Join writer Rogelio Juárez at the Valley Bar, Reading Room (9130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7:00 p.m. for a discussion on race, gatekeeping, and white gaze.
Heavily inspired by Toni Morrison, acclaimed author of Beloved,Juárez intends to delve into some burning questions, including: How does colonization affect the creative process? What do we assume the reader knows? What do we explain? Who are we writing for? What is the white gaze? How do political, social, and cultural discourses around specific ethnicities, races, and groups shape the marketplace for literature?
The event is free of charge, but guests must be 21 or over (18 or over if accompanied by a parent or guardian) and the maximum amount of people allowed is 24 for everyone to be able to speak.
Rogelio Juárez is a Phoenix-based writer, a graduate of the VONA/Voices of Our Nation and Tin House workshops, a grandson of Braceros and son of an immigrant and a marine. His writing can be found in J Journal: New Writing on Justice, The James Franco Review, and Zócalo Public Square.
Location: Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (1738 E McDowell) Phoenix, AZ
Price: Free of charge and open to the public
Join for an intimate evening of bilingual conversation and poetry with Mexican fronteriza writer Dolores Dorantes. This event is presented by CALA Alliance in partnership with the ASU Marshall Chair Borderlands Poetry Series and Palabras Bilingual Bookstore.
DOLORES DORANTES is a Mexican poet, journalist, and writer living under political asylum in El Paso, Texas. She has published nine books of poetry and prose, most recently The River/El Río (2018), a collaboration with the photographer Zoe Leonard; Style/Estilo (2015 a book of prose poems that transforms the acts and language of violence into unexpected images; and, Intervenir/Intervene (2015), a collaboration with Mexico City poet Rodrigo Flores Sánchez. Her work has been translated into English, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Slovenian, Bengali, and Swedish. Dorantes is a priest in the Mahajrya Buddhist tradition. She is also a performer and bookseller working out of her mobile bookstore Librería Feminista, and the organization Cielo Portátil (for a free education).
Changing Hands Bookstore (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013 will be featuring best-selling author Jacqueline Woodson on Friday, September 30 at 7pm. Moderated by fellow poet Natalie Diaz, the event will focus on Woodson’s novel, Red at the Bone, which follows the story of 16-year-old Melody and the role of her birth and life in the history, community, and overall union of two families from different social classes. Exploring sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone examines how young people must make long-lasting decisions about their lives–even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
Jacqueline Woodson, named Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2015, is the best-selling author of more than two dozen award-winning books. Her most famous works include 2016 New York Times-bestselling National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, Another Brooklyn as well as her New York Times-best-selling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, which received the 2014 National Book Award. Woodson is also a a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award Winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award Winner. She lives with her family in New York.
Natalie Diaz is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec. Her many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a USA Fellowship, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. She teaches at Arizona State University and will be publishing a new collection, Postcolonial Love Poem, in March 2020.
The event itself is free and open to the public, but you can purchase a copy of Red at the Bone and learn more about the event from the website.
The Creative Writing Program at ASU presents author Jess Row in a reading from his work, White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Free of charge and open to the public, the event will take place September 17, 2019 at 7pm in Ross-Blakley Hall 117 on ASU’s Tempe Campus (1102 S McAllister Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281).
The featured work White Flights is a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. Jess Row ties “white flight”—the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns—to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes. In doing so, Row asserts, those white writers (including Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford, and David Foster Wallace) have constructed a creative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race. Not all hope is lost, however–Row explores what it would mean should writers “approach each other again”, and analyzes previous portrayals of interracial relationships with the aim of further inclusion in fiction.
In addition to White Flights, Row has also written the novels Your Face in Mine and the story collections The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. White Flights is his first book of nonfiction, while his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Tin House, Conjunctions, Ploughshares, Granta, n+1, and elsewhere, has been anthologized three times in The Best American Short Stories, and has won two Pushcart Prizes and a PEN/O. Henry Award. One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists of 2007, he lives in New York and teaches at the College of New Jersey.
Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a poetry reading with Javier Zamora on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (1738 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006), courtesy of the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. This event is free and open to the public.
Zamora will be presenting his own bilingual, debut collection, Unaccompanied. It is poetry that delves into race, borderland politics, and immigration on a journey throughout El Salvador and Mexico, rife with civil war. Zamora himself was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States when he was only nine–over 4,000 miles–to reunite with his parents. In a 2014 interview for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have literally risked [their lives] and died to write those words”.
He is also the author of the chapbook Nueve Anos Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years, which won the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest, as well as a winner of 2017 Narrative Prize.
The Piper Writers Studio will also be presenting a class with Javier Zamora, Engagement in Poetry/Engaged poetry from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287). To learn about Javier Zamora’s class, you can find more information about it on the website.
Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Burton Barr Central Library for a talk with poet Danez Smith on Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Pulliam Auditorium at Burton Barr Central Library (1221 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). RSVPs are encouraged, but not required. The event is open and free to the public.
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer writer & performer from St. Paul, MN who is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the poetry book [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Smith has been the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The poet’s work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Smith is also a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Smith’s third collection, Homie, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020.
