#ArtLitPhx: Writing Workshop with Stella Pope Duarte

Workshop Title: Three Easy Steps to Writing a Dynamic Short Story

The American Book Award-winning author of If I Die in Juárez hosts a two-part writing workshop for writers of all levels. 

From the host: “Once upon a time, deep in a great dark forest, lived three bears. The beginning of one of the most beloved fairy tales on earth is about three bears and a little girl named Goldilocks. Stories that become part of our universal experience reveal the human heart. This workshop will zero in on what it means to write a dynamic short story.”

WORKSHOP DETAILS

  • Cost: $40, for two sessions: July 16 and 23.
  • Register below or directly on Eventbrite.
  • Refunds will not be issued within one day of the event.

PARKING / LIGHT RAIL

  • Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE HOST
Stella Pope Duarte is described by Jacquelyn Mitchard as a “magical weaver with a sure hand and a pure heart,” and praised by Ursula K. Leguin as an author who “will enlarge humanity.” Her works explore the human heart, revealing both dark and light. Duarte has won honors and awards nationwide, including a 2009 American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, the Southwest Book of the Year Award, and a nomination to Oprah’s Book Sense list. She is a descendant of Irish and Mexican American parents, and was born and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix. Inspired to write by a prophetic dream of her father, she believes that writing, like love, begins within, or it doesn’t start at all.

EVENT INFORMATION

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 

Date: Tuesdays, July 16 and 23

Time: 6–8:30 p.m.

Cost: $40

For more information about the event, click here.

Contributor Update, Robert Krut: ‘The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire’

Join us in congratulating SR poetry contributor Robert Krut! Robert’s newest book titled The Now Dark Sky, Setting Us All on Fire was recently published this summer.

Robert’s book won the 2018 Codhill Poetry Award. The poetry collection contains surrealistic imagery, cityscapes, and apocalyptic moments that allow the reader to imagine a new world with “fingerprint police,” “helix fireworks,” and “vampire teeth.”

SR’s own founding editor, Patricia Colleen Murphy, said “Robert Krut inventively crafts image after shape-shifting image, each suggesting an alternate universe designed to help us better understand our real one.”

More information about Robert and his new book can be found here. One poem included in the book can be found in S[r]’s Issue 18, and four more in Issue 3.

Congratulations Robert!

#ArtLitPhx: Getting That Novel on the Page

The goal of Desert Sleuths, the Phoenix chapter of Sisters in Crime, is to nurture, encourage, guide, and offer fellowship to new writers.

New writers like you! From the Sleuths: “Maybe you’re one of the thousands of people who would love to write a book but your career has been focused in a non-literary field. Here’s your chance to get the lowdown on how to fulfill your dream of becoming an author. Changing Hands is hosting our presentation of beginning and newly published authors who also had writing dreams. They may have been police officers, service workers, lawyers, office workers, or elementary school teachers. Now they’re involved in putting their stories on paper. A panel of newbie writers will detail how they have gone from dreamer to writer, including Deb J Ledford, an author and professional content editor who has worked extensively with the panelists. Get your questions answered, listen to the writers’ stories, then go home and fire up your computer!

PARKING / LIGHT RAIL

  • Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION 
Sisters in Crime, a national organization originated in 1986 when best-selling author, Sara Paretsky and several friends wanted to create more support and recognition for women writers. Desert Sleuths was organized in 1992 and boasts an annual membership of 100+. It holds an annual writing conference in September, and bi-annually, in odd-numbers years, publishes an anthology of members’ short mystery stories.

EVENT INFORMATION

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 

Date: Sunday, July 14

Time: 3 p.m.

For more information about the event, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: Lehua Taitano and Bojan Louis Poetry Reading

The University of Arizona Poetry Center is proud to present our summer resident Lehua Taitano and Bojan Louis (new poetry faculty in the Creative Writing program and in American Indian Studies), who will read from their work. After the reading, there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigo, Guåhan (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25. She is the author of two volumes of poetry—Inside Me an Island (WordTech Editions) and A Bell Made of Stones (TinFish Press). Her chapbook, appalachiapacific, won the 2010 Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art: Sonoma(Dropleaf Press) and Capacity (a Hawai’i Review e-chap). Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have appeared in FenceKartika ReviewRed Ink International JournalPoetry Magazine, and numerous others. She has served as an APAture Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a Kuwentuhan poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and digital exhibit advisor for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center. Taitano’s work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora.

