022

Martin Espada    •    Jasmine Elizabeth Smith    •    Bruce McEver

Thursday, February 17, 2022
7:00 pm Eastern Time

Virtual Event
( Livestream Link)

Free and Open to the public


No RSVP or registration required

South Flight coverPoetry@TECH & The University of Georgia Press
invite you to

The McEver Poetry Reading
& The Georgia Poetry Prize Book Release


Thursday, 17 February 2022 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time


Martin Espada, Bruce McEver,
and Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, winner of the Georgia Poetry Prize,

Join us for our second reading of 2022 with poets Martin Espada, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, and Bruce McEver.

This is also the official book release event for Jasmine's debut full-length collection of poems, South Flight, winner of the 2020 Georgia Poetry Prize.

The Georgia Poetry Prize was established in 2016 by the University of Georgia Press, in partnership with Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, and The University of Georgia. The prize is supported with the generous support of the Bruce and Georgia McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment.

The reading is FREE and open to the public, and will take place virtually via BlueJeans. Livestream links and other information are on tabs below. Our (virtual) doors open at 6:45 pm Eastern Time.

For more information, contact Travis Denton via email at .

Event Partners

Poetry@Tech is proud to bring you this event in partnership with the University of Georgia Press.

UGA PRess Logo

Livestream Information

This event will be held virtually on BlueJeans. As Always, this reading is FREE and open to the public.

To attend the McEver Reading on 17 February 2022, follow the instructions below. The reading will begin at 7 pm Eastern Time, but our (virtual) doors open at 6:45 pm Eastern Time.

Web stream information:

Joining the reading is easy - just choose the platform that works best for you, and follow the instructions below:

Join via your Computer’s Web Browser: Click Here:

Join on your Mobile Device: Click Here

  1. Open the link above
  2. Download the app if you don’t have it already.
  3. Enter event ID : hysjzequ

Join by Phone:

Dial one of the following numbers, enter the participant PIN followed by # to confirm:

  • +1 (415) 466-7000 (US), PIN: 3039521#
  • +1 (760) 699-0393 (US), PIN: 2138321496#

Join from outside the US: Click Here


Event Access with Room System

Laptop paired with a room system (Best experience):

  1. Dial: or in the room system.
  2. Go to this link (
  3. Enter the pairing code displayed on your room system screen into your browser.

Joining from a Room system:

  1. Dial: or in the room system.
  2. Enter Meeting ID: 234652928 and Passcode: 1337


South Flight

South Flight cover      The 2022 McEver Poetry Reading is also the official book release event for Jasmine Elizabeth Smith's breathtaking debut collection of poems, South Flight, which was selected by Ilya Kaminsky as winner of the 2020 Georgia Poetry Prize. We are proud to host this event in collaboration with our partners, The University of Georgia Press.

      The Georgia Poetry Prize was established through the generous support of the Georgia and Bruce McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment at the University of Georgia Press.

      In South Flight, Jasmine Elizabeth Smith takes inspiration from Oklahoma Black history. In the wake of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Jim Waters makes the difficult decision to leave behind his lover, Beatrice Vernadene Chapel, who as a Black woman must navigate the dangerous climate that produced the Jim Crow South and Red Summer. South Flight is a eulogy, a blues, an unabashed love letter, and ragtime to the history of resistance, migration, and community in Black Oklahoma.

      The 2020 Georgia Poetry Prize judge Ilya Kaminsky, says of this collection:

’Let the sounds I make / lamp pitch and lighten / ears.’ So begins the tale of history and wondrous music that is South Flight, a book-long sequence of poems that is as spellbinding in its narrative as it is beautiful in its lyric tilt and sweep. Jasmine Elizabeth Smith knows what a sense of place is, what history is, how much pain it inflicts–and how a well-told story can lift us up, despite everything. But perhaps even more important, here is a new poet who knows how to sing like no one else. And, by God, she sings like no one else! South Flight is a powerful, necessary book.



Jasmine Elizabeth Smith

JESJasmine Elizabeth Smith (she/her) is a Black poet from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her poetic work is invested in the Diaspora of Black Americans in various historical contexts and eras. Smith's debut collection South Flight (University of Georgia Press, 2022) was named a finalist for the 2020 National Poetry Series and is the winner of the Georgia Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Black Renaissance Noir, POETRY, the LA Review of Books, and Kweli, among others. Jasmine Elizabeth received her MFA in Poetry from the University of California in Riverside. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and a recipient of the Glucks Art Fellowship.

