#ArtLitPhx: Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel Poetry Reading

Poets Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel, one of our very own Superstition Review contributors, will read from their latest works–Playing Monster :: Seiche and Testify–on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Valley Bar (130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 6:30 pm. Please note this event is 21+.

About the Books:

Playing Monster :: Seiche was the Editrix’s Pick for the 1913 Press Prize for First Books in 2016. This is a book-length poem weaving many threads, but predominantly childhood experiences with an abusive father and, as an adult, increasingly aggressive acts made toward the speaker’s mother by strange men. Playing Monster :: Seiche is a piece of noir poetics. It is memoir. It is documentary.

A book of elegiac ambivalence, Testify’s speaker often finds himself trapped between received binaries: black and white, ghetto and suburban, atheism and Catholicism. In many ways, this work is a Bildungsroman detailing the maturation of a black man raised in the crack-laden 1980s, with hip-hop, jazz, and blues as its soundtrack. Rendered with keen attention to the economic decline of the Midwest due to the departure of the automotive industry, this book portrays the speaker wrestling with his city’s demise, family relationships, interracial love, and notions of black masculinity. Never letting anyone, including the speaker, off the hook, Testify refuses sentimentality and didacticism and dwells in a space of uncertainty, where meaning and identity are messy, complicated, and multivalent.

About the Authors:

Diana Arterian is the author of Playing Monster :: Seiche (1913 Press, 2017), the chapbooks With Lightness & Darkness and Other Brief Pieces (Essay Press, 2017), Death Centos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013), and co-editor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics (Ricochet, 2016). A Poetry Editor at Noemi Press, her creative work has been recognized with fellowships from the Banff Centre, Caldera, Vermont Studio Center, and Yaddo, and her poetry, essays, and translations have appeared in Asymptote, BOMB, Black Warrior Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, and Los Angeles Review of Books, among others. Born and raised in Arizona, she currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a doctoral candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. She holds an MFA in poetry from CalArts, where she was a Beutner Fellow.

Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has been the Poetry Editor of Gold Line Press as well as was one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His work is featured on Poetry Foundation’s website and has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify, was released by Red Hen Press in the spring of 2017.

About the Piper Center
Diana and Doug’s reading is presented as part of the Distinguished Visting Writer Series by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, a home for writers, readers, and the literary community, offering talks, readings, classes, workshops, and other literary events and programs

Contributor Update: Alberto Rios and Nogales Gallery receive Arts awards

Hilltop LogoNogales, AZ has once again returned to the state’s artistic spotlight. On the weekend of Feb 13th, its Hilltop Gallery was announced as a finalist in the 2018 Governor’s Arts Awards. These awards are presented by Arizona Citizens for the Arts in partnership with the office of the Governor. They are based on the significance of the nominee’s achievements and contributions, the range of individuals and groups served by these contributions, and the degree of dedication that the nominee has to the arts. Since 1981, upwards of 200 awards have been presented to various artists and other individuals, cultural groups and organizations, and businesses.

The Hilltop Gallery is one of three finalists in the Arts in Education (Organization or School) category. These and other honorees were announced at a reception on Feb 6th, and on March 22nd in Phoenix, at the 37th annual Governor’s Arts Awards dinner and celebration, the winners will be announced.

The Hilltop Gallery, founded in 1968, is the region’s only permanent art collection. Its exhibits and education galleries focus on the variety of cultures from both the U.S and Mexico. The Gallery often collaborates on events with other local institutions and centers, such as the Consulate of Mexico. It also organizes art classes for the community, in addition to special corporate art shows for local business sponsors from June to August. One of its upcoming exhibits (March 5), is titled Faith Posey & friends- International Day of the Woman (mixed). If you are interested in becoming a Gallery Member, call 520-287-5515 for more information.

At this same March 22nd event, Alberto Alvaro Rios, also from Nogales, will be presented with the 2018 Shelley Award. This award, in honor of former Arizona Commission on the Arts Executive Shelley Cohn, is presented to an individual who, through innovative effort to create or support beneficial public policy, has advanced the arts in Arizona. Past award winners include Terry Goddard, past Phoenix mayor; Shirley Estes, builder of the Ventana Canyon Resort and community leader; and Katie Dusenberry, previous board chair of the Arizona Theater Company.

