- All events are held at Malvern Books, 613 West 29th Street, Austin, TX 78705.
- All events are FREE to attend unless otherwise specified.
- For footage and recaps of past events, check out our YouTube channel and blog.
Please join us at Malvern Books for Fantastical Fictions, an odd-monthly event focusing on the literary fantastic across genres and cultures. This month host Rebecca Schwarz will discuss the novel Chocky by pioneering science-fiction master John Wyndham.
Worth noting: if you buy Chocky for the discussion, you’ll get 10% off the list price!
In Chocky, Wyndham takes on an enigma as strange as anything found in his classic works The Day of the Triffids or The Chrysalids—the mind of a child. It’s not terribly unusual for a boy to have an imaginary friend, but Matthew’s parents have to agree that his—nicknamed Chocky—is anything but ordinary. Why, Chocky demands to know, are there twenty-four hours in a day? Why are there two sexes? Why can’t Matthew solve his math homework using a logical system like binary code? When the questions Chocky asks become too advanced and, frankly, too odd for Matthew’s teachers to answer, his parents start to wonder if Chocky might be something far stranger than a figment of their son’s imagination.
Chocky, the last novel Wyndham published during his life, is a playful investigation of what being human is all about, delving into such matters as child-rearing, marriage, learning, artistic inspiration—and it ends with a surprising and impassioned plea for better human stewardship of the earth.
John Wyndham (1903–1969) was the pen name used by the British science-fiction writer John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris. He began writing for money in 1925, mostly for American periodicals. After working as a government official and corporal operator in the army during World War II, he began writing science-fiction novels. His many works include The Day of the Triffids, The Kraken, The Midwich Cuckoos, Trouble with Lichen, Web, and The Chrysalids (NYRB Classics).
Get your cones ready for another round of Malvern Books’ FREE reading series, I SCREAM SOCIAL, hosted by Malvern’s own Annar Veröld and Schandra Madha and featuring young women writers from the Austin community. This month’s I Screamers are Heather Lefebvre, Diana Khoi Nguyen, and Julie Kantor.
And did we mention the free cool confections from Amy’s Ice Cream & Sweet Ritual?
~7pm – Ice cream & Open Mic. Bring old stuff, new stuff, silly stuff, whatever stuff. Just read stuff to us.
~The featured reading begins after the open mic and will be followed by even more ice cream.
Can’t make it this time around? No worries. I Scream Social is every month ’til the end of time.
Join us in celebrating the recent release of new titles from poets Miriam Bird Greenberg and Donika Kelly. Miriam will be reading from In the Volcano’s Mouth, which won the 2015 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize; Donika will read from her debut collection, Bestiary, which was selected by Nikky Finney for the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award.
Miriam Bird Greenberg‘s In the Volcano’s Mouth (University of Pittsburgh 2016) won the 2015 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize and was written with the support of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the Poetry Foundation. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, she teaches creative writing and ESL in the San Francisco Bay Area, though she has also crossed the continent aboard freight trains, as a hitchhiker, and by bicycle. She is currently at work on an expansive/unwieldy ethnographic poetry project documenting asylum seekers and economic migrants living in Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions.
Donika Kelly’s debut collection, Bestiary (Graywolf Press 2016), was selected by Nikky Finney for the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 2013, she received a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University, where she specialized in American literature and film studies. Donika is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a 2004 June Fellow of the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. Her poems have appeared in various journals including West Branch, Indiana Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. Donika is an Assistant Professor at St. Bonaventure University, where she teaches creative writing.
You’re invited to join us for the inaugural Austin edition of the Why There Are Words reading series! Bob Ayres, Nan Cuba, BettySoo, and W. W. McNeal (left to right, below) will share their artistic works based on the theme of “Flight.”
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, please see the information about participating on this page.
A native of San Antonio, Bob Ayres has lived in Austin since 1985. An alum of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, he has published poems in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies. His chapbook, Shadow of Wings, was published in 2012 by Main Street Rag Press. His essay “The Devices and Desires of Our Own Hearts: Reflections on Blessing and Curse in the Psalms of Ascent” appeared in Poets on the Psalms, published by Trinity University Press. He was the winner of the 2013 Littoral Press Broadside Contest. Bob served on the founding board of Gemini Ink in San Antonio, and he has served as a volunteer with Poetry at Round Top since its inception fifteen years ago. When he’s not writing or reading poems, Bob might be managing his family’s ranch on Barton Creek in southwest Travis count, or supporting the work of private land conservation as a member of the national board of the Land Trust Alliance. Or, he might be watching birds.
Nan Cuba is the author of Body and Bread (Engine Books, 2013), winner of the PEN Southwest Award in Fiction and the Texas Institute of Letters Steven Turner Award for Best Work of First Fiction; it was also listed as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Up Now” in O, Oprah’s Magazine, was a “Summer Books” choice from Huffington Post, and the San Antonio Express-News called it one of the “Best Books of 2013.” Cuba co-edited Art at our Doorstep: San Antonio Writers and Artists (Trinity University Press, 2008), and published other work in such places as Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Columbia, and Chicago Tribune’s Printer’s Row. Her story, “Watching Alice Watch,” was one of the Million Writers Award Notable Stories (storySouth), and “When Horses Fly” won the George Nixon Creative Writing Award for Best Prose from the Conference of College Teachers of English. As an investigative journalist, she reported on the causes of extraordinary violence in LIFE, Third Coast, and D Magazine. She has received a Dobie Paisano Fellowship, an artist residency at Fundación Valparaiso in Spain, and was a finalist for theHumanities Texas Award for Individual Achievement. She is the founder and executive director emeritus of Gemini Ink, a nonprofit literary center, and teaches in the MA/MFA Program in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she is writer-in-residence.
