Poets Aloud

Daniel Borzutzky


“According to Borzutzky, we are all responsible for the current state of the union.”


Poet Daniel Borzutzky follows his 2016 National Book Award winner The Performance of Becoming Human with Lake Michigan, a collection that takes a hard look at neoliberal urbanism in Chicago. Lake Michigan has just been released by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Lake Michigan is a series of 19 lyric poems that imagine a prison camp located on the beaches of a Chicago: privatized, racially segregated, and overrun by a brutal police force. Thinking about the ways in which economic policy, racism, and militarized policing combine to shape the city, Lake Michigan’s poems continue exploring the themes from Performance of Becoming Human. But while the influences in this book are international—Césaire, Vallejo, Neruda—the focus is local, as the book takes a hard look at neoliberal urbanism in Chicago.

Borzutzky’s other books include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, Memories of My Overdevelopment, and The Book of Interfering Bodies. His translation of Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia won the 2017 National Translation Award. Other translations include Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks; and Song for his Disappeared Love; and Jaime Luis Huenun’s Port Trakl. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Borzutzky lives in Chicago.

“I’d like to think that art can keep that individual body from becoming invisible.”



Bookstore Partner

Borzutzky’s books will be available for sale from our local bookseller Classic Lines.

Lake Michigan Book Cover


Monday, May 21, 2018 at 7 p.m.


Free, with registration
Registration may also be completed via phone (412.622.8866).


Carnegie Library Lecture Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Anna Monardo

MAY 23

Liann Tsoukas and Rob Ruck

JUN 20

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30