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In her most recent book, Blood Dazzler, Patricia Smith tracks Hurricane Katrina’s emotional and physical devastation, minute-by-minute through New Orleans. She takes on the voices of the city’s individual residents, and her evocation of the city’s destruction is raw, spiritual, and heartbreaking. Smith, a four-time National Poetry Slam champion, reads from her work and converses with Scottish poet and novelist John Burnside , who tackles religion, philosophy, and the natural world in 2009’s The Hunt in the Forest, his 11th collection of poems, which takes its name from a Paolo Uccello painting of a hunt. The beautiful, lyrical poems are, as expected, about hunting, but they’re also about love, grief, and memory—those things we hunt after or that hunt us.
SMITH AND BURNSIDE READ AT 7:30 P.M. AT THE FOLGER ELIZABETHAN THEATRE, 201 E. CAPITOL ST. SE. $12. (202) 544-4600.