You’re invited to join us for the second Austin edition of the Why There Are Words reading series! This event will feature Jan Reid, M.M. Adjarian, Michael DiLeo, and Christine Albert (left to right, below).
Founded in 2010 by Peg Alford Pursell, Why There Are Words is an award-winning literary reading series that takes place every second Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area, and beginning in 2017, will take place at 5 more national locations: New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Austin. Each reading event presents a range of writers, including those who have published books and those who haven’t. All writers share the criterion of excellence. The guiding idea behind the series is that good work is timeless and needs to be heard regardless of marketing or commercial concerns. If you’re interested in reading or would like more information, please contact Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born in Abilene, Texas in 1945, Jan Reid grew up in Wichita Falls. After graduating from Midwestern University, he took a master’s degree in American studies at the University of Texas in Austin. While working as a reporter for the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, in 1973 he became one of the lead contributors of the newborn Texas Monthly. Reid has written seven nonfiction books including The Improbable Rise of Redneck Rock, Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards, a memoir, The Bullet Meant for Me. Though he is best known for his nonfiction, Reid’s first love has always been fiction. Comanche Sundown, driven by the last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker, and Bose Ikard, a freed slave cowboy, won the Texas Institute’s fiction of the year for 2010, And now in a dramatic change of themes and settings, his third novel and twelfth book is Sins of the Younger Sons, a ranch-reared Texan’s love story that unfolds amid the exotic history and conflict of the Basque provinces in Spain. In 2013 the Texas Institute of Letters honored Reid with its Lonn Tinkle award for career achievement.
M.M. Adjarian is a critic, essayist, freelance writer and occasional poet. She earned a BA in comparative literature from the University of California and a PhD in the same field from the University of Michigan. She has published her creative work in such journals as the Baltimore Review, Verdad, South 85, Serving House Journal, The Missing Slate, The Mulberry Fork Review, Crack the Spine and Poetry Quarterly. Her other articles and reviews have appeared in Arts + Culture Texas, Bitch Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and the Dallas Voice. Additionally, she has produced studies for a number of academic journals and compendiums, and one book of literary criticism, Allegories of Desire: Body Nation and Empire in Modern Caribbean Literature by Women (Praeger, 2004). Adjarian also works as an educator. Her most current position is as a faculty member in the Humanities Division at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. An avid amateur photographer, she enjoys shooting film with vintage and toy cameras.
Michael DiLeo has lived in Austin since 1994 and has taught English and creative writing at the Austin Waldorf High School since 2001. He has an MFA from the Warren Wilson Writers Program in North Carolina and has written for magazines such as Texas Monthly, Mother Jones, where he also worked as an editor, Rolling Stone, and American Way. He has co-authored two non-fiction books, Two Californias and Headwaters: Tales of the Wilderness. His writing has been awarded the Lowell Thomas Travel Writing prize, and the Dallas Press Club Katie award, and his essay on deer hunting and his relationship with his father-in-law for Texas Monthly was anthologized in Best American Sportswriting of 2001. He is currently completing a novel and working on a collection of linked short stories.
After almost four decades making her living as a singer/songwriter, Austin, Texas-based musician Christine Albert has evolved into an artist whose philanthropic work is at the core of who she is. In 2005 Christine founded Swan Songs, an Austin area non-profit that fulfills musical last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal illness. Christine guides the organization as Founder/President Emeritus and primary spokesperson. Christine still takes the stage both as a solo artist and as one half of the powerful folk/Americana duo Albert and Gage, in which she co-stars with husband and musician extraordinaire Chris Gage—bringing an energetic mix of originals, covers by Texas songwriter friends and show-stopping Edith Piaf chansons (yes, in French!) to audiences across Texas, the US and overseas. As Albert and Gage, Chris and Christine have released six CDs since teaming up in 1997. Processing the experience of losing over a dozen close friends and family members in the last several years, Christine was inspired to create her 6th solo CD—Everything’s Beautiful Now—a collection of songs that explore the transformation and growth that can come from loss. Christine has appeared on the nationally-syndicated PBS series Austin City Limits. She was awarded “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the Kerrville Folk Festival Music Awards, “Superstar of Austin Music” for her community service work and co-founded The Austin Songwriters Group. She currently hosts “Mystery Monday” songwriter series at El Mercado’s Backstage. 3rd Coast Music noted that Christine has “one of the best and purest female voices in Austin.” She is a life-long musician who is transforming her experience and passion into philanthropic work and initiatives that serve the larger community.