Rios is Arizona’s first poet laureate, and artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University. He received his BFA in 1974 and his MFA in creative writing in 1979, both from the University of Arizona. His many volumes of poetry include A Small Story About the Sky (Copper Canyon Press, 2015), The Dangerous Shirt (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2002), which was nominated for the National Book Award. Some of his other works include Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir (University of New Mexico Press, 1999), The Curtain of Trees: Stories (University of New Mexico Press, 1999), and The Iguana Killer: Twelve Stories of the Heart (Blue Moon and Conference Press, 1984), which won the Western States Book Award. His work has made appearances in more than ninety major national and international literary anthologies, like the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.

Rios also contributed to Issue 6 of Superstition Review where several of his poems and an interview are available to read.

Congratulations, Alberto!

 

#ArtLitPhx: A Reading with Elena Passarello

 

Author, essayist, and actress Elena Passarello reads from her collection of essays Animals Strike Curious Poses on Friday, March 16th, 2018 on the back patio of the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281) at 7:00 p.m. An informal Q&A and book signing will follow the reading. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP here.

About the Book:

Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of these sixteen essays investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.

For more information on Animals Strike Curious Poses, visit the publisher’s website or order it from your local independent bookstore.

About the Author: 

Elena Passarello is an actor, writer, and recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award. Her first collection Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012), won the gold medal for nonfiction at the 2013 Independent Publisher Awards and was a finalist for the 2014 Oregon Book Award. Her essays on performance, pop culture, and the natural world have been published in Oxford American, Slate, Creative Nonfiction, and The Iowa Review, among other publications, as well as in the 2015 anthologies Cat is Art Spelled Wrong and After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover the Essay.

Passarello has performed in several regional theaters in the East and Midwest, originating roles in the premieres of Christopher Durang’s Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge and David Turkel’s Wild Signs and Holler. In 2011, she became the first woman winner of the annual Stella Screaming Contest in New Orleans. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon and teaches at Oregon State University.

#ArtLitPhx: “Cli-Fi Bodies, Heart-Born Worlds” with Lidia Yuknavitch

 

National bestselling author Lidia Yuknavitch presents her talk “Cli-Fi Bodies, Heart-Born Worlds” First Friday, March 2nd, 2018 in the Whiteman Hall at the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 7:00 p.m.

A growing number of contemporary Cli Fi novels are changing what we mean when we say dystopian fiction—Station Eleven, Borne, American War, Future Home of the Living God, and The Book of Joan are all examples where authors are asking how we might radically reinvent our relationship with the planet, each other, and ourselves. What if we loved the planet the way we claim to love our partners or children? What if being meant understanding our existence as relational to eco-systems and animals? What if that stuff we are made of, the matter of the cosmos and universe, isn’t as “out there” as we pretend; what if the stories inside of us, including our biology and physiology, our consciousness and emotions, have everything to do with what is around us? What if parallel universes or timelines—as reflected in new scientific discoveries as well as ancient indigenous forms of knowing—are informing our present tense? New directions in narrative help us ask more interesting questions about ourselves and the world—or worlds—we inhabit.

You can find out more information about about the event at at the Virginia G. Piper Center website and tickets here, but here are a few more details:

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the National Bestselling novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award’s Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader’s Choice Award, the novel Dora: A Headcase, and three books of short stories. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader’s Choice. She founded the workshop series Corporeal Writing in Portland Oregon, where she also teaches Women’s Studies, Film Studies, Writing, and Literature. She received her doctorate in Literature from the University of Oregon. She lives in Oregon with her husband Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son, Miles. She is a very good swimmer.

 

#ArtLitPhx: Legacies – A Conversation with Rita Dove, Sandra Cisneros, and Joy Harjo

Legacies

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is excited to announce “LEGACIES: A Conversation with Sandra Cisneros, Rita Dove, and Joy Harjo (Hosted by Natalie Diaz).” The event will take place Saturday, December 2 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm in the Great Hall, Beus Center for Law and Society, Rm. 141, Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix (111 E Taylor St, Phoenix, AZ 85004).

Although the event itself is December 2, make sure to put this on your radar now! This is a ticketed event, and tickets will become available on Saturday, November 4, at 12pm with a limited waitlist. All tickets are free, and there will be no walk-ins for the event. You can see more details about ticketing on the Eventbrite page, and you can see more details on the event as a whole on the Piper website or the Facebook event page.

