#ArtLitPhx: Maggie Smith: Reading

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Date: November 29th

Time: 7:00pm

Location: University of Arizona: Poetry Center, 1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85719

Event Description:

We are proud to present Maggie Smith, who will read from her work. After the reading, there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

Maggie Smith’s fall residency is presented with support from the Amazon Literary Partnership.

#ArtLitPhx: First Fiction at First Draft

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Event Description:

It’s back! First Fiction returns to Changing Hands Bookstore, now at our own First Draft Book Bar.

Three first-time fiction writers read excerpts from their buzz-worthy novels while YOU enjoy happy hour prices at the bar. Afterwards, we’ll open the floor to questions, then enjoy an informal mixer with the authors, who will meet attendees, take photos, and sign their books.

FREE EVENT / VIP OPTIONS
The event is free, but you can also select from two VIP options, both of which entitle you to a pre-event mixer with the authors, all three books, an exclusive First Fiction tote, a free drink from our First Draft Book Bar, and complimentary light refreshments.

EVENT DETAILS RSVP: free: Entry to the FREE event starting at 7pm. → VIP Package 1: $85 + fees: Admission for one (1) person to an EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet with the authors (get pictures taken, mingle, one free drink, and free light refreshments), plus a collectible First Fiction tote, a reserved seat for the event, one (1) copy of THE INCENDIARIES, one (1) copy of FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE, and one (1) copy of FRIDAY BLACK. → VIP Package 2: $100 + fees: Admission for two (2) people to an EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet with the authors (get pictures taken, mingle, two (2) free drinks, and free light refreshments), plus a collectible First Fiction tote, reserved seats for the event, one (1) copy of THE INCENDIARIES, one (1) copy of FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE, and one (1) copy of FRIDAY BLACK.

The EXCLUSIVE pre-event Meet & Greet (with the purchase of a VIP Package) takes place from 6-7-pm.

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 BOOKS

The Incendiaries by R. O. Kwon

The Incendiaries probes the seductive and dangerous places to which we drift when loss unmoors us. In dazzlingly acrobatic prose, R. O. Kwon explores the lines between faith and fanaticism, passion and violence, the rational and the unknowable.” Celeste Ng, author of LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE and EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet in their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn’t tell anyone she blames herself for her mother’s recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is drawn into a secretive cult founded by a charismatic former student with an enigmatic past. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will finds himself struggling to confront a new version of the fanaticism he’s worked so hard to escape. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras.

“When women tell stories, they are finally at the center of the page. When women of color write history, we see the world as we have never seen it before. In Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras honors the lives of girls who witness war. Brava! I was swept up by this story.” Sandra Cisneros, author of THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. Inspired by the author’s own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

“This book is dark and captivating and essential…A call to arms and a condemnation. Adjei-Brenyah offers powerful prose as parable. The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope. Read this book.” — Roxane Gay

From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In “The Finkelstein Five,” Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In “Zimmer Land,” we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And “Friday Black” and “How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King” show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

R. O. KWON is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Guardian, Vice, Buzzfeed, Time, Noon, Electric Literature, Playboy, and elsewhere. She has received awards from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Omi International, the Steinbeck Center, and the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.

INGRID ROJAS CONTRERAS was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She has received fellowships and awards from The Missouri Review, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is the book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate.

NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH is from Spring Valley, New York. He graduated from SUNY Albany and went on to receive his MFA from Syracuse University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications, including Guernica, Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing, Printer’s Row, Gravel, and The Breakwater Review, where he was selected by ZZ Packer as the winner of the 2nd Annual Breakwater Review Fiction Contest. Friday Black is his first book.

#ArtLitPhx: UA Prose Series: James Allen Hall

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Date: November 8, 2018

Time: 7:00pm

Location: University of Arizona: Poetry Center,

1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85719

Event Description:

The UA Prose Series, curated by faculty of the Creative Writing Program at the UA, presents prose writers of distinction.

The UA Poetry Center is proud to present James Allen Hall.

James Allen Hall’s first book of poems, Now You’re the Enemy, published as a winner in the 2008 University of Arkansas Poetry Series, won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers.  His collection of personal lyric essays, I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well, was published in 2017 by Cleveland State University Poetry Center Press after winning their Essay Collection Award, selected by Chris Krauss.

