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Book Launch: 40th Anniversary Edition of Killing Floor by Ai

November 15, 2018 @ 8:15 pm - 9:45 pm

View Venue Website, 800 NW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 + Google Map

Join us in the Metropolitan Lounge of Portland’s Union Station to celebrate our 40th Anniversary Edition of Ai’s groundbreaking second poetry collection, KILLING FLOOR!

Featuring a host of readers, including Stephanie Adams-Santos and Zachary Schomburg.

Free drinks and snacks. Books for sale. Open to the public.

PLUS: Tavern has commissioned poet/artist/publisher Zachary Schomburg to create an original hand-sketched portrait of Ai on the occasion of KILLING FLOOR’s 40th anniversary. Zach will be selling prints of this gorgeous portrait at the event. They’re limited edition, so get one while you can!

*Parking free after 7pm.
*Enter station through lobby and follow signs to the Metro Lounge.


Ai, who described herself as 1/2 Japanese, 1/8 Choctaw-Chickasaw, 1/4 Black, and 1/16 Irish, was born in 1947 in Albany, Texas, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. She began writing at the age of 14. Ai attended the University of Arizona and received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her first book, Cruelty, was published in 1973, and she went on to win fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. After winning the National Book Award for Vice, she became a tenured professor and the vice president of the Native American Faculty and Staff Association at Oklahoma State University. She died in 2010.


“Reading Ai is a fierce reminder that life and imagination are the same blatant thing, that the poet’s voice is indistinguishable from the voice of the world, that nothing can — that nothing does — tear them asunder.”

—Daniel Handler

“Killing Floor landed like a lightning bolt and still, forty years later, can electrocute its readers.”

—Susan Wheeler

“In Killing Floor, Ai tested how disquietingly close the brutal and disgusting are to the sublime and magnificent. The shock these poems produce is the shock of humanity meeting itself without the intervening conventions we use to shield us.”

—Richard Shelton

[from the Facebook event page]


Portland Union Station
800 NW 6th Ave

Portland, OR 97209
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


Tavern Books
View Organizer Website