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Reading with Sadie Dupuis: Cry Perfume & Michael DeForge: Birds of Maine

Reading with Sadie Dupuis: Cry Perfume & Michael DeForge: Birds of Maine


Join Sadie Dupuis as she reads from Cry Perfume along with Canadian graphic novelist Michael DeForge from Birds of Maine.



Cry Perfume is an imperative: bottle sorrow in a beautiful vessel, and shed the chemicals that cloud your sight. Written over a four year period on tour after losing loved ones and peers to overdose, Dupuis funneled complicated grief into writing about the glamorized toxicities often inherent in entertainment. The slick performativity of pop, punk humor, electronic glitch and sampling, and the surprising leaps of improvisation influence these poems, but music is muddled with larger concerns about justice and organizing. Cry Perfume is a hopeful but realistic inventory of the virtues and evils that emerge when arts and tech collide. Those dualities are cloaked in sparkling fragrance, and there are twinned pleasures and regrets in parting the smokescreen


Take flight to this post-apocalyptic utopia filled with birds. Long after the demise of humankind, birds roam freely around the Moon complete with fruitful trees, sophisticated fungal networks, and an enviable socialist order. The universal worm feeds all, there are no weekends, and economics is as fantastical a study as unicorn psychology. No concept of money or wealth plagues the thoughts of these free-minded birds. Instead, there are angsty teens who form bands to show off their best bird song and other youngsters who yearn to become clothing designers even though clothes are only necessary during war. (The truly honorable professions for most birds are historian or librarian.) These birds are free to crush on hot pelicans and live their best lives until a crash-landed human from Earth threatens to change everything.

Michael DeForge’s post-apocalyptic reality brings together the author’s quintessential deadpan humor, surrealist imagination, and undeniable sociopolitical insight. Appearing originally as a webcomic, Birds of Maine follows DeForge’s prolific trajectory of astounding graphic novels that reimagine and question the world as we know it. His latest comic captures the optimistic glow of utopian imagination with a late-capitalism sting of irony.


Sadie Dupuis is the guitarist, songwriter & singer of rock band Speedy Ortiz, as well as the producer & multi-instrumentalist behind pop project Sad13. Sadie heads the record label Wax Nine, edits its poetry journal, and has written for outlets including Spin, Tape Op, and Playboy. She holds an MFA in poetry from UMass Amherst, where she also taught writing. Mouthguard, her first book, was published in 2018 (Gramma); Cry Perfume, a second poetry collection, releases in October 2022 via Black Ocean. Her most recent studio album is Sad13’s Haunted Painting (2020). She is an organizer with the Union of Musicians & Allied Workers and its local UMAW Philly.


Michael DeForge is a cartoonist, an illustrator, and a community organizer who lives Toronto, Ontario. His most recent book is Birds of Maine.