Outdoor Poetry Reading: PILGRIM BELL by Kaveh Akbar

Join us for a ticketed, outdoor poetry reading and book-signing celebrating Pilgrim Bell, Kaveh Akbar’s exquisite, highly anticipated follow-up to Calling a Wolf a Wolf.


All tickets include access to the event and appetizers. Attendees who choose to purchase a book with their ticket will pick it up at the event.

We ask that attendees help us make this a sober space and we strongly encourage attendees to wear masks when not eating.

With formal virtuosity and ruthless precision, Kaveh Akbar’s second collection takes its readers on a spiritual journey of disavowal, fiercely attendant to the presence of divinity where artifacts of self and belonging have been shed. How does one recover from addiction without destroying the self-as-addict? And if living justly in a nation that would see them erased is, too, a kind of self-destruction, what does one do with the body’s question, “what now shall I repair?” Here, Akbar responds with prayer as an act of devotion to dissonance—the infinite void of a loved one’s absence, the indulgence of austerity, making a life as a Muslim in an Islamophobic nation—teasing the sacred out of silence and stillness. Richly crafted and generous, Pilgrim Bell’s linguistic rigor is tuned to the register of this moment and any moment. As the swinging soul crashes into its limits, against the atrocities of the American empire, and through a profoundly human capacity for cruelty and grace, these brilliant poems dare to exist in the empty space where song lives—resonant, revelatory, and holy.

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf and has received honors such as a Levis Reading Prize and multiple Pushcart Prizes. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in low-residency programs at Warren Wilson and Randolph Colleges.

Image description: a light blue banner with a leaf pattern featuring a photo of author Kaveh Akbar wearing a green and white vertical striped shirt. His head is facing downward so that mostly his black hair is visible. Beside Kaveh's photo is the cover image of his new poetry collection, Pilgrim Bell, which has a white cover and several leaning tear-dropped shapes in black, white, pink, and yellow.

**A limited number of scholarship tickets for this event are available. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please email your request for a free ticket to wcfbooks@gmail.com with the subject line: Scholarship Ticket. Please note: scholarship tickets do not include a copy of the book.**

Event date: 
Sunday, August 15, 2021 - 4:15pm
Event address: 
Reza's Restaurant
5255 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
Pilgrim Bell: Poems By Kaveh Akbar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450598
Availability: On our shelves recently
Published: Graywolf Press - August 3rd, 2021