PSNH Presents: Amanda Newell and the Poetry of Trauma

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Date(s) - June 28, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


On Tuesday, June 28, at 7:00 PM EST,   Rattle Chapbook Prize winner Amanda Newell will be discussing the Poetry of Trauma.  Contact for participation details.

What Poetry Makes of Trauma

“But what, then, do we do when experience is so extreme, so far beyond the pale of ordinary life, that it exceeds all means of expression? How without falsification or simplification do we give shape and meaning to the unspeakably horrible?”
—Alan Shapiro, from That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration (Chicago UP, 2016)

In her presentation, Amanda will be exploring the central question of what poetry—or really any form of writing—can and cannot do with trauma. Using poems from her chapbook collection I Will Pass Even to Acheron (Rattle 2021) and her forthcoming full-length manuscript Postmortem Say (Červená Barva 2023), Amanda will discuss the ethics of writing about someone else’s trauma, and she will also consider poetry’s capacity for healing. If it does heal, what does it heal?

Bio: Amanda Newell’s chapbook, I Will Pass Even to Acheron, was selected as a 2021 winner of the Rattle Chapbook Prize and was inspired by her former student, a Marine who nearly died in Afghanistan after the M-ATV he was driving was struck by a command-controlled IED. She began writing the poems while he was hospitalized at Walter Reed recovering from a partial leg amputation. Her first full-length collection, Postmortem Say, is forthcoming in 2023 from Červená Barva Press. Amanda’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Gargoyle, Plume, Scoundrel Time, and elsewhere. The recipient of fellowships or scholarships to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The Frost Place, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, she holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College.

You can find her at:

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