James Hall is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.  Recent poems have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies such as Best American Poetry 2012, Iowa Review, New England Review, A Public Space, Poem-A-Day, and elsewhere.  Recent lyric essays have appeared in Bennington Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cutbank, and Copper Nickel, as well as the anthology The Poem’s Country(Pleiades Press).  He currently serves as editor in chief for Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal at Washington College, which has received two Best American Poetry selections.  He teaches creative writing and literature at Washington College on Maryland’s Eastern shore.

#ArtLitPhx: Reading with Dan Beachy-Quick

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Event Description:

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Changing Hands proudly present a reading with essayist, poet, and author Dan Beachy-Quick on Friday, October 26, 2018 at Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013) at 7 p.m. This event is open to the public and free

To learn more and RSVP, visit http://piper.asu.edu/events/dan-beachy-quick/poetry-reading.

At Work in Sound and Vision with Dan Beachy-Quick takes place the following day, Saturday, October 27, 2018 at the Piper Writers House at 1:00 p.m. To learn more about Dan’s class, visit http://piper.asu.edu/classes/dan-beachy-quick/poetry-workshop.

About the Book:
Midway through the journey of his life, Dan Beachy-Quick found himself without a path, unsure how to live well. Of Silence and Song follows him through the forest of his experience, on a classical search for meaning in the world and in his particular, quiet life.

In essays, fragments, marginalia, images, travel writing, and poetry, Beachy-Quick traces relationships and the identities through which he sees the world. As father and husband. As teacher and student. As citizen and scholar. And as poet and reader, wondering at the potential and limits of literature, and guided by his studies in ancient Greek.

Of Silence and Song finds its inferno—and its paradise—in moments both historically vast and nakedly intimate. Our world’s disappearing bees, James Eagan Holmes, Columbine, and the persistent, unforgivable crime of slavery—these are the circles of hell Beachy-Quick wanders, but cannot escape. And yet he encounters redemption in the art of Marcel Duchamp, the pressed flowers in Emily Dickinson’s Bible, and long walks with his youngest daughter, Iris. “The litany in hell is weeping, weeping,” he writes, “but there are other litanies.”

Curious, earnest, and masterful, Of Silence and Song is an unforgettable exploration of the human soul.

About the Author:
Dan Beachy-Quick is the author, most recently, of a collection of essays, fragments, and poems, Of Silence & Song (Milkweed, 2017). He has written six books of poetry, gentlessness, Circle’s Apprentice, North True South Bright, Spell, Mulberry, and This Nest, Swift Passerine, six chapbooks, Shields & Shards & Stitches & Songs, Apology for the Book of Creatures, Overtakelesness, Heroisms, Canto and Mobius Crowns (the latter two both written in collaboration with the poet Srikanth Reddy), a book of interlinked essays on Moby-Dick, A Whaler’s Dictionary, as well as a collection of essays, meditations and tales, Wonderful Investigations. Reddy and Beachy-Quick’s collaboration has recently been released as a full-length collection, Conversities, and he has also collaborated with the essayist and performance artist Matthew Goulish on Work From Memory. In 2013, University of Iowa Press published a monograph on John Keats in their Muse Series (editor Robert D. Richardson) titled A Brighter Word Than Bright: Keats at Work, and Coffee House Press published his first novel, An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky. He is a contributing editor for the journals A Public Space and West Branch. After graduating from the University of Denver, he attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He has taught at Grinnell College, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently teaching in the MFA Writing Program at Colorado State University. His work has been a winner of the Colorado Book Award, and has been a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Prize, and the PEN/USA Literary Award in Poetry. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation residency, and taught as Visiting Faculty at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in spring 2010. He was one of two Monfort Professors at CSU for 2013-2015, and his work has been supported by the Guggenheim Fellow and by a Creative Fellow of the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University.

#ArtLitPhx: Joseph Cassara Workshop and Reading at Changing Hands Bookstore

 

#ArtLitPhxJoseph Cassara Workshop and Reading at Changing Hands Bookstore

Date: June 28

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore,

300 W Camelback Rd Ste 1, Phoenix, AZ

Event Description:

PC Rising and Changing Hands Bookstore have teamed up to bring you a free workshop from Joseph Cassara. The workshop runs from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

The topic of Cassara’s workshop is “world building”. Joseph shares his process for researching and building rich, authentic worlds through his prose. This exclusive workshop is available to all PC students, faculty and staff.
After the workshop, stick around to hear Cassara read from his new novel! In addition to Cassara, you will hear readings from two other exciting emerging authors—Tommy Orange and Fatima Farheen Mirza. This reading starts at 7:00 PM.