Detailed Bio at Poetry@Tech

Poet's Website

Martin Espada

<>Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist and translator. His latest collection of poems, Floaters (W.W. Norton, 2021) won the 2021 National Book Award. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (W.W. Norton, 2016), The Trouble Ball (W.W. Norton, 2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006) and Alabanza (2003). The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (Northwestern University Press, 2019).

Espada has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, a Letras Boricuas Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Detailed Bio at Poetry@Tech

Poet's Website

Bruce McEver

<>H. Bruce McEver started writing in workshops in New York City with Hugh Seidman, Pearl London, Katha Pollitt, Brooks Haxton, David Lehman, and J.D. McClatchy. His most recent full-length poetry collections include Like Lesser Gods (C&R Press, 2017), and Scaring Up the Morning (C&R Press, 2013). His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Westview, The Berkshire Review, The Cortland Review, The Connecticut River Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and The Atlanta Review. Bruce is on the board of The Poet’s House in New York.

Bruce received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.T.S. (Religion and Literature) from Harvard Divinity School. An investment banker and the Chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, a firm he founded in 1983.He works in New York City and lives in Salisbury, Connecticut on Utopia Farm.

Bio at Poetry@Tech

Selected Poems

Love Letter on the Eve of Revolution


I’m all of wanting. only blues
seems to make sense these days.
to touch you like parted
vowels from harp teeth. I can’t breathe,
therefore, I am greedy for passage
of air: clarinets cleared of cold
coughs & lowdown tonk-house songs
slapped out my anger.

how can a strangled chord
progression picked in love
sound like something other
than violence bellowing below
the belt? how might I chorus
hornets into sonnet when this mouth feels
a containment? my tongue a stiff
unsoaked reed. I keep tryin’ to play
every undigested place
of our existence but my tongue
so dogged out, even my notes flatten cruel.

will I draw or blow lovestruck, a gap between
your eyes or sugar seams parting braids?
will I ride Northbound without turning?
I beget you what little I still have:

my body throaty, a staged pathos, at 3 am,
the trombones’ bent melodies, and riot of beaten
drum skins. of honest folks, this world makes
sinners and ramblin’. I know my blues seem too mean,
but how can one love upon bended knees?


--Jasmine Elizabeth Smith (from Frontier Poetry)


Rules for Captain Ahab’s Provincetown Poetry Workshop


1. Ye shall be free to write a poem on any subject, as long as it’s the White Whale.
2. A gold doubloon shall be granted to the first among ye who in a poem sights the White Whale.
3. The Call Me Ishmael Award shall be given to the best poem about the White Whale, with publication in The White Whale Review.
4. The Herman Melville Memorial Picnic and Softball Game shall be open to whosoever of ye writes a poem about following thy Captain into the maw of hell to kill the White Whale.
5. There shall be a free floating coffin for any workshop participant who falls overboard whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
6. There shall be a free leg, carved from the jawbone of a whale, for any workshop participant who is dismasted whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
7. There shall be a free funeral at sea, complete with a chorus of stout hearties singing sea chanteys about the White Whale, for any workshop participant who is decapitated whilst writing a poem about the White Whale.
8. Ye who seek not the White Whale in thy poems shall be harpooned.


--Martin Espada (from The Republic of Poetry)


Many Paths


        ...that very Spirit intercedes with signs too deep for words.
        --Romans 8:24

Christmas morning, below zero,
the day after she died,
my breath freezing, I am dazed
as I walk into the barnyard,
to recall our happiness with the animals there.
Sagging cedar gates close behind me.
My quarter horse, Cinnamon,
spots me over a hundred yards distant
and begins his long lope. Soon,
his soft nuzzle is rubbing my face, warm,
then her horse and soon, the whole herd,
joined by the goats, and the dog.
They ring me in a circle of compassion.
Touched, yet unbelieving, I look up
into a blinding, cold sun and feel a release—
an energy courses
the length of my body,
and says again, then again:
There are many paths.
Nothing has ever been so clear.


--Bruce McEver (from The Cortland Review)



Book Sales

We'd love for you to support our wonderful featured poets by buying a their books. You can order at the following links:

Recent Books

JES - South Flight
Jasmine Elizabeth Smith, South Flight
espada -  floaters cover
Martin Espada, Floaters
McEver - Like Lesser Gods
Bruce McEver, Like Lesser Gods
McEver - Scaring up the morning cover
Bruce McEver, Scaring Up the Morning
Espada - What saves us cover
Martin Espada (ed.), What Saves Us

The Republic of Poetry cover
Martin Espada, The Republic of Poetry
Vivas cover
Martin Espada, Vivas to Those Who Have Failed