Poet Rachel Long to Join Elaine Castillo Event (Updated)

This week’s California Book Club newsletter: special guest announcement, Ask a Bookseller, and event details.

rachel long, elaine castillo, john freeman, california book club, january

Editor's Note: We would like to acknowledge that prior this event we made a photo-captioning error on the CBC’s Instagram page. As a consequence, special guest Rachel Long was unable to attend our January 21 gathering. We regret the mistake and recognize its implications. Please find our apology here.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is almost here! We hope you’ve had an invigorating time reading Elaine Castillo’s America Is Not the Heart, in preparation for Thursday’s event. We are thrilled to announce that special guest Rachel Long will briefly join the discussion with Castillo, host John Freeman, and hopefully you, dear reader!

Long is a London-based poet whose debut collection, My Darling from the Lions, was published last year by Picador and short-listed for the 2020 Costa Poetry Award. A poetry fellow at the University of Hertfordshire, she is the founder of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Womxn of Colour, which was based out of the Southbank Centre, and co-translated Brazilian poet and activist Adelaide Ivánova’s O Martelo / The Hammer.

A little-known fact about Castillo is that she wrote most of America Is Not the Heart while living in the United Kingdom, and Long was an early reader of her manuscript. We look forward to a discussion on how both Long and Castillo navigate and write of place, being, and marginality, using poetry and prose to explore such topics as race, sexuality, national identity, and desire.


  • When: Thursday, January 21, at 5 p.m. Pacific time.
  • Where: To join the Zoom event, click here.
  • What: Our host, John Freeman, will be in conversation with Elaine Castillo, author of America Is Not the Heart, and special guest Rachel Long.
  • Author questions: Please send questions for Elaine Castillo to info@californiabookclub.com. You can also submit them using Zoom’s chat feature after the event begins.
  • Attend to win: We will be giving away signed copies of America Is Not the Heart to five attendees, selected at random, following Thursday’s program.
  • Mark your calendars: Upcoming CBC discussions with Paul Beatty, author of the highly acclaimed The Sellout, on February 18, and Nina Revoyr, author of Southland, on March 18.
  • To sign up for Alta’s California Book Club for free, click here.

    Thank you all, and see you on Thursday!

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