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.

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.

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

Eduardo Rabasa

Eduardo Rabasa studied political science at Mexico’s National University (UNAM), where he graduated with a thesis on the concept of power in the work of George Orwell. He writes a weekly column for the national newspaper Milenio, and has translated the books of authors like Morris Berman, George Orwell and Somerset Maugham. He is the author of La suma de los ceros, published in Mexico by sur+, which will be published in Spain by Pepitas de calabaza, in Argentina by Godot Ediciones, in France by Éditions Piranha, and in the US by Deep Vellum. He was selected among the best 20 young Mexican contemporary authors in the project México20. In 2002, he was one of the founding members of Editorial Sexto Piso, where he has worked as an editor since.

Come Shining: In Tribute to C.D. Wright

Literary Arts celebrates the life and work of C.D. Wright in November. Wright was an acclaimed poet and I.J. Kapstein Professor of Literary Arts, who died suddenly in January 2016.


C.D. Wright’s was a singular voice; her expansive and ever-surprising poetry consistently struck an authentic chord, focusing attention on the sensuality of language and a wide range of stylistic innovations; indeed, she worked with such diverse interests and approaches that with each new project, she pushed beyond any and all poetic categories and expectation. Her acclaimed books include Rising, Falling, Hovering, Like Something Flying Backwards: New and Selected Poems, and a text edition of One Big Self: An Investigation, focused on Louisiana inmates. 


She mentored generations of poets and students of literature at Brown University, where she taught from 1983 until her death this past winter.


Wednesday, 9 November at 8 pm

Presentations by William Johnston, Christina Paxson, Joan Retallack & Steve Stern


Thursday, 10 November at 2 pm

Presentations by Laynie Browne, Peter Gizzi, Camille Guthrie, Catherine Imbriglio & Amish Trivedi

Thursday, 10 November at 8 pm
Presentations by Eiko & Richard Leo Johnson
For more information and presenter bios, log on to www.brown.edu/go/cdwright

Nicolas Pesquès

We had expected Michael Donhauser to participate in this event. We are sorry to report that he is unable to be with us.

Nicolas Pesquès is the author of some fifteen volumes of poetry, the two most recent published by Flammarion. His work over the past twenty years constitutes a long meditation on the nature of language considered in relation to a mountain, Juliau, in south-central France. Three have been published in English translation—Physis (Free Verse Editions, 2006), Juliology (Counterpath, 2008), and Overyellow, which just came out this fall from Free Verse Editions. With his wife, Maïtreyi, he has co-translated a number of contemporary American poets, including Claudia Rankine and Lyn Hejinian. He has also written extensively on visual artists, including Gilles Aillaud, Aurelie Nemours, Anne Deguelle, and Paul Wallach. Active for years in animated films, he produced versions of Tintin and Asterix, among others. He lives in Paris and in the Berry.

Katie Kitamura

Katie Kitamura is the author of Gone To The Forest and The Longshot, both finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship, Kitamura has written for publications including The New York Times Book ReviewThe GuardianGrantaBOMBTriple Canopy, and The White Review.  She is a regular contributor to Frieze. She was creative consultant on the documentaries The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema (2006) and The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology (2012), directed by Sophie Fiennes and featuring Slavoj Zizek. Her third novel, A Separation, will be published in 2017.