For more information about Smith, visit their website. For further information on the event, see the Facebook page.
In the streets of Phoenix, up to 16 poets will compete against one another in an open mic poetry slam for the title of champion and a $500 grand prize based on the audience’s applause. Hosted by International Poetry Interpretation Champion and Lawn Gnome Publishing founder Aaron Hopkins-Johnson, these poets will go head-to-head on September 6th, in the middle of the First Friday Artwalk in front of the Roosevelt Row CDC Headquarters (417 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, Arizona 85004), from 9pm to midnight. The event is free and open to the public.
In addition to his eight years as the Phoenix Poetry Slammaster, Aaron Hopkins-Johnson has spent ten years in advertising and promotions for Arts and Culture non-profits, small businesses, and social media heavyweights, while also contributing to the power of words and both spoken and written language. Some of his poetry collections include the titles “Roach Killer For Her”, “Chainsawsmoking”, “Rights4Lefty”, “Watering The Poetry”, and “Irony Stinks: My Life Is Irony”.
What keeps us engaged? What drives us down the page to the end of the poem? We will explore “speed” or “momentum,” by analyzing poems that keep our attention. But also, we will explore how as writers, we can be engaged with our surrounding world, to the point that we must do something about it. We will look at poems that have been a “call to arms” of sorts. To inspire our creativity, we will look at the current headlines to draw poetry from the media. This workshop will be half generative and half revision.
Authors Kristin Grady Gilger and Julia Wallace, both faculty at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, discuss and sign copies of their book about women newsroom leaders.
There’s No Crying in Newsrooms tells the stories of remarkable women who broke through barrier after barrier at media organizations around the country over the past four decades. They started out as editorial assistants, fact checkers and news secretaries and ended up running multi-million-dollar news operations that determine a large part of what Americans read, view and think about the world. These women, who were calling in news stories while in labor and parking babies under their desks, never imagined that 40 years later young women entering the news business would face many of the same battles they did – only with far less willingness to put up and shut up.
The female pioneers in There’s No Crying in Newsrooms have many lessons to teach about what it takes to succeed in media or any other male-dominated organization, and their message is more important now than ever before.
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 KRISTIN GILGER is Senior Associate Dean at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She spent the first 20 years of her career at newspapers in five different states, beginning as a farm reporter in St. Cloud, Minnesota in the 1980s when family farms were going bankrupt at an alarming rate.She left the Midwest in search of warmer weather and landed at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, where she edited a prize-winning project on race relations and ran two of the paper’s suburban news operations. She was managing editor of the Salem Statesman Journal in Oregon’s capital city and then assistant managing editor for news at The Arizona Republic in Phoenix before moving to academia, where she has helped build one of the country’s most prominent journalism programs. She has conducted training in ethics, leadership and newspaper management throughout the U.S. and in several other countries. She holds a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.
JULIA WALLACE is an award-winning news industry executive with deep experience in investigative journalism, industry leadership, digital transformation and change leadership. She was an intern at the Atlanta Journal in 1977 and never imagined that she would return there, becoming the top editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 25 years later. During her tenure, the Journal-Constitution won two Pulitzer Prizes and was nominated for two others. She was named E&P Editor of the Year in 2004. The newspaper aggressively moved into the digital age and was focused heavily on investigative reporting. Work during her time led to dozens of indictments of public officials and others. She also served as managing editor of USA TODAY, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Arizona Republic and executive editor of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. She led Cox Media Group Ohio for five years, running the news and other operations for three newspapers, a CBS station (WHIO) and three radio stations. Her first full-time journalism job was as a health reporter for the Norfolk (VA) Ledger-Star. Currently, she serves as the Frank Russell Chair at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. In that role, she has been involved in a variety of projects including head coach for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s “Initiative on Integrity and Leadership;” organizing and facilitating a speaker series on gender in the workplace; directing the Mayo Clinic-Cronkite Medical Journalism Fellowship and teaching investigative reporting in Albania and Lithuania. She teaches classes on the business of journalism, ethics and gender.
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix
Join Changing Hands at First Draft Book Bar (the wine and beer bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix) for a discussion of this month’s pick, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.
Stop by Changing Hands Phoenix or Tempe (or order online by clicking “add to cart” below) to get your copy of The Nickel Boys.
Then meet us and Arizona Republic reporter Barbara VanDenburgh at First Draft Book Bar to discuss the pick and enjoy happy hour prices all through the event.
Sign up for Barbara VanDenburgh’s weekly “Feel Good 5” newsletter here, and join our First Draft Book Club Facebook group here.
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this bravura follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.
As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is “as good as anyone.” Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.”
In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear “out back.” Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King’s ringing assertion “Throw us in jail and we will still love you.” His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.
The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys’ fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy.
Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
WHAT IS FIRST DRAFT BOOK CLUB? First Draft Book Club is the official book club of First Draft Book Bar – the coffee, beer, and wine bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix. Every month, Arizona Republic reporter Barbara VanDenburgh picks a hot new book and hosts a guided book club discussion.
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix