#ArtLitPhx: Spillers No. 4


Spillers is Phoenix’s premier short fiction storytelling event. Spillers organizers pick 6 of Phoenix’s best writers, put them on a stage, feature them in 2 episodes of the Spillers After Show podcast, and publish their stories in a collectible book available the night of the event.

The event takes place Monday, May 2nd, 2016 @ 7:30 PM in the Crescent Ballroom.

The Spillers are:

1. Joel Salcido: Joel translates the poetry of the barrio pigeons into surrealist prophecies. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State University, and a member of the Gutta Collective, ARTRATs, and Chronic Illness.

2. Michael Holladay: Michael was born and raised in Kentucky. He is an MFA candidate at Arizona State University. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Saint Ann’s Review, Paper Darts, Fiction Southeast, and elsewhere.

3. David Waid: David has two published short stories available on Amazon: Wicked and Loving Lies and Festival of Rogues. His debut novel, The Conjurers, is currently available for pre-order and publishes on June 1st.

4. Tara Ison: Tara is the author of the novels, A Child out of Alcatraz, The List, and Rockaway, the award-winning essay collection, Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies, and the short story collection Ball. She is an Associate Professor of Fiction at ASU.

5. Paul Mosier: Paul’s fourth novel was acquired by HarperCollins as part of a two-book deal. The middle-grade Train I Ride will appear everywhere on January 10, 2017, and an even more depressing novel will come a year after that.

6. Matt Bell: Matt is the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as several other books. His next story collection, A Tree or a Person or a Wall, will be published in Fall 2016. A native of Michigan, he now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Crescent Ballroom is a 21+ venue, so review the entrance policies on their website. The event is ticketed.

All ticket sale proceeds go to the Harmony Mosier GoFundMe campaign.

Spillers Website | Facebook Event | Tickets

Tempe | Award-winning Authors Peter Turchi and Tara Ison

When: Tuesday 02/24/2015 at 7pm

Peter Turchi visits with A Muse and A Maze, his followup to Maps of the Imagination. Joining him is screenwriter Tara Ison, who presents Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love and Die at the Movies,her new collection of non-fiction essays.
With his characteristic genius for finding connections between writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new and even more surprising territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi draws out the similarities between writing and puzzle making and its flip side, puzzle solving. As he teases out how mystery lies at the heart of all storytelling, he uncovers the magic—the creation of credible illusion—that writers share with the likes of Houdini and master magicians.Cinema is a universal cultural experience, one that floods our senses with images and sounds, a powerful force that influences our perspective on the world around us. Ison discusses the universal aspects of film as she makes them personal, looking at how certain films across time shaped and molded who she has become. Drawing on a wide ranging catalog of films, both cult and classic, popular and art-house, Reeling Through Life examines how cinema shapes our views on how to make love, how to deal with mental illness, how to be Jewish, how to be a woman, how to be a drunk, and how to die with style.
Called “one of the country’s foremost thinkers on the art of writing” by the Houston Chronicle, PETER TURCHI’S books include A Muse and A Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer; Suburban Journals: The Sketchbooks. He has also coedited, with Andrea Barrett, A Kite in the Wind: Fiction Writers on Their Craft and The Story Behind the Story: 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work; and, with Charles Baxter, Bringing the Devil to His Knees: The Craft of Fiction and the Writing Life. From 1993 to 2008 he directed the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Turchi recently taught at Arizona State University, where he was director of the creative writing program, and he’s currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Houston.Tara Ison is the author of the novels The List, A Child Out of Alcatraz (a Finalist for The Los AngelesTimes Book Prize), and Rockaway, selected as a 2013 Best Books of Summer by O Magazine. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, The Kenyon Review, Nerve, Publishers Weekly, and numerous anthologies. She is the co-author of the cult film Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.For more information please visit: http://www.changinghands.com/event/turchi-feb2015


Guest Post, Chelsea Brogi: ASU Professors Read at Changing Hands Bookstore

On September 16, 2013 two of ASU’s professors showcased their recent publications during a book reading at Tempe’s own Changing Hands Bookstore. Valerie Bandura and Tara Ison read short selections from their newest work, poetry collection Freak Show and novel Rockaway, respectively.

Valerie BanduraIn Freak Show, Bandura exhibits the raw emotion of the horrors the Jewish had to encounter during the cold war, and how they were pushed out of the former Soviet Union. She sets up a theme throughout her poems, giving distinct and sorrowful details of how throughout the years, the newest generations of Jews did not understand why they were being pushed out of these countries, writing that “We had no idea why we were running, why we were the chosen, then chosen to leave. With us it was simple; we were chased so we ran.” Bandura’s poems are thought-provoking, but even during that darkest time, she shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Bandura’s final poem was her parents, coming from a trip on Lake Powell. Within this poem, she describes a happy, carefree setting; one very different than the situation her family left in the former Soviet Union.

Tara IsonTara Ison started her reading with a self-interview that she wrote for The Nervous Breakdown. In it she asked herself what she would do if she weren’t writing. Some of my favorite answers were knitting, going to the dentist, vacuuming, and reading student work. After reading her self-interview, Ison shared with the audience the first chapter of her newest novel Rockaway. Her protagonist, Sarah, is desperate to further her artistic career, staying in a cottage off the seashores of Rockaway, New York. Sarah is determined to paint a beautiful new set of paintings, and gains so much more from her summer in Rockaway. Ison does an exquisite job of creating a personal journey for Sarah, throwing her into a bottomless emotional pit of a summer.

Valerie Bandura’s work has appeared in The Minnesota Review, Ploughshares, Alaska Quarterly Review, and others. Bandura also served as a Joan Beebe Teaching Fellow and was awarded a residency from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and was awarded the James Merrill Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. She has received degrees from Columbia University and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren College, and currently teaches writing at ASU.

Tara Ison is the author of three novels, Rockaway, The List, and A Child out of Alcatraz, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, The Kenyon Review, LA Weekly, and others. Ison was the recipient of the 2008 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship and the 2008 COLA Individual Artist Grant. She has also been the recipient of multiple Yaddo Fellowships, a Rotary Foundation Scholarship for International study, and more.  She received her MFA in Fiction and Literature from Bennington College, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Fiction at ASU.