Final SPECTRA of the Fall 2016 is Nov. 17, featuring Holly Amos & Vi Khi Nao

spectra_poster-for-november-17-2016_desgined-by-emma-stoughWhat: Midwest Writing Center presents SPECTRA: Holly Amos and Vi Khi Nao
When: Thursday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL)

The SPECTRA Reading Series returns to Rozz-Tox on Thursday, November 17 to close its fall season with two acclaimed writers—Holly Amos and Vi Khi Nao. Here’s what some other well-known writers have to say about these upcoming SPECTRA featured performers:

Vi Khi Nao: “Even if you think you are hallucinating, you are not, the lights actually are ‘bouncing / Off a panther’s undulating / Back.’ The pain is real, the dreams are real, and so is the sewing machine. People are just no longer used to a glass mountain that doesn’t shatter. We have grown more accustomed to the mountain having simply been removed. We may have already forgotten that ‘god is a child / who pretends to pray / because in the midst of his holy make-believe childhood / he is a beautiful version of daffodil twirling in dew.’ We are no longer used to the heart’s engine revving with such quiet, lonely, insistent, anatomical intensity. Not so many people have traveled in Vi Khi Nao’s language mind before. Here is your ticket, a vagrant fragrance.”
— C.D. Wright

Holly Amos: “‘Everyone likes the word filament,’ Holly Amos writes, ‘but it doesn’t stop the bright bulb from going out.’ Continual guidance of air sutures this rip between language and experience while relentlessly exploring how our shared humanity might become more humane. Amos balances richly lyric language with a deft command of each poem’s unique architecture. She charts the ‘gnarled maps / we don’t understand,’ creating a fiercely compassionate cartography of the human/animal world without trying to impose mastery on it.”
— Tony Trigilio

The Out Loud Open Mic will precede SPECTRA, running from 7-8pm. Interested performers can sign-up prior to the start of Out Loud, and will have 5 minute sets to share their original poems, stories, songs, jokes, and whatever else.

SPECTRA will start at 8pm, immediately after the Out Loud Open Mic, and will be free and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation to support touring writers.

Visit the event page for this event on Facebook to read poems and watch videos of the featured poets performing their work, as well as to receive other event updates.

SPECTRA is also accepting submissions from local poets to read for future events. To submit, email up to 3 poems to with the phrase “SPECTRA Submission” in the subject line.

Please contact Ryan Collins at Midwest Writing Center if you are interested in speaking to any of the featured readers, or for more information: (309) 732-7330 |

The 2016 season of SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support of the Regional Development Authority and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Bios for Amos and Nao

Vi Khi Nao holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she received the John Hawkes and Feldman Prizes in fiction and the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award in poetry. Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. She is the author of two novellas, Swans In Half-Mourning (2013) and The Vanishing Point of Desire (2011), and her poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, was the winner of 2014 Nightboat Poetry Prize. Her manuscript, A Brief Alphabet of Torture, won the 2016 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest. This fall, Coffee House Press will publish her novel Fish in Exile. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa. 

Holly Amos is an animal rights advocate and vegan. She is a poetry editor for the online journal Pinwheel, is the editorial assistant for Poetry, and co-curated the recently wrapped Dollhouse Reading Series in Chicago. Her first collection, Continual guidance of air, and the chapbook This Is a Flood were both published by H_NGM_N Books. Her poems have appeared in Bodega; Forklift, Ohio; ILK; La Vague; Matter; Prairie Schooner; and elsewhere.