Arizona State University alumni Fernando Pérez and Bojan Louis present their poetry collections at 7:00 pm on Friday, March 2, 2018, at Changing Hands bookstore (6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283). There will be an open reading from each, with possible signing opportunities. Pérez holds an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University, and is a graduate of ASU’s Creative Writing Program. He currently works as an assistant professor of English at Bellevue College. Louis is also a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State, and is currently the poetry editor at RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, and Humanities, a journal established at the University of Arizona in 1989. As of 2013, the journal is now managed at Arizona State.
Each author’s work has ties to identity, family, and the struggles inherent in each. Pérez, a Chicano poet from Los Angeles, explores how divides of generation and distance affect identity and familial ties in his collection A Song of Dismantling. Louis, an Indigenous American writer, (specifically a member of the Navajo Nation-Naakai Dine’é; Ashiihí; Ta’neezahnii; Bilgáana) has previously written nonfiction work on banned books in “occupied territory” in his chapbook Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona, (Guillotine Series, 2012), and further explores topics of diaspora and Native experience poetically in Currents, his collection.
The venue is doubly appropriate for both its location and its mission. Changing Hands is known for its local events, including readings, seminars, Q&A sessions, and book clubs. They host both established and newer authors, and foster an audience for each. The store focuses on building a community of local readers, writers, and lovers of the arts, with a focus on supporting local business, public radio, and schools. They donate to causes that affect the community and remain a fixture of the literary community of Tempe and the surrounding area. As an independent bookstore, they have a commitment to their mission that has stayed true since their establishment in 1974. By showcasing Pérez and Louis, Changing Hands continues the legacy of supporting local authors– specifically, in this case, ones that have attended and graduated from Arizona State.
Though both authors have been featured in literary journals before, this is the first published collection for each. The collections have only been published recently, with A Song of Dismantling released February 15, 2018, and Currents released in November of 2017. Each book is available at Changing Hands both on their website and at their brick-and-mortar location in Tempe. For more information and book ordering, visit Changing Hands’ website or call their Tempe location at 480-730-0205.