#ArtLitPhx: ASU Book Group

The ASU Book Group’s September 2019 reading selection is “By the Forces of Gravity” by Rebecca Fish Ewan. The book group is open to all in the ASU community and meets monthly from noon–1 p.m. in the Piper Writers House on ASU’s Tempe campus. Haven’t read the book? Come anyway! Authors are always present. A no-host luncheon follows at the University Club. 

Synopsis:

Ewan’s illustrated coming-of-age memoir, set in 1970s Berkeley, Calif., reflects on a childhood friendship cut short by tragedy. In an era of laissez-faire parenting, she drops out of elementary school and takes up residence in a kids commune—no parents allowed!—and we follow her, bestie Luna, and their hippie cohorts as they search for love, acceptance, and cosmic truths. Full of adventure and heartache.

The book is available from amazon.com.

Rebecca Fish Ewan is associate professor of landscape architecture in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Ewan received her MFA in creative writing from ASU in 2004.

The ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2019-2020 are:

The ASU Book Group is sponsored as a community outreach initiative by the Department of English and organized in partnership with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Contact: Judith Smith
Email: jps@asu.edu

EVENT INFORMATION

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
12-1 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 400 E. Tyler Mall, Tempe
Price: Free of charge and open to the public

For more information, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: KJZZ Arizona StoryFest and Authors Showcase

Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 
Mesa Convention Center, Building C, 201 N Center St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Type(s): 
Community Event, Reading, Talk, Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Mixed Genre, Poetry, Storytelling
Cost: Free – $10

About this Event 

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is partnering with local radio station and NPR affiliate KJZZ for their Arizona StoryFest & Authors Showcase, Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mesa Convention Center, Building C, 201 N. Center St.

The event features storytelling, readings, workshops, activities for children, and more. While entry to the event is free, tickets for the main storytellers stage are $10. Proceeds benefit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a non-profit organization providing audio access to information for people with disabilities. 

Table space is also available for local authors. Full tables are $80; half tables are $40. Exhibitor spaces are available for $100. To learn more about tabling, you can review the author guidelinessubmit an application, or visit KJZZ’s website at http://storyfest.kjzz.org.

StoryFest is produced in partnership with South Mountain Community College’s Storytelling Institute, the Arizona Storytellers Project, and the Arizona Republic. 

For more information about this event, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: A Reading with Todd Mitchell

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a community reading and book signing with young adult author Todd Mitchell on Friday, May 17, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Changing Hands Tempe, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe.

While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.

Todd will be teaching his class, “Wild Transformations: Vital Secrets for Creating Compelling Narratives” on Saturday, May 18, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Piper Writers House. To learn more about Todd’s class, visit our website at https://piper.asu.edu/classes/todd-mitchell/wild-transformations.

About the Book 

The Last Panther follows the adventures of Kiri, an eleven-year-old girl who lives in a post-climate disaster swamp with her scientist father and her pet rat, Snowflake. When Kiri helps her father capture the last known wild panther, her life in the swamp becomes threatened by poachers and collectors, and she embarks on a dangerous journey to save the panther and herself. Giant sea turtles, climate refugees, and mystical encounters with the Shadow that Hunts populate this fast-paced, heart-pounding tale. (For ages 9 & up.)

About the Author 

Photograph of Todd Mitchell with dog

Todd Mitchell

Todd Mitchell is the author of several award-winning books for young readers and teens including The Last Panther (2018 Colorado Book Award Winner and Green Earth Honor Book Award winner), The Traitor King, The Secret to Lying (Colorado Book Award Winner), and Backwards (CAL Award Winner). He created the graphic series Broken Saviors (available on Comixology), and co-wrote the graphic novel A Flight of Angels(Vertigo, a YALSA “Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens”). Currently, he serves as Director of the Beginning Creative Writing Teaching Program at Colorado State University. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his wife, dog, and two wise daughters. You can visit him (and learn about his squirrel obsession) at www.ToddMitchellBooks.com.

For more information about this event, click here.

#ArtLitPhx: Am I American Yet? with Abdi Nor Iftin

Date: Sunday, May 5, 2019

Time: 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Location: Changing Hands Phoenix, 300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013

Cost: Free

Event Details:

Join author Abdi Nor Iftin in partnership with Snell and Wilmer and The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a community reading and book signing Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013).

While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.

About the Book

Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. Marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.

Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. Eventually, though, Abdi was forced to flee to Kenya.

In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America did not come easily. Parts of his story were first heard on the BBC World Service and This American Life. Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life. (Penguin Random House)

About the Author
Abdi Nor Iftin

When the civil war in Somalia began, Abdi Nor Iftin was five; he and his brother became the sole providers for the family while they also attended a madrassa. Amidst the daily shelling and the famine, Abdi had one escape: American movies and music. At neighborhood showings of RamboCommando, and The Terminator, Abdi learned of America, and taught himself English, and began to dream of a life in the United States.  

In Call Me American, Iftin recounts his harrowing, extraordinary, and uplifting story. His love of western culture and music earned him the name “Abdi American.” This became a liability when Islamic extremism took hold of Somalia. Evading conscription by al-Shabaab while secretly filing stories for NPR under penalty of death, he stayed in Somalia until he had no choice but to flee. He smuggled himself into Kenya, where a different but grinding life of hopelessness awaited. He spent days hiding silently in an apartment from raids by Kenyan police, once passing time reading The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump. And then, a stroke of incredible luck: he won the Diversity Visa Lottery.  

Now a proud and legal resident of Maine and on the path to citizenship this year, Abdi is attending a university in Maine, and working on a film about his book. He volunteers with his immigrant community in Maine, he translates for people with limited English.

Today’s America and the travel/immigration ban worry Abdi, a Muslim; as he writes, his brother, still in Kenya, is now often the one comforting him. Abdi’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid portrait of the desperation refugees seek to escape and a reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life.

Learn More About the Event or RSVP

#ArtLitPhx: A Workshop in Poetry with Rashaad Thomas

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Event Description:

A Workshop in Poetry, Sound, and the Transformative Nature of Artistic Expression with Rashaad Thomas

Dates: Tuesdays, January 22 – February 5, 2019, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type: Generative Workshop, Workshop
Genre and Forms: Hybrid, Poetry
Cost: $149 Regular, $119 Student

To learn more and register, visit here

About the Class
How do we approach the concept of the aural in our poetry? How does the creative process become a collective of both writing and hearing our own art? This course is designed to develop your creativity and fluency in identifying, writing, and reading toward an attuned awareness of beats, tone, voice, and sounds that find their way to the page; we will also discuss how these same utterances transform when read aloud by poet or reading audience. You will be asked to delve into a series of workshops triggered by writing prompts and assignments, as well as peer critiques of work produced in the course. You will engage with each other exploring artistic expression, writing and the revision process.

Through discussions and diving into each other’s poetry, you will reconsider what it means to achieve and transform perceptive and evocative work of art from the mind to the page. The hope being that this workshop will give you artistic time to create original literary works and share those works in a newly formed community of readers and writers. The course ultimately seeks to provide an understanding of the creative process as a means of discovery, exploration, and self-expression through human agency, language, and the power of sound.

About Rashaad Thomas
Rashaad Thomas is a USAF Veteran, essayist, poet, and Voices of Our Nation’s Art Foundation (VONA/Voices) alum, who resides in South Phoenix, AZ. He is an Associate Editor for Hayden Ferry Review. He is also a contributor for the University of Arizona Poetry Center Blog and MyClickUrban.com. Thomas is the recipient of the 2016 City of Phoenix Mayor’s Art Award for Language Artist. He is a Spring 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow and 2017 Hellen Ingram Plummer MacDowell Colony Fellow of the Year. His work can be found in the book Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong, The Rumpus, Heart Journal Online, Columbia Poetry Review, and others.

#ArtLitPhx: A Deeper Image with Joshua Marie Wilkinson

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Event Description:

A Deeper Image: A Poetry Workshop with Joshua Marie Wilkinson

Date: Saturday, February 2, 2019, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281
Cost: $119 Regular, $107 ASU, $99 Student

To learn more and register, visit here

About the Class
In this course, students are invited to develop an acute awareness of their senses in order to write more visceral, striking poems. We will discuss examples, contemporary and ancient, to initiate a practice that draws on figurative language, synesthesia, and the disavowed parts of self to plunge beneath the bland methods that tend to preempt or deplete many poems of our era. Our watchwords will be conflict, obstacle, desire, and contradiction that we may hone a fuller relationship with language that eschews the topical, the merely competent, and which instead dislodges a poem more knowing, uncanny, and authentic to the poet. You will be asked to consider your dreams, fears, wishes, conflicts, desires, and paradoxes. Therein lie the worlds that only unforgettable art grasps.

About the Instructor
Joshua Marie Wilkinson is the author of eight books of poetry, including Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean 2017). A professor in the University of Arizona’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, he is the founding editor of The Volta, a journal of poetry, and Letter Machine Editions, a small press that publishes Fred Moten, Alice Notley, Brandon Shimoda, John Yau, and many others. He lives with the writer Lisa Wells in Tucson and Seattle.

#ArtLitPhx: Piper Writers Studio Showcase

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Event Description:

See what the students and faculty of the #PiperWritersStudio have been up to with short readings of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and more.

Piper Writers Studio Showcase
Sunday, December 9, 2018, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Changing Hands Phoenix (300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013)

For more information and to RSVP, visit http://piper-writers-studio-showcase.eventbrite.com

Readers will be announced in mid-to late November.

If you are interested in reading and have taken or taught a Piper Writers Studio class within the last year, you can send the Piper Center an email at pipercenter.info@asu.edu for more details.

#ArtLitPhx: Writing Sci-fi & Cli-Fi with Malik Toms

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Event Description:

Unnatural Disasters: Writing Sci-Fi and Cli-Fi in a Changing World with Malik Toms

Dates: Mondays, December 3 – 10, 2018, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Type: Generative Workshop, Lecture
Genre and Forms: Fiction, Science Fiction
Cost: $149 Regular, $135 ASU, $109 Student

To learn more and register, visit http://piper.asu.edu/classes/malik-toms/unnatural-disasters

About the Class
We sit on the edge of possibility. From Roddenberry’s sliding doors and tablet PCs to Atwood’s dystopian floods, our stories point the way to possible futures. This is a class about writing those futures. Participants will explore the basic elements of creating strong fiction and learn how to weave those elements into the extraordinary worlds we carve out of fringe science and the environmental issues shaping our tomorrows. Participants will engage with existing genre work ranging from Bacigalupi to Zelzany to learn the finer points of craft. Then participants will create new or revisit old works of fiction with an eye towards the future.

About the Instructor
Malik Toms was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and is a 20+ year veteran of the pen and keyboard. He did his undergraduate work in Sociology at Iowa State University, working as a drug rehabilitation counselor before returning to college to pursue a graduate degree in Creative Writing. He published his first short story at the age 18 after two years of “No thanks.” Since then he has worked as a freelance author, which is a bit like being a freelance mercenary minus all the bullets and moral ambiguity. His work has appeared in over thirty publications including multiple anthologies and a stand-alone novella. A graduate of Iowa State’s Creative Writing MFA program, Malik Toms polished his writing skills crafting cyberpunk and steampunk fantasies on the way to multiple Origin and Ennie award nominations including six Ennie wins. Malik also was part of the Shadowrun Returns video game team which won Diehard gameFan’s PC Game of the year in 2013. He is presently hard at work writing his first fantasy thriller. Malik currently lives in Arizona where he is regularly super-smashed by at least one of his three video game obsessed boys. When he isn’t writing, he’s teaching writing and sociology at community colleges throughout the Arizona desert, and maybe watching a lot of TV.

#ArtLitPhx: Borderlands Poetry

 

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Event Description:

Natalie Diaz and [archi]TEXTS present Borderlands Poetry: A Reading and Conversation with Eduardo C. Corral benefitting No More Deaths/No Más Muertes

Date(s): Monday, November 19, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Pima Auditorium, Memorial Union, Arizona State University, 301 E. Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Type(s): Conversation, Discussion, Lecture, Reading
Genre and Form(s): Multi-genre, Poetry
Cost: Free; Suggested donation to No Más Muertes

Live streaming will be available at the date and time listed at https://asunow.asu.edu/asulive

To make a donation to No Más Muertes, visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/nomoredeaths?code=asu

To learn more and RSVP, visit http://piper.asu.edu/classes/eduardo-c-corral/borderlands-poetry

About the Conversation
What are the physical and metaphysical conditions of borders and borderlands? How do borders span the imaginary, emotional, and physical landscapes of the human condition? Join a conversation and reading with poet and educator, Eduardo Corral, exploring the imaginative, bodily, societal, political, emotional, physical, and linguistic impacts of borders to us as human beings, our connections, and our artistic bodies of work.

Fundraising for No Más Muertes
This conversation benefits No Más Muertes (No More Deaths), a humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona dedicated to increasing efforts to stop deaths of migrants in the desert. Their mission is to “end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands through civil initiative: people of conscience working openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights” (No Más Muertes).

About Eduardo C. Corral
Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Slow Lightning, which won the 2011 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. His second book, Guillotine, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2020. He’s the recipient of Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize and the Hodder Fellowship, both from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

Presented by [archi]TEXTS and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU

Original photo credits: Sonoran desert by No Más Muertes; Eduardo C. Corral by Matt Valentine.

#ArtLitPhx: ASU Undergraduate Writers Showcase

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Event Description:

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for our second-annual ASU Undergraduate Writers Showcase, Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281) from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.!

To RSVP or submit your work, visit our website at http://piper.asu.edu/events/2018/asu-undergraduate-writers-showcase. The deadline for submissions is October 19, 2018.

While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. This event is open to the public and free.

A final line-up of readers will be announced November 1st.