This event will be December 2, the day after the trio’s event at the Phoenix Art Museum, which is already sold out. So if you can’t make it to the Phoenix Art Museum event on Friday, December 1, the “Legacies” event is the perfect opportunity to see Joy Harjo, Rita Dove, and Sandra Cisneros in action – just make sure to get your tickets on November 4!

The Piper Center teases, “Three legends come together for the first time to discuss their paths through the American literary landscape.”

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. She has received many awards, including (most recently) Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. The House on Mango Street has sold over five million copies, been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

Rita Dove is a former U.S. poet laureate, and she received her MFA in 1977 from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, where she and her classmates Sandra Cisneros and Joy Harjo were the only non-white students at the time. From 1981 to 1989 she taught creative writing at Arizona State University – the final two years as the first and only African-American full professor in ASU’s English Department. Thomas and Beulah, a book she wrote while teaching at ASU, received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. She was also the sole editor of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011). Her most recent book, Collected Poems 1974-2004, received the 2017 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. Among her many other honors are the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton (making her the only poet with both national medals), and 25 honorary degrees.

Joy Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music, and won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009.

Legacies is presented by archiTEXTS and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing with support from the Labriola National American Indian Data Center and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

#ArtLitPhx: Layli Long Soldier and Timothy Yu at the Phoenix Art Museum

Layli Long Soldier and Timothy YuThe University of Arizona Poetry Center is proud to present poets Layli Long Soldier and Timothy Yu at the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Friday, November 3 at 7pm. Both poets will read from their works, and then there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

The local opener is Bojan Louis, who is a member of the Navajo Nation. His first collection of poems, Currents, published in 2017 from BkMk Press. He is also the author of a nonfiction chapbook, Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona, released by Guillotine Series in 2012. Louis is currently Poetry Editor at RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, and Humanities.

Layli Long Soldier is Oglala Lakota; her family is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and northwestern Idaho. Her first chapbook of poetry, Chromosomory, released in 2009 from Q Ave Press. She received a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and she is a two-time recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship. She is also a recipient of the 2009 Naropa University Poetry Scholarship. She has served as editor-in-chief for “Native Language Network” and other publications for the Indigenous Language Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Timothy Yu’s debut poetry collection, 100 Chinese Silences (2016), was the Editor’s Selection in the NOS Book Contest from Les Figues Press. He is also the author of three chapbooks: 15 Chinese Silences (Tinfish); Journey to the West (Barrow Street), winner of the Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize from Kundiman; and, with Kristy Odelius, Kiss the Stranger (Corollary). He is also the author of Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Literature since 1965 (Stanford) and the editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets (Kelsey Street).

For this event, the Poetry Center is proud to partner with the Phoenix Art Museum with support from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing as a lead sponsor, as well as additional support from the ASU Creative Writing Program, the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, the Literary & Prologue Society, and Superstition Review.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

#ArtLitPhx: Amelia Gray at the Piper Writers House

Amelia Gray

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proud to present Amelia Gray at the Piper Writers House. The event, which will include a light reception, a reading, an informal Q&A, and a signing, will take place on Friday, October 13 from 7pm to 9pm at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281). The event is open to the public and free.

Amelia Gray is the author of five books: Isadora, Gutshot, THREATS, Museum of the Weird, and AM/PM. She is the winner of the NYPL Young Lion, of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

You can find more information about the event and an RSVP at the Virginia G. Piper Center website, but here are a few more details:

Using the scaffolding of Isadora Duncan’s life and the stuff of her spirit, Amelia Gray’s breakout novel delivers an incredibly imaginative portrait of the artist, resulting in “a stunning meditation on art and grief by one of America’s most exciting young authors” (NPR). In 1913, Isadora Duncan was known as much for her stunning dance performances as for her eccentric and salacious personal life—her lovers included poets, directors, and the heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. But when her two children drowned in Paris, she found herself taking on a role she had never dreamed of. As dynamic, enthralling, and powerful as the visionary artist it captures, Amelia Gray’s Isadora is a relentless and living portrayal of a woman who shattered convention, even in the darkest days of her life.

You can also find more information on the event’s Facebook page.