Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1996-1997 index

Distributed September 26, 1996
Contact: Linda Mahdesian

Vanguard writers meet at Brown for `Unspeakable Practices III' Oct. 1-5

Brown University's Program in Creative Writing will hold a vanguard narrative festival, "Unspeakable Practices III," Oct. 1-5.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Program in Creative Writing at Brown University is holding the third in its series of vanguard narrative festivals, "Unspeakable Practices III," on the Brown campus Oct. 1 to 5. The conference coincides with the national Banned Books Week, which begins Sept. 29. All events are free and open to the public

The first "Unspeakable Practices" festival, in 1988, was a gathering of the postmodernist generation at the time of the retirement of Professor John Hawkes. The second was a 1993 encounter between print and electronic writers during the pioneer days of hypertext fiction. Both of these earlier events will be celebrated on opening night.

More than 40 writers from around the world will participate in five days of readings, performances, and symposia. Highlights include readings by major American, Spanish, Philippine, British and Latin American authors, transoceanic readings and conversations between American and British writers via a teleconferencing link with London; a celebration of literary presses and magazines, including Dalkey Archive Press and Conjunctions magazine; an art exhibit, and a symposium, "Dumping the Century," whose focus will be on a fin de siecle judgment of this century's literary achievements and prospects for the next.

Some of the writers participating will include Jonathan Letham, Wilfrido Nolledo, Lynne Tillman, Pablo Soler Frost, Sol Yurick, Toby Olson, Jim Crace, Eurydice, John Yau, Frederic Tuten, Janice Galloway, Ben Marcus, Thalia Field, Rikki Ducornet, Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Nela Ochoa, Michael Joyce, David Wingrove, Jonathan Baumbach, Shelley Jackson, Tim Taylor, Bobby Rabyd, Han Ong, Darius James, Dawn Raffel, Antonio Lopez Ortega, Rick Moody, Martine Bellen, Donald Antrim, Paul DiFilippo, Lance Olsen, Jeffrey Eugenides, Rodrigo Fresan, Carolyn Guyer, Craig Padawer, and Brian Evenson. Robert Coover (novelist and festival organizer), Carole Maso (program director), Meredith Steinbach and Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop - Brown-based writers of international stature - will also participate.

The festival is sponsored by the Brown's Program in Creative Writing, through a gift from an anonymous donor, and by the Department of Hispanic Studies, with additional assistance from the John Hawkes Award Fund, established in 1988 at the time of the first Unspeakable Practices festival. During the first five years, donors built that fund into an endowment, so that now a prize is awarded each year to an outstanding graduate fiction writer. The first two recipients, Thalia Field and Karen Lee, are participants in this festival. Further information is available from the Program in Creative Writing, 57 Waterman St., Providence, RI 02912, (401/863-3260).

Schedule of Events for Unspeakable Practices III

8:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"Still Unspeakable"
The opening night session links to festivals past and future, with a special tribute to the late Donald Barthelme, author of Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts. A public reception follows in Sayles Hall.

4:00 p.m., Machado House, 87 Prospect St.
"Oye!! New Voices from the Spanish Worlds"
Readings and symposium featuring four new writers from Spain, Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela, primarily in English

8:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"Publishing the Unpublishable: A Celebration of Dalkey Archive"
Readings by Dalkey Archive authors in honor of one of America's leading vanguard fiction publishers

3:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"Dumping the Century"
This millennial reading-symposium looks back at what is salvageable and ahead toward what is possible. It features representatives of a new generation of American authors in conversation with authors of the postmodernist generation.

8:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"Byte This: The New Electronic World of Fiction"
Live hyperfiction readings, including Web-based narratives, a cyberspace trip through current online fictions, and open chat lines for worldwide dialog between writers

3:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"The British Are Virtually Coming!"
A transoceanic reading and conversation between writers and audiences in London and Providence

8:00 p.m., Room 101, Salomon Center for Teaching
"Print Strikes Back!"
Readings by some of the most innovative voices in contemporary world fiction

3:00 p.m., Russell Lab, 5 Young Orchard Ave.
"Sticks and Stones"
A reading by some of the best young writers discovered by Conjunctions magazine

8:00 p.m., Russell Lab, 5 Young Orchard Ave.
"The All-Night Last-Night Unspeakable Circus"
A marathon of readings and performances