Joseph’s new book, “The House of Impossible Beauties,” is a gritty and gorgeous debut that follows a cast of gay and transgender club kids navigating the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and ’90s. Find out more about the book here. https://www.josephcassara.com/book/

Joseph Cassara was born and raised in New Jersey. He holds degrees from Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was a 2016-17 writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His debut novel, titled The House of Impossible Beauties, was chosen by Barnes & Noble as a Discover Great New Writers selection. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at California State, Fresno.

#ArtLitPhx: Native Voices: Heard at Changing Hands

Artlitphx changing handsNative Voices: Heard at Changing Hands

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HEARD MUSEUM

Demian DinéYazhi´- Ancestral Memory: Poems 2009-2016
7PM SATURDAY, JUNE 9

Location: Phoenix

The Heard Museum and Changing Hands Bookstore present an evening of poems and stories with artist and poet Demian DinéYazhi´.

Ancestral Memory: Poems 2009-2016 is the poetry debut of transdisciplinary artist Demian DinéYazhi´. Dedicated to their ancestors, this collection of poetry highlights a selection of Demian’s poems from 2009-2016; Tribal Memory: Post-Apocalyptic Landscape Representation & Indigenous Survivance, and 12 additional poems excavate ancestral trauma(s) as a means to acknowledge and heal familial ties to Indigenous culture, tradition, and settler colonial violence. DinéYazhi’ tackles issues of alienation, desire, and memory; matrilineal reverence and Indigenous uprising; and navigating Western Queer subcultures while being confronted by the continual threat of death as faced by Indigenous, Queer, non-masculine, and marginalized communities in a post-colonial heteropatriarchal society.

Following in the footsteps of Queer poets like Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf, Ancestral Memory is a self-published poetry book. Indigenous peoples have been cast as radical and wild counterparts to their disharmonious European colonizers, while our perspectives and voices have been tossed into the romanticized depths of poetry. Because of this, as well as a long history of creation and adaptation, DinéYazhi´’s stance to self-publish is a political statement of maintaining autonomy without the jurisdiction or approval from Western-trained editors, publishers, or critics.

Ancestral Memory was printed by Pur Dubois Press in the ancestral lands of the Multnomah/Chinook with supplementary support from Potlatch Funds.

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 AUTHOR
Demian DinéYazhi’ is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Born and raised in the “Indian Capital of the World,” Gallup, New Mexico, Diné Yazhi’ is a transdisciplinary warrior whose work is an archivalization and exploration of memory formation, landscape representation, HIV/AIDS-related art and activism, gender / sexuality, and indigenous survivance. Demian has exhibited work nationally and internationally, in addition to having his artwork and writing published over the last few years. In 2010 he founded the Indigenous artist/activist/warrior collective, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment. heterogeneoushomosexual.tumblr.com

Guest Post, Robert Detman: The Necessity of Writing (and Reading)

guest postThe Necessity of Writing (and Reading)

The need to write can be as essential and sustaining as any healthy addiction. With the commitment comes the inevitable desire to send the work out into the world to be published, perhaps in search of literary glory, or merely in the hope of finding corroboration that what one has written is worthwhile.

Writing is such a compulsion that it justifies itself; I often find myself returning to work that is years old, which nags at me, insisting that I give it another read. The energy in the prose sustains and reasserts the imperative of its creation. Because of the number and variety of these drafts, and how they occasionally mix genres, I never know when–or if–I’ll return to them to try to revise again.

At an AWP panel in Tampa this year, “How to Fail: On Abandoning a Manuscript, and Not”, the writers assembled discussed why or why not one might give up on a piece of writing. The consensus seemed to be that writers don’t easily give up on their work. This may be why William Faulkner advised us to kill our darlings—no one is going to do it for us. If success is only gauged by publication, most writers are serial failures. Yet writers who would never abandon their work seem to have hit upon a truth that lies at the heart of all writing: Only the writer herself can determine if a piece succeeds or fails. And perhaps the inherent stubbornness and persistence it takes to be a published writer means we do not give up projects so easily, or even when we should.

