Event Archive

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.

A Restless Melancholy: Celebrating Forrest Gander

In fall 2018, Literary Arts hosted a two-day festival honoring Forrest Gander, Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor Emeritus of Literary Arts. Gander, who retired in spring 2018 after almost two decades of teaching and mentoring young poets at Brown, is a distinguished poet, novelist and translator.  

Writers On Writing Reading Series, Fall 2018

The Writers On Writing Reading Series is given in conjunction with the two courses of the same title (LITR 710 and LITR 1200).  Given in both the spring and fall semesters, it features visits to campus by contemporary writers who read from and discuss their work.

Writers on Writing Reading Series -- Spring 2018

The Writers On Writing Reading Series is given in conjunction with the two courses of the same title (LITR 710 and LITR 1200).  Given in both the spring and fall semesters, it features visits to campus by contemporary writers who read from and discuss their work.

Flying Words

Flying Words Project is at once imaginative, experimental, and intense. Deaf American Sign Language poet Peter Cook presents three dimensional imagery while collaborator Kenny Lerner's spoken words allow the hearing in the audience to literally see the ASL image and become lost in the movement. Together they have created a moving tapestry uniquely accessible to both hearing and deaf audiences since 1984. Flying Words has been featured at the Poetry Days Festival (Dzejas Dienas,) in the Latvian towns of Liepia and Riga. They have also performed at the 36th International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Harvard University, The People's Poetry Gathering in NYC, Theatre de Lucernaire in Paris, and many places in between. In the 1980's, they also established the only deaf poetry series in the US at the time which culminated in the First National ASL Literature Conference in 1992. Flying Words has been the recipient of grants from the New York State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Puffin Foundation and are the authors of four dvd anthologies, The Year of the Walking Dogs (1984-90), the Can't Touch Tours (1990-2003), Live at the Bowery Club (2003-2007) and Live in Colorado (2007-2015.) 

Here is a link to Tim Riker's ASL translation of our notice for Flying Words.

The C.D. Wright Lecture: Elizabeth Willis

Elizabeth Willis's most recent book, Alive: New and Selected Poems (New York Review Books, 2015), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her other books of poetry are Address (Wesleyan, 2011), recipient of the PEN New England / L. L. Winship prize for poetry; Meteoric Flowers (Wesleyan, 2006); Turneresque (Burning Deck, 2003); The Human Abstract (Penguin, 1995); and Second Law (Avenue B, 1993). Her essays on poetry, politics, gender, and labor have appeared in Transatlantica, Evening Will Come, Contemporary Literature, Arizona Quarterly, Textual Practice, and Boundary 2. She is also the editor of Radical Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place (Iowa, 2008). In 2015 she joined the faculty of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 

Mark Baumer — A Celebration

Mark Baumer earned his MFA from Brown in 2011, where he made abiding friends while he pursued an unconventional and abundantly personal approach to writing, teaching and living. Upon graduating from Brown, Mark began work providing communications for the Brown University Library, becoming, among other things, the voice of Josiah Carberry, long-beloved professor whose areas of study include psycho-ceramics. Taking an extended leave from the library, Mark began a barefoot trek across the United States on 13 Oct 2016. From along the walk, he regularly posted video blog materials -- http://thebaumer.com/ --, chronicling the walk, his encounters, and his perception of the nation through which he was passing. In January 2017, he was struck dead by a passing vehicle.

The Brown Library is hosting this celebration of the many facets of Mark, with festivities slated to begin around 10 am in Sayles Hall. From 11 am to noon, Literary Arts faculty and alumni-colleagues of Mark's will share from his work and talk about how he helped to shape their time at Brown. Joining us will be alumni: Darren Angle, Andrew Bourne and Angela Ferraiolo; and faculty members, John Cayley, Colin Channer, Joanna Howard and Ada Smailbegovic. Around noon, the program moves to the front of the Rockefeller Library, where a tree-planting ceremony will take place.

Alec Finlay

Alec Finlay is an internationally recognized artist & poet whose work crosses over a range of media and forms, from poetry, sculpture and collage, to audio‐visual and new technology. Much of Finlay's work considers how we as a culture, or cultures, relate to landscape. As a poet, Finlay adopted such innovative forms as the mesostic, embedded-poem, and circle-poem. Recent projects have focussed on place-names. His publications include A Variety of Cultures (2016), ebban an’ flowan (2015), a better tale to tell (2015), Global Oracle (2014), there were our own there were the others (2014), A Company of Mountains (2013), and Today Today Today (2013). Recent artist projects include Sweeney’s Bothy, an artist-residency space for the Isle of Eigg, and taigh, Scotland’s national memorial for organ and tissue donors, installed in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden. In 1990, Finlay established Morning Star, a press specializing in collaborations between artists and poets, including the award-winning pocketbooks series (1999–2002). Since then he has published over thirty books and won six Scottish Design Awards, including two Grand Prix Awards (2001, 2015). Finlay blogs regularly at www.alecfinlay.com

Marlon James

Marlon James is the author of A Brief History of Seven Killings, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, making him the first Jamaican author to receive the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award.  A Brief History of Seven Killings also won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  It was described by Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times as “epic in every sense of that word:  sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex…a testament to Mr. James’ vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.”  He is also the author of two other award-winning novels, John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women.  Born in Kingston, Jamaica, he currently lives in Minneapolis, and teaches English at Macalester College.

Anakana Schofield

Anakana Schofield won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel MalarkyMalarky was also nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and named on 16 Best Book of the Year lists for 2012. Martin John, her critically acclaimed second novel, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize (Canada's Booker Prize) and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It also received Editors' Choice in the New York Times who described Schofield as having "serious literary gumption". Schofield contributes criticism and essays to the London Review of Books BlogThe GuardianThe Irish TimesThe Globe and Mail and more.

photograph by Arabella Campbell