Bojan Louis (Diné) is the author of the poetry collection Currents (BkMk Press 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, and the nonfiction chapbook Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona (The Guillotine Series 2012). His fiction has appeared in EcotoneNuméro Cinq MagazineYellow Medicine Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review; nonfiction in MudCity Journal and AS/US. Former poetry editor at RED INK and former poetry editor and co-founder of Waxwing, Louis has been a resident at The MacDowell Colony and is the inaugural Virginia G. Piper Fellow-in-Residence at Arizona State University. He will be joining the MFA and AIS faculty at the University of Arizona in the fall 2019.

EVENT INFORMATION:

Date: Thursday, July 25

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: University of Arizona Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., Tucson

Cost: Free

For more information, click here.

Authors Talk: Heidi Czerwiec

Authors Talk: Heidi Czerwiec

Today we are pleased to feature Heidi Czerwiec as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this podcast, she takes the time to discuss her nonfiction piece, “The Perfumer’s Organ,” published in SR’s Issue 23. The essay is part of a larger work-in-progress that examines “perfume as a physical and cultural object.”

“The Perfumer’s Organ,” which contains five short sections that each explore a different association with the piece’s title, was “born during a self-organized retreat at [her] in-law’s lake cabin” where she was armed with research and notes about perfumery.

Research is an important part of Heidi’s creative process, which you can see reflected in the essay’s footnotes. For this particular nonfiction piece, she looked to her research for recurring language. She explains, “For instance, ‘perfumer’s organ’ is a musical metaphor which let me tie in how perfume is composed of notes that create an accord.”

Heidi first learned the term “Perfumer’s Organ,” which describes a perfumer’s shelving system, from Perfumer Mandy Aftel, but she originally misinterpreted the phrase to mean “the nose.” As Heidi continued her research and writing, the term began to take on new meaning and she fell in love with the “rich suggestiveness of the term” that gave her a way to “organiz[e] so much of what [she] had been researching about perfume.”

Heidi calls her aesthetic a “weird mix of strict structures and loose associativeness,” which this nonfiction piece encapsulates beautifully. Because the essay captures her aesthetic so well and the title phrase helped her see the various connections she wanted to make, the work has become “one of [her] darlings” that she “love[s] irrationally” and is happy to share with all of our SR readers.


You can read Heidi’s work, “The Perfumer’s Organ,” in Issue 23 of Superstition Review.


#ArtLitPhx: Friends of Contemporary Art Film Series

This summer Phoenix Art Museum proudly presents Friends of Contemporary Art Film Series: Who Are We? The Art of Memory—Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

 Jim Carrey heads the cast of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by Michel Gondry from Academy Award nominee Charlie Kaufman’s original screenplay. The two-time Golden Globe Award winner is joined in the movie by three-time Academy Award nominee Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Ruffalo, and Elijah Wood. 

Joel (Jim Carrey) is stunned to discover that his girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their tumultuous relationship erased. Out of desperation, he contacts the inventor of the process, Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), to have Clementine removed from his own memory. But as Joel’s memories progressively disappear, he begins to rediscover his love for Clementine. From deep within the recesses of his brain, Joel attempts to escape the procedure. As Dr. Mierzwiak and his crew (Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood) chase him through the maze of his memories, it’s clear that Joel just can’t get Clementine out of his head. 

Free for Circles and FOCA Members, $5 for Members, and $10 for the general public.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(dir. Michel Gondry / USA 2004 / 108 min / Rated R / English) 

EVENT INFORMATION

Date: Wednesday, July 24

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, click here.

Intern Update, Ellen O’Brien

Today, we are pleased to share an update for former SR student nonfiction editor Ellen O’Brien. Since her work with SR, Ellen has graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. She also recently accepted a position as an investigative reporter with News21.

News21, part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative for the Future of Journalism, is a national initiative led by five of America’s leading research universities with the support of two major foundations will advance the U.S. news business by helping revitalize schools of journalism.

Congratulation, Ellen!

#ArtLitPhx: Mind Your Business Book Club

Introducing “Mind Your Business,” a book club for business leaders, managers, entrepreneurs—anyone interested in the art and science of doing business!

On the second Monday of each month, Javelina CEO Catherine Alonzo leads a discussion of a business book at Changing Hands Phoenix, home of our First Draft Book Bar. Ranging from how to build and scale a business to how to lead a team, you’ll read business book classics as well as new hits. (And get 10% off when you purchase the selection of the month at Changing Hands.)