What does one hope to accomplish with this persistent—yet intermittent—revisiting, and revising, of past work? We’re likely not just doing it for its own sake. We can perhaps see a progression in the drafts, that there is more there than we might have recognized in previous drafts; there must have been something there all along. Whatever kernels of truth there are in the work, are worth looking at again. As well, it must increase the chances of publishing if we can make use of the material we have. For myself, it often feels right to reconsider an abandoned piece, as I’m aware that I don’t usually work on something I don’t intend to try to publish. And of course, it’s not always true that what I write gets published, but I understand what it takes. It also makes me aware that writing and revision seems to never end.

Though it’s possibly true that what the writer gets out of producing a piece of writing is not nearly the same as what the reader gets from it, could the need to write have any correlation to what a reader may feel drawn to in the writing? In his groundbreaking 1994 book The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age, Sven Birkerts pairs the activity of reading and that of writing as, in essence, one and the same, of existing in a kind of symbiosis in the eye and mind of the beholder—that is, whomever is reading or writing it. Reading and writing could be the proverbial chicken or egg conundrum: which came first?

In relation to other arts, writing may be no less hard won in its creation than painting, or music, or film and drama. Yet these other arts are experienced by their audience with varying degrees of passivity. It’s even possible to experience them obliviously. In fact, it would be possible to experience these works and not engage with them at all. I would guess that not everyone who seeks out cultural artifacts is fully “on” in their presence. The same cannot be said of writing. Reading is a voluntary act of volition, which requires one to fully engage with it. It is almost useless to read passively.

Generally, when I read, I’m looking to be surprised, wowed, or otherwise blown away. I crave that unique experience, which occurs when a narrative is so seamlessly accomplished that it manages to defy precedent. I look for this in fiction, and most often this sustained experience is achieved in novels. Not surprisingly, it’s usually these goals that I aspire to when I write.

I have the compulsion and habit of writing in multiple genres. People argue and make justifications for the superiority of one genre over another. Still, it’s all writing. Lately, I’ve been focused on poetry. Having written poetry for years, I undertook recently to study with an award-winning poet, and I’m encouraged. I read and write poetry with a sense of rediscovery, almost as if working muscles I didn’t know I had. I can sense I’m breaking ground for myself, which is an exciting part of the experiment that is my writing vocation.

My interest in writing across genres—and not being defined by any one—stems from restlessness, and that genre hopping is fed by my frequently broad reading. This restlessness may also just be a way of shaking myself from complacency, keeping fresh what is in front of me. I use writing toward whatever ends my mind craves. Poetry, for me, is the purview of feeling and emotion, and playing with language. Although the same might be said of fiction, I believe fiction is driven by the play of characters. The characters of fiction become real to me, and I become their caretaker. These characters are perhaps stand-ins for my own interests, and I use them to explore motive and action. There is frequently a spiritual depth to this work.

What fiction offers to a reader is story and a possibility of an empathetic identification with the characters in the work. Fiction projects a simulacrum of emotion we might feel, safely in the realm of language. We are safe because it’s only feelings we are “trying on” temporarily. We may be emotionally invested, but we are in our own heads. There are few repercussions. It can also engage the reader in the way that narrative seeks to find resolution. Narrative, which is telling a story, is inherently a form of entertainment.

Nonfiction, of the type you are currently reading, is driven by a desire to clarify my thinking, or to codify an experience. Nonfiction can be intellect driven work. I find that writing in a journal, for example, is essentially the deliberative framing of my thinking. The goal is often to find the energy in a piece with the momentum of a thesis, for an essay or blog.

When I write, I give myself license to not always have a clear objective. Writing is to wrestle and struggle with the unknown. To write to whatever end occurs to me is a search for the objective in the subjective. All of this is a way of trying to explain the motivation to write, the necessity of it. I can’t be sure I am providing for a reader what I look for in writing, but I hope in some way that I’m close.

As much as I am a writer, I am a reader, and vice versa. It seems almost strange to say it, but I really read to learn how I can write better. How to pull off—using an imprecise expression—the tricks that I find in exemplary work that upends precedent. This is not to say I don’t also read for joy, and frisson, and to get a sense of my place in the world. But at the crux of it all is the desire—the necessity–to write, and to hopefully impart that desire to an eager reader.