Sayers/Gernes Alumni Reading, featuring Peter Twal and Thirii Myint


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium

Peter Twal is a Jordanian-American, an electrical engineer, and the author of Our Earliest Tattoos which won the 2018 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in The Believer, Best New Poets, Kenyon Review, West Branch, and elsewhere.

“Peter Twal's poetic energy combines the absurd with the grave, the hilarious with the profound, the wacky with the tragic. In driving lines filled with unrelenting rhythms, his concerns engage the gray zone where the injured, mortal self is also fraudulent. But he does this with kindness, with joy, and stark metaphors, through imaginative lexicon and constructed protagonists. In this wonderful debut collection, Peter Twal impersonates himself: the gifted American poet in his best suit in the gala of originality.”

--Fady Joudah

“What an amazingly beautiful changeling of a book. Whenever I was sure I had a pulse on it, it would bloom into something else entirely. Within what seems to be such spareness of words, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint invokes a whole universe that clutches close the realms of memory, dream, and imagination, erasing the boundaries between the living and the dead, the sky and the earth, reality and myth. Myint interrogates the mother/daughter relationship as well as the beginnings and endings of love and life, reminiscent of the myth-making poetic prose in Jamaica Kincaid’s At the Bottom of the River. In the subtle guise of Italo Calivno’s Invisible Cities, she philosophizes on spaces and habitude and internal strife. You will fall deep into the deepest darkness and fear and hope and desire and love and longing in these pages. It’s a lovely journey there and out.”

-Jenny Boully 


“In an exceptionally strong field, Zat Lun stood out for the elegance of its lyric prose and the ingenuity of its structure. Myint’s hybrid approach and incorporation of myth and oral traditions overturn expectations around immigrant narratives, and add layers to her parallel investigations of both her family history and that of Myanmar. The whole team at Graywolf is delighted to see this truly original and bold manuscript join the ranks of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize winners."


-Graywolf Press Editor Steve Woodward

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the lyric novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven (Noemi Press, 2018) and the family history project Zat Lun, which won the 2018 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver, the associate editor of Denver Quarterly, and an instructor at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, where she teaches hybrid/experimental forms. 

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