In the past ten years, BettySoo zigzagged her way across the North American and European continents dozens of times. The Austin American-Statesman says BettySoo has “exceptionally well-arranged songs, as easily equal in precision to, say, Patty Griffin or Alison Krauss…a confidence that speaks volumes,” and KUT praises her “beautiful, heart-wrenching songs that are also edgy and unwavering.” Her albums include: Let Me Love You, Never the Pretty Girl, Heat Sin Water Skin, Tiny Little Secrets, and When We’re Gone. Previous albums have garnered successively greater and numerous positive reviews. BettySoo’s last album, Heat Sin Water Skin, received a great deal of radio airplay, including spins at influential Non-Comm/Triple A stations WFUV, KUT, WXPN, KGSR, KDRP and SiriusXM’s The Loft.
W. W. McNeal is a retired trial lawyer and a sixth-generation Texan. He lives on a Caldwell County ranch in Central Texas that has been in his family since 1850. The 436 acre spread backing up to the San Marcos River was purchased from the first grantees and the original 1850 deed to the property is locked securely in a desk that belonged to his great grandfather. He grew up on the ranch he lives on now, an only child fascinated by Texas lore and the natural environment that surrounded him. Plum Creek is not only a piece of Texas historical fiction but an homage to the area in which Bill came of age. A student at the University of Texas at the same time that J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb were teaching there, McNeal’s inherent love of Texas and respect for early settlers and Texas Rangers gained focus. Throughout the years, he continued to study and envision what Texas life was like in the years after the civil war. Plum Creek is the product of those many hours of research and imagination.
Join us for a FREE monthly reading series, Malvern’s Multi-Verse, in which we explore the infinite possible (multi)verses of Austin’s boundless poetic universe!
Malvern’s Multi-Verse features readings from guest poets, plus a Q & A session. Space-time might be flat and stretch out infinitely, but Malvern’s Multi-Verse is well-rounded, lasts for about an hour, and includes free cookies! Yes indeed, it’s the best of all possible worlds…
This month’s guest is local poet Nick Courtright.
Nick Courtright is the author of Let There Be Light, called “a continual surprise and a revelation” by Naomi Shihab Nye, and Punchline, a National Poetry Series finalist. He is Co-Executive Editor and book designer for Gold Wake Press, and the founder and Executive Editor of Atmosphere Press. His poetry has appeared in many literary journals, including The Southern Review, Kenyon Review Online, Boston Review, and The Iowa Review, among numerous others, and essays and other prose of his have been published by such places as The Huffington Post, The Best American Poetry, Gothamist, and SPIN Magazine. At the University of Texas he is currently studying the epistemological implications of Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer.”
Join us in celebrating the launch of local poetry press INF Press. Poets Jenna Martin Opperman and Andrea Eames will be reading from their newly released poetry collections, the initial offerings of INF Press.
Jenna Martin Opperman has a BA in English Literature from The University of Texas at Austin and an MFA in Poetry from New England College. Despite being published in a wide variety of poetry journals and magazines, she prefers the thrill and terror of performing before a live audience. She works and plays with the printed word every day as an English teacher, as the owner of Red Planet Audiobooks, and as the co-founder of INF Press. Her poetry comes from a place of ferocity, of playfulness, of emotional urgency, and of hope. She loves whisky, revelation, and naps.
Praise for Shattering is Gradual by Jenna Martin Opperman:
This highly-polished, cerebral collection spans years of writing, and is an achievement both elegant and emotional. Love, heartbreak and self-realization are major themes, described with wry, often funny, always balanced poignancy.
Andrea Eames is a poet and novelist living in Austin after eight years in New Zealand and seventeen in Zimbabwe. She has released two critically acclaimed novels so far, both published by Harvill Secker (an imprint of Penguin Random House UK) and set in Zimbabwe: The Cry of the Go-Away Bird (2011) and The White Shadow (2012). The White Shadow was shortlisted for the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize. Her first poetry collection, The Making of Stones, was released in March 2016 and her second, New Monsters, was released in February 2017. Andrea aims to be vulnerable, vivid, and honest in her poetry and prose.
Praise for New Monsters by Andrea Eames:
New Monsters is not for the timid. A study in the feminine as much as the poet, Eames’ new collection is fearless, revealing women in our full, unfettered beauty. Within these pages, we are ravenous and angry, raw and polished, simultaneously ourselves and our search for something larger—much like the collection itself.
Welcome to Malvern Books’ Club: Reading Classics from New York Review Books, hosted (on most occasions) by Malvern’s own curmudgeon-in-chief, Dr. Joe. Everyone is invited to join us for what we’re sure will be a series of irreverent and insightful conversations.
Our April selection is Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner. In Lolly Willowes, Warner’s first novel, she tells of an aging spