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.
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.
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proud to present Kim Stanley Robinson in his talk, “The Comedy of Coping, Alarm and Resolve in Climate Fiction.” The event, which will feature a talk, a Q&A, and a signing, will take place on Wednesday, September 20 from 7pm to 9pm at the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). The event is open to the public and free.
In his talk, Robinson will explore the story and science in his latest novel, New York 2140, to argue against gloomy, apocalyptic thinking and in favor of technological ingenuity and dynamic social change. While the effects of climate change are undeniable, the future doesn’t have to be an unavoidable catastrophe. Ultimately, Robinson argues, this kind of dystopian, pessimistic approach muddles the political, social, and economic causes of climate change and prevents us from taking more meaningful actions to address the issues before it’s too late. What kinds of stories should we be telling ourselves in the face of impending calamity? How do we balance the desire to be both inspired and disturbed? How can literature act as a constructive response to existential risk?
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU is proud to offer creative writing classes through the Piper Writers Studio. Classes are taught by acclaimed and award-winning writers from the community, and they cover topics such as memoir writing, the relationship between art and writing, contemporary poetry, the relationship between politics and poetry, the reveal of information, inspiration, writer’s block, intimacy, flash fiction, and fairy tales.
The classes and workshops offered in Fall 2017 are the following:
Classes are open to individuals of all backgrounds, skill levels, and experiences, and are designed to fit around the schedules of working adults (taking place weekday evenings or weekend afternoons). Most classes are held at the Piper Writers House, the historic President’s Cottage on the ASU Tempe Campus. Class sizes range between 8 and 12 students in order to ensure an intimate, individualized educational experience, and fees range from $50 to $250 (with discounts for students and individuals who are members of the Piper Circle of Friends). Classes can also qualify for professional development credit with the Arizona Department of Education. Individuals can register for classes through the Piper Center’s website, where they can also find more information about the courses.
Co-presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Changing Hands Bookstore brings author of The Sympathizer 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen to Phoenix. Nguyen will talk about his new short story collection The Refugees at Changing Hands Bookstore’s Phoenix location (300 W. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013) on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 7 p.m.
The Refugees is a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. It is a collection of stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing presents author Margot Lee Shetterly as a part of their Distinguished Visting Writers Series. Shetterly is presenting her debut book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at 7 pm.
The event will take place at the Orpheum Theater (203 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003.) See the Facebook event page for more information. This event is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to RSVP here.
Shetterly will take questions from the audience and sign books after the presentation. This event is open to the public and admission is free. Visit the Piper Center’s website for more information.
Margot Lee Shetterly is an entrepreneur, writer, and researcher. A 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, she is also the founder of the digital archive The Human Computer Project and the co-founder of the magazine Inside Mexico. For more information, visit her website.
The Virginia G. Piper Center is proud to present Amitva Ghosh, an internationally acclaimed author reading from his latest work The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. The reading will take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281 on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 7 pm.
This event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis. See the Facebook Event Page for more details.
Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He studied in Delhi, Oxford and Alexandria and is the author of The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In An Antique Land,Dancing in Cambodia, The Calcutta Chromosome, The Glass Palace, The Hungry Tide, Sea of Poppies, and most recently, River of Smoke, which is the second volume of a projected series of novels, The Ibis Trilogy. The Circle of Reason was awarded France’s Prix Médicis in 1990, and The Shadow Lines won two prestigious Indian prizes the same year, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ananda Puraskar. The Calcutta Chromosome won the Arthur C. Clarke award for 1997 and The Glass Palace won the International e-Book Award at the Frankfurt book fair in 2001. In 2005 The Hungry Tide won the Crossword Book Prize, and in 2008 Sea of Poppies was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and was awarded the Crossword Jury Prize and the IndiaPlaza Golden Quill Award. In 2015 River of Smoke was shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize, and Flood of Fire was awarded the Crossword Jury Prize for fiction in 2016.
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing presents award-winning writer Marlon James. He debuts a brand new talk, “When Books Come out of Books” on Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater, ISTB4 at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus (781 S Terrace Rd, Tempe, AZ 85250). This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please visit the event page or the Facebook event.
Marlon James is an award-winning author and novelist whose short fiction and essays have appeared in Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books, Bronx Noir, and the New York Times Magazine. His accolades include the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Prize. James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Language and Literature, and from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006 with a Masters in creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College. He is currently at work adapting A Brief History of Seven Killings into an HBO television series.
Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert will be talking about her latest work, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, at Tempe Center for the Arts. The author will also present on the role human beings have played in climate change. The event takes place on Thursday, October 20 at 7 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will take place after the presentation. This event is free and open to the public.
Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. Her series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award, among numerous other accolades. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and has been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. A collection of her work, The Prophet of Love and Other Tales of Power and Deceit, was published in 2004. Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year in 2006 by The New York Times Book Review.
The ASU Book Group is meeting Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 from 12-1 p.m. at the Piper Writers House (PWH) ASU, Tempe campus. The September 2016 reading selection of the ASU Book Group is “Crossing the Line: A Marriage across Borders” by local writer Linda Valdez. 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. Authors are generally present.
Not a typical immigration story, “Crossing the Line” is told by a middle-class American woman who falls in love with the son of an impoverished family from rural Mexico—a man who crosses the border illegally to be with her. Married in 1988, Linda and Sixto Valdez learn to love each other’s very different families and cultures, raising their child to walk proudly in both worlds. “Crossing the Line” cuts through the fears and preconceptions that fuel the continuing political turmoil over immigration. The book is available at amazon.com.
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2003, Linda Valdez is a columnist and editorial writer at the Arizona Republic/azcentral.com. She has written extensively about immigration and border issues. Her commentary opposing Arizona’s infamous anti-immigration laws earned her the Scripps Howard Walker Stone Award for editorial writing in 2011.
Other ASU Book Group meetings and selections for 2016-2017 include Oct. 26 (Matt Bell: “Scrapper”); Nov. 30 (Betty E. Hammer Joy: “Angela Hutchinson Hammer: Arizona’s Pioneer Newspaperwoman”); Jan. 25 (Michael Smith: “At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life”); Feb. 22 (Tara Ison: “Ball”); Mar. 29 (Martin Beck Matuštík: “Out of Silence: Repair across Generations”); andApr. 26 (Melissa Pritchard: “A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write”). Additional selections TBD.
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.
Poet and Superstition Review contributor (Issue 3, Issue 7) visited Arizona State University this semester to read assorted selections from his poetry. You can see a video of the event below.
Ray Gonzalez is the author of 10 books of poetry and three collections of essays. His poetry has appeared in the 1999, 2000, and 2003 editions of The Best American Poetry (Scribners) and The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses 2000 (Pushcart Press). He is a full-time Professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.