Below is a list of our past events. By clicking on the event you can see a list of the authors who participated and links to live recordings from the event.
Nihad Sirees was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1950. He is the distinguished author of seven novels, several plays, and numerous screenplays. His work has been banned from publication in Syria since the 1998 screening of his television drama, The Silk Market, which described social turmoil in Syria in 1956 – 61 and the subsequent rise to power of the Baath Party. He was branded an opponent of the government and publication of several of his works was forbidden by government censors. His subsequent novels, A Case of Passion and Noise and Silence, were published abroad. A historical television drama about the life of Lebanese-born American writer and painter Khalil Gibran, written during a stay at the International Writers Program at the University of Iowa in 2005, was produced in Lebanon and screened in 2007 on Arab satellite channels, but Sirees continued to be excluded from public intellectual and cultural life in Syria and banned from publishing or producing work in his homeland.
He left Syria in January, 2012, because he was being watched and followed by Syrian security services. Since that time he has lived in self-imposed exile in Cairo, Egypt.
Montreal poet Erín Moure has published seventeen books of poetry plus a volume of essays, My Beloved Wager. She is also a translator from French, Spanish, Galician (galego), and Portuguese, with twelve books translated of work by poets as diverse as Nicole Brossard, Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A.M. Klein Prize (twice), and was a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Moure holds an honorary doctorate from Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada. Her latest works are The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi), a poetic investigation into subjectivity and wartime experience in western Ukraine and the South Peace region of Alberta, and Secession (Zat-So), her fourth translation of internationally acclaimed Galician poet Chus Pato.
Rana Dasgupta was born in Canterbury, England in 1971, and grew up in Cambridge. He studied French literature at Balliol College, Oxford, piano at the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud in Aix-en-Provence, and communication arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After his studies he worked for some time in a marketing consultancy firm in London, Kuala Lumpur and then New York. In 2001, he moved to Delhi to write, and his first book, Tokyo Cancelled, was published in 2005. Narrated by travelers stuck for a night in an airport, Tokyo Cancelled is a cycle of folktales about contemporary cities and the experience of living under globalization. It was short-listed for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (UK) and the Vodafone Crossword Award (India). Dasgupta’s novel, Solo, was published in 2009. Set in Bulgaria, Solo is an epic exploration of science, music, daydreams and failure. Salman Rushdie wrote of it, “Solo confirms Rana Dasgupta as the most unexpected and original Indian writer of his generation.” Dasgupta now lives permanently in Delhi, and is at present working on a non-fiction book about his adopted city.
Brian Evenson is the author of twelve books of fiction, most recently Immobility (2012) and Windeye (2012). His other books include Last Days (which won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York's top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is a professor in Brown University's Literary Arts Department. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and three O. Henry Prizes.
Lynne Tillman’s most recent book, and fourth collection of stories, Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in April 2011 by Red Lemonade Press. Her most recent novel, American Genius, A Comedy, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2006, and was cited as one of the best books of the Millennium (so far) by The Millions. Her other novels are Haunted Houses, Motion Sickness, Cast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has published three nonfiction books, including The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-67, based on photographs by Stephen Shore. Her other story collections include This Is Not It, stories and novellas written in response to the work of 22 contemporary artists. Her work has appeared in the journals Tin House, McSweeney’s, Black Clock, Bomb, Aperture, and Conjunctions; her criticism in Artforum, Frieze, Aperture, Nest, The Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review. Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence at The University at Albany, and teaches at The New School, as well at School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Martin Corless-Smith is the author of English Fragments: A Brief History of the Soul; Swallows; Nota; Complete Travels; and Of Piscator. A limited edition chapbook, Roman and Moscow Poems, was published in 2011. Born and raised in Worcestershire, England, he has studied painting and poetry, with degrees from the University of Reading, Southern Methodist University, the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. He is currently director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University.
An organic, interdisciplinary performative digital arts event integrating image, text and sound, featuring new work generated through a multi-day workshop by artist Catherine Siller.
A graduate of RISD's Digital + Media MFA program, Catherine Siller uses technology to integrate sculpture, video, performance, and creative writing into a hybridized, process-oriented creative practice. Her most recent work centers on developing dynamic systems for structured improvisations--computer programs that change dynamically in response to her movements and in response to which she moves. Catherine received her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University. She has studied mixed media with Grace Knowlton at the Art Students League of New York; theater with the SITI Company, the Atlantic Theater Company, and Circle in the Square; and dance with Igal Perry, Marcus Schulkind, Nicole Wolcott, and through a Radcliffe Externship with Juilliard's Dance Department. She has performed and shown her work in New York and New England. For more info visit: http://catherinesiller.com/
Paul Legault was born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee. He holds an
M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A.
in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He is the
author of two books of poetry, The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010)
and The Other Poems (Fence Books, 2011). He co-founded and co-edits
the translation press Telephone Books. He'll be reading from his new
book, The Emily Dickinson Reader. In this original collection,
Dickinson classics are reinterpreted by a modern voice.
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The Department of Literary Arts at Brown University will present Unspeakable Practices V: Celebrating the Work of Robert Coover, a multi-day festival of readings, music and panels featuring such writers as Joanna Scott, Rick Moody, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, and many others, May 1 – 3.
Unspeakable Practices will honor the life and work of novelist Robert Coover, Professor of Literary Arts, who will retire this spring after 33 years teaching at Brown.
Widely acknowledged as an innovator in the field of post-modern American fiction, Coover, along with “such writers as Thomas Pynchon, William Gass, Donald Barthelme and John Barth, broke open the carapace of postwar American realism to reveal a fantastical funhouse of narrative possibilities,” according to Hari Kunzru of The Guardian. Michiko Kakuntaini of The New York Times has said “Of all the postmodern writers, Robert Coover is probably the funniest and most malicious, mixing up broad social and political satire with vaudeville turns, lewd pratfalls, and clever word plays that make us rethink both the mechanics of the world and our relationship to it.”
Author of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Directors’ Cut; Stepmother; and A Child Again, Coover has been the recipient of the William Faulkner, Brandeis University, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment of the Arts, and Rea Lifetime Short Story awards, as well as of numerous other fellowships, prizes, and recognitions.
An outspoken supporter of free speech and freedom-to-write issues worldwide, he also worked, during his years at Brown, to establish the International Writers Project Fellowship, a program that annually brings to Providence one writer who has faced threats, harassment, imprisonment, and suppression of his or her work in nations throughout the world. Established in 2003, the International Writers Project has brought to the Brown campus writers from Iran, Nigeria, Uganda, Cambodia, Burma, Zimbabwe, and the Congo, many of whom have subsequently remained in the U.S. to pursue writing careers.
The participants of Unspeakable Practices V are colleagues and former students who have worked with Robert Coover throughout his career.
All Unspeakable events will be free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the Brown University Creative Arts Council, the Office of President Ruth Simmons, The Woods Fine Arts Lectureship Fund, and the Department of Literary Arts.