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. 

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. “Officers eat last,” he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort–even their own survival–for the good of those in their care.
     
Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a “Circle of Safety” that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.

EVENT INFORMATION

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 

Date: Monday, July 8

Time: 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the event, click here.


#ArtLitPhx: Found in Translation

This month Changing Hands will discuss Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, a voracious reader, or a dreamer who wants to see the world, all are invited to Changing Hand’s newest book club focused on international literature. Sometimes visiting other countries doesn’t always give travelers an insider’s view into foreign cultures; sometimes we are still too outside, too different, to get at the heart of a place. Often the best way to understand distant lands and peoples is to read their literature, to get inside the head of a foreign author, to hear their myths and fairy tales molded around words they penned in their mother tongue.

In Found in Translation, Changing Hands will delve into a work of international literature in a small group setting while enjoying coffee, beer, or wine drinks from First Draft Book Bar, located in Changing Hands Phoenix.

Stop by Changing Hands Phoenix or Tempe (or order online by clicking “add to cart” below) to get your copy of Mirror, Shoulder, Signal for 10% OFF.

Then meet us at First Draft Book Bar to discuss the pick and enjoy happy hour prices all through the event.

FREE PARKING / LIGHT RAIL

  • Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Changing Hands.

ABOUT THE BOOK 
Sonja is ready to get on with her life. She’s over forty now, and the Swedish crime novels she translates are losing their fascination. She sees a masseuse, tries to reconnect with her sister, and is finally learning to drive. But under the overbearing gaze of her driving instructor, Sonja is unable to shift gears for herself. And her vertigo, which she has always carefully hidden, has begun to manifest at the worst possible moments.

Sonja hoped her move to Copenhagen years ago would have left rural Jutland in the rearview mirror. Yet she keeps remembering the dramatic landscapes of her childhood—the endless sky, the whooper swans, the rye fields—and longs to go back. But how can she return to a place that she no longer recognizes? And how can she escape the alienating streets of Copenhagen?

In Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, Dorthe Nors brings her distinctive blend of style, humor, and insight to a poignant journey of one woman in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions.

EVENT INFORMATION

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 

Date: Wednesday, July 10

Time: 7 p.m.

For more information about the event, click here.

Authors Talk: Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Authors Talk: Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Today we are pleased to feature Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo as our Authors Talk series contributor. In this podcast, she shares poetry from her collection, Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications, 2016), which explores her time volunteering with No More Deaths (No Más Muertes) in 2011 along the Mexico-United States border. Additionally, the book reflects on her own family’s immigration story as well as her life in Los Angeles.

She invites Catherine Gaffney, a long-term volunteer with No More Death who began working for the organization in 2009, to discuss humanitarian aid efforts along the border that influenced her poetry.

Bermejo and Gaffney also talk about No More Deaths’ recent news: Dr. Scott Warren, a No More Deaths volunteer, was put on trial last month for giving aid to two individuals he encountered in the desert. If convicted, Warren could have received up to 20 years in prison. The case resulted in a mistrial due to a hung jury. According to breaking news on the No More Deaths’ Instagram, a retrial was announced today, July 2nd, “in Scott Warren’s case on harboring counts. Conspiracy charges dismissed. Trial to begin Nov 12.”

Bermejo says, “What led me to volunteer with No More Deaths was this desire to have a more personal understanding of the border—and what we call ‘The Wall’—and so my plan was to go out there and see this space, and work in this space, and feel the sun, and walk in the sand, and then come back and write about this experience.”

Looking back at the October 2016 release of her book, Bermejo lightheartedly laughs at her “naïve thought that this (her poetry) was somehow going to help.” Seeing how border issues have become increasingly dire, she questions how a book of social justice poetry could influence real-world problems.

Gaffney and Bermejo end the conversation by talking about the importance of literature. For Gaffney, Mexican literature has been an important part of learning about the borderland. She believes that literature helps her “get that sense of reflection and quiet and peace, and know that, even in the midst of all that cruelty, people are worried about beauty and beautiful things…and that’s something that matters.”

Bermejo sees this importance as well, concluding, “We need literature and art to even imagine a better world,” making writing, even if it may cause doubt in the writer or seem inconsequential at times, an important part of our lives.


You can also read Xochitl-Julisa’s email interview, “¿Qué importa?” in Issue 19 of Superstition Review.