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.
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 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 won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel . 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. , 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 , , , and more.
photograph by Arabella Campbell
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.
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.
Presentations by William Johnston, Christina Paxson, Joan Retallack & Steve Stern
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 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 Review, The Guardian, Granta, BOMB, Triple 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.
Nick Thurston is a poet and non-fiction writer who makes artworks. His work is held in public and private collections internationally and he has published extensively. He is Programme Director of interdisciplinary undergraduate Fine Art at the University of Leeds and 2016 Visiting Research Fellow in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). This spring his guest-edited issue of the peer-reviewed Open Access journal Amodern (Montreal & Thunder Bay) was published; this summer a second edition of his most recent book of poetry, Of the Subcontract, was released by Coach House Books (Toronto); and later this year his edited collection of Pavel Büchler's selected writings will be published by Ridinghouse (London, due winter 2016). Current exhibitions include group shows at the Laurence Sterne Trust (Coxwold) and Bury City Museum and Sculpture Centre. Since 2006 he has been one-third of the DIY collective Information As Material, whose forthcoming solo projects include 'Reading Matters' with Printed Matter, Inc (New York, October-December 2016) and a critical reader on Nothing and the contemporary arts (due summer 2016).
Alexandra Kleeman is the author of the novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and finalist for the NYPL’s Young Lions award, and the short story collection Intimations. Her fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Harper's, Paris Review, Zoetrope, Tin House, VOGUE, and n+1. A graduate of the Brown undergraduate program in Literary Arts, she has done graduate work at UC Berkeley and Columbia University. She lives in Staten Island, and was the 2016 winner of the Bard Fiction Prize.
Acclaimed novelist Robert Coover will read from his prescient, rollicking 1968 short story, "A Political Fable" (aka "The Cat In the Hat for President") in an evening of pre-election festivities. This event will kick off with comedy by the Skorts at 6 pm; reading begins at 6:30 pm.
Robert Coover’s most recent books are The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Directors’ Cut, Stepmother, and A Child Again. He is the recipient of the William Faulkner, Brandeis University, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment of the Arts, Rea Lifetime Short Story, Rhode Island Governor’s Arts, Pell, and Clifton Fadiman Awards, as well as Rockefeller, Guggenheim, Lannan Foundation, and DAAD fellowships. Among other courses, he teaches experimental narrative and literary hypermedia workshops, including “Cave Writing,” a spatial hypertext writing workshop in immersive virtual reality.