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Event Series Event Series: Visiting Writer: Nicky Beer

Visiting Writer: Nicky Beer

April 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Nicky Beer visits UWM as part of the Creative Writing program’s visiting writer series.

Craft Talk @ 3 pm – to livestream: https://tinyurl.com/47xam2et

Reading @ 7 pm – to livestream: https://tinyurl.com/mr3tdhx7

Nicky is a bi/queer writer, and the author of Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes (Milkweed, 2022), winner of the 2023 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry. She has received honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Poetry Foundation, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She has also led workshops, craft classes, and craft talks for the Indiana University Writers’ Conference, the Minnesota Northwoods
Writers Conference, the Yale Young Writers’ Workshop, and more. She is an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she is a poetry editor for Copper Nickel.

Her latest book of poems is “Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes.”
What is illusion—a deception, or a revelation? What is a poem—the truth, or “a diverting flash, / a mirror showing everything / but itself”?
Nicky Beer’s latest collection of poems is a labyrinthine academy specializing in the study of subterfuge; Marlene Dietrich, Dolly Parton, and Batman are its instructors. With an energetic eye, she thumbs through our collective history books—and her personal one, too—in an effort to chart the line between playful forms of duplicity and those that are far more insidious.

Through delicious japery, poems that can be read multiple ways, and allusions ranging from Puccini’s operas to Law & Order, Beer troubles the notion of truth. Often, we settle for whatever brand of honesty is convenient for us, or whatever is least likely to spark confrontation—but this, Beer knows, is how we invite others to weigh in on what kind of person we are. This is how we trick ourselves into believing they’re right. “Listen / to how quiet it is when I lose the self-doubt played / for so long I mistook it for music.”

“Real Phonies and Genuine Fakes” asks us to look through the stereoscope: which image is the real one? This one—or this one, just here? With wisdom, humility, and a forthright tenderness, Nicky Beer suggests that we consider both—together, they might contribute to something like truth.



April 25
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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UWM Curtin Hall, Room 175
3243 N. Downer Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States
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English Department
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