Katie Peterson In Store Event For Her New Poetry Collection "Fog and Smoke"

Join us at Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore on Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 pm when local Berkeley poet KATIE PETERSON comes to read from her new book Fog and Smoke: Poems, in which she unfurls the quotidian fabric of our lives, patterned with the difficulties of language and this moment. Katie will be joined in discussion by poet MATTHEW ZAPRUDER, and she will sign copies of her book after the presentation. (Katie's photo by Young Suh; Matthew's photo by B.A. VanSise)


This is a free event, but you must register on Eventbrite or in the store. Click Here to preorder a copy of Fog and Smoke: Poems.

Confusion frames the human predicament. In Katie Peterson’s Fog and Smoke, confusion is, literally, our climate. Writing to, and from, the California landscape, Peterson sees fog and smoke as literal—one a natural weather event, the other an aftereffect of the West’s drought-caused fires—but they are also metaphysical. Fog and smoke subsume the poet and reflect the true conditions (and frustrations) of our ability to perceive and to connect. She writes, “I’ve been speaking about it at a distance. / Now I want to talk about its thickness. / A person could get killed in here.”

The collection moves through three sections: First, the poet follows her local fog’s cyclical journey of descent and dispersion; second, in a sort of pastoral interlude, she travels widely, almost erratically, to the California desert, the greater world, and ancient history; finally, she descends into the enclosed space of the household, and the increased confinement and intimacy of raising a child during the pandemic. Peterson unfolds the small moments that make up our lives and reveals the truths contained within them, and her poems capture the lyricism of our daily rhythms—the interruptions, dialogues, and epiphanies.

KATIE PETERSON is the author of the poetry collections This One Tree; Permission; The Accounts, winner of the Rilke Prize; and A Piece of Good News. She lives in California and teaches at the University of California, Davis.

MATTHEW ZAPRUDER is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Father’s Day, as well as Why Poetry, and Story of a Poem. He lives in Northern California, and teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Saint Mary’s College of California, and is editor at large at Wave Books, where he edits contemporary poetry, prose, and translations. From 2016-7 he held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine, and he was the Editor of Best American Poetry 2022. His forthcoming collection of poetry, I Love Hearing Your Dreams, will be published by Scribner in early 2025.


THIS EVENT is free but pre-registration is requested. Registration ends at 5:00 pm on January 23rd.

BECAUSE SEATING is limited, please register only if you plan to attend.

DUE TO SPACE limitations, we may not be able to accommodate every person at an event, so early registration is encouraged.

WALK-INS will be accommodated only if space allows.

WE ASK that attendees arrive between 6:45 and 7:00 PM for the event.

PLEASE leave your non-support companion animals at home.

OUR shared restrooms are not accessible after 6:30 PM, please plan accordingly.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Event address: 
Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore
2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Fog and Smoke: Poems By Katie Peterson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374610890
Availability: Most titles are on our shelves or available within 1-5 days.
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - January 2nd, 2024