Open House with July Westhale

July Westhale is coming to Tucson April 15 & 16 to read her award-winning poems of poverty, grief and sanctuary from her acclaimed new book, Trailer Trash, selected by Robin Coste Lewis for the Kore Press First Book Award (just out). Westhale is an Oakland poet writing about the cotton-country of Riverside County, Southern California in the 80s and 90s. A book about poverty, ravaged landscape, and gender, Trailer Trash touches on a fuller, dustier California than Hollywood would have you believe.

Never be ashamed of where you come from, Westhale’s poems seems to be saying, even when where you come from is broken, dry, and made of tin.

July will be the featured reader at Kore Press’ Open House in their new space. Join us for proseco, nibbles, and books in the Dunbar Pavilion on Monday, April 16, 6pm, at 325 West 2nd St 85705, room 201, on the top of the second floor. Parking is free on the street or in the shared lot to the south.

Westhale gives a hybrid seminar-workshop on Sunday, April 15, 10am-noon (also in the new Kore space at the Dunbar), called:

We’ve Made the Landscape Mean Here

This workshop and talk will look at the complex nature of trauma and emotional conflict. We will be exploring personal and international trauma through the lens of poetry & the AIDS crisis, and how we can employ some of these same approaches in our own writing about trauma.

Grief as a response to trauma is often emotionally multi-faceted or layered, contradictory, ambivalent, fragmented, disjointed, carnal, or immobilizing. A note on the AIDS crisis–If you’re familiar with AIDS literature or have read/seen the Larry Kramer play The Normal Heart, you know that the illness came from seemingly nowhere and brought with it a kind of moralistic frenzy and mania, induced by the population affected, the militaristic nature of medical services in the United States, and the vast informational void that existed in place of the information we now have about the illness. So we will be thinking of the origin story or seed of the crisis as being already rooted in extreme terror & mania.

This two-hour generative seminar is geared toward poets and prose writers, and those interested in writing and learning about trauma and the various ways it is written.

Workshop cost: $20 ($10 for LGBTQ writers, AIDS/HIV and trauma workers: use the discount code “WesthaleDiscount” at check out, and let us know who you are : ). Please reserve your spot in advance, here. Seating is limited. For more information, contact Lisa,

July Westhale is a poet and essayist who works to reconcile the disparity between academia and the poor / working class, and engages in larger conversations about breaking down borders between the two. She teaches Creative Writing, works in reproductive health/patient advocacy, and writes expansively in several genres (YA, Creative Nonfiction, Journalism).

Robin Coste Lewis calls Trailer Trash “An unpretentious, deeply psychological lyric. . . running back and forth between the poles of “exquisite” and “horrifying” with courageous agility.”

“An amazing grace of injury and its aftermath.”—-Brian Teare

Books will be available for purchase at both events.

See more about, or place your order for, Trailer Trash, here.