Mike Lala will be at Nightbird reading from his prize-winning poetry collection Exit Theater.
"Selected by Tyrone Williams for the 2016 Colorado Prize for Poetry, Exit Theater casts classical elegy, with dazzling formal innovation, into a staggering work of contemporary, political polyphony. Through monologues, performance scripts, and poems of exquisite prosody, Mike Lala examines the human figure as subject and object, enemy and ally in the context of a progressively defigured and hostile world. Catullus, Shakespeare, Cy Twombly, and Lydia Delectorskaya echo across engagements with Israeli generals, accused terrorists, State Department employees, nuclear scientists, Saturday Night Live actors, war criminals, malware, and a host of mythic, literary, and half-extant spectral characters. Amid the cacophony, Lala implicates every actor, including himself, in a web of shared culpability vis-a-vis consumerism, representation, speaking, writing, and making art against the backdrop of the endless, open wars of a post Cold War, post-2001 era. Exit Theater is a debut of and against its time a book about war, art, and what it means to make art in a time of war."
Mike Lala is a poet who works with text, recorded sound, and, occasionally, images. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Fence, the Brooklyn Rail, Denver Quarterly, Jubilat, the Awl, and Volt, as well as several chapbooks, most recently In the Gun Cabinet (The Atlas Review, 2016) and Twenty-Four Exits (A Closet Drama) (Present Tense Pamphlets, 2016). He holds a BA from Michigan State University and an MFA from New York University, where he was a Veterans Writing Workshop Fellow. He lives in New York.