An evening with Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Sylvie Baumgartel

October 6th

McNally Jackson Seaport
RSVP Required — see below

Join two award-winning poets for a night of readings and conversation! 

Living Weapon: Poems

Award-winning essayist and poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips presents a bracing renewal of civic poetry in Living Weapon.

. . . and we’d do this again And again and again, without ever Knowing we were the weapon ourselves, Stronger than steel, story, and hydrogen. ― from "Even Homer Nods"

A revelation, a shoring up, a transposition: Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s Living Weapon is a love song to the imagination, a new blade of light honed in on our political moment. A winged man plummets from the troposphere; four NYPD officers enter a cellphone store; concrete sidewalks hang overhead. Here, in his third collection of poems, Phillips offers us ruminations on violins and violence, on hatred, on turning forty-three, even on the end of existence itself. Living Weapon reveals to us the limitations of our vocabulary, that our platitudes are not enough for the brutal times in which we find ourselves. But still, our lives go on, and these are poems of survival as much as they are an indictment. Couched in language both wry and ample, Living Weapon is a piercing addition from a “virtuoso poetic voice” (Granta).


Pink: Poems

A sharp, visceral new collection of poetry that touches on art, history, sex, bodies, language, and the color pink

The sack of Rome, The siege of Florence. The lights twinkle pink in Fiesole. Pink furls, pink buds. Wet pink veiny hearts in spring. Pink can mean so many things.

Sylvie Baumgartel’s Pink moves from the shadow of the Ponte Vecchio to a mission church in Santa Fe, from Daily Mail reports to a photograph of a girl from Tierra del Fuego, from a grandmother’s advice (“Don’t go to Smith and don’t get fat”) to legs wrapped around “a man who calls me cake.”

Baumgartel, a poet of fierce, intimate, wry language, delivers a second collection about art, history, violence, bodies, fear, pain, reckoning, and transcendence. The poems travel back to the historical, linguistic, and emotional sources of things while surging forward with a stirring momentum, creating a whirlwind of birth and destruction.


We recommend that guests wear masks on the night. 

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is most recently the author of Living Weapon. He is a professor of English at Stony Brook University, President of the Board of Directors of The New York Institute of the Humanities, and the poetry editor of The New Republic.






Sylvie Baumgartel has published two books of poetry: Song of Songs (FSG, 2019) and Pink (FSG, 2021). Her poems have appeared in the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Paris Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, Subtropics, and elsewhere. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.




RSVP Below

In order to keep our events program running in uncertain times, we're asking attendees to hold their place with a $5 voucher, redeemable on the night of the event on any product in store or in our bar & café. You can alternatively reserve a spot by pre-purchasing the event book. If you have a change of heart or plans, write to and we'll gladly refund you and release your spot, up to 24 hours before the event. Thanks for understanding, and for supporting your local bookstore.