The Publications Unit in the Department of English is hosting two events to celebrate the book launch of Härte by Sade LaNay, published by Downstate Legacies, the literary imprint of the Publications Unit.

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Front cover of Härte by Sade LaNay (Downstate Legacies, 2018)

Poet and artist LaNay will read from Härte at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, at the Publications Unit in Williams Hall Annex along with special guest Duriel E. Harris, a poet, performer, and sound artist, and editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.

LaNay will also lead an art and writing workshop at the Normal Public Library at 11 a.m. Friday, October 19,  titled, “I love you and I’m not dead.” During the workshop, attendees will participate in the “I love you and I’m not dead” project by creating unique art prints and writing letters to people with vulnerable bodies. This portion of LaNay’s visit is a collaboration between Illinois Art Station, Downstate Legacies, and the Publications Unit. Both events are free and open to the public.

Härte is a poetic sequence, a deft and edgy snare, risking everything to replicate linguistically the Sehnsucht survivors of trauma embody.

Härte is a straightforward and deliberate book of questions that—through generative translation and transceptual writing— cajoles readers to reconsider what can be gleaned from the brevity of innocuous interrogation. Härte is a poetic sequence, a deft and edgy snare, risking everything to replicate linguistically the Sehnsucht survivors of trauma embody. Imbued with flecks of doubt, guilt, antagonism, and estranged desire, Härte evokes the friction of language against language, interpretation versus misinterpretation, what one heard with what was said—how a perpetrator lingers and forces a survivor to define the borderland—perhaps the only heartland left to inhabit. Härte is available for purchase through Small Press Distribution.

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Sade LaNay, author of Härte

Härte is the third book from Downstate Legacies, an imprint focused on publishing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, with an emphasis on promoting the work of writers from the Midwest. Founded by Steve Halle in 2015, previous Downstate Legacies titles include Infrastructures by Elizabeth Hatmaker (2017) and The Art of Salvage by Bill Morgan (2016). Downstate Legacies is a teaching press, and ISU students collaborate with professional staff at the Publications Unit during each step of the book production process. Follow Downstate Legacies on Facebook or Twitter @Downst8Legacies.

Blue background, white outline of Illinois with a white circle around the outside and a red arrow pointing downwards inside Illinois.

Downstate Legacies is a literary imprint of the Publications Unit, founded by Steve Halle

LaNay is also the author of Dream Machine (co•im•press, 2014), self portrait (Birds of Lace, 2018), and I love you and I’m not dead (Argos Books, forthcoming 2019) with poems featured in the Electric Gurlesque and Bettering American Poetry anthologies. They are a graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing at Pratt Institute.

For additional information, contact Holms Troelstrup, assistant director of the Publications Unit, at or (309) 438-3025. Follow the Publications Unit on Twitter @PubUnit_ISU or visit our website.