Shanahan, Charif 2022

Wednesday, April 13, 2022
Blue Hour Reading Series with Keetje Kuipers and Charif Shanahan


Not that you would reinvent your life each second, but that you could.
How many lives do we get to live?
What happened at the beginning, that first major intersection: back in NYC,
Back from school, fallen out of school, dropped like a squashed-up napkin,
You did not choose to walk in that direction, you wandered there, then
Stayed. Not because you wanted to stay
But because others wanted to decide who stayed.

– Charif Shanahan, “Fig Tree”

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Watch Charif Shanahan’s 2022 reading with Keetje Kuipers at the Chicago Poetry Center:

Charif Shanahan begins at 1:57 minutes.

Specks of toothpaste fleck the mirror.
A fan spins dust in the hall.
I find “this is it” too vulgar to accept
So I wait for a new starting point
As though life will begin there and then.
Do you know what I mean?
Not what I’m saying, what I mean.

– Charif Shanahan, “While I Wash My Face I Ask Impossible Questions of Myself and Those Who Love Me”

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Watch Charif Shanahan read his work at the San Francisco Public Library:

Read Charif Shanahan’s interview with as part of their “emjambments” series:

Charif Shanahan on Making the Unseen Seen through Poetry

Lit Hub is excited to feature another entry in a new series from “enjambments,” a monthly interview series with new and established poets. This month, they spoke to Charif Shanahan, the …

More info on Charif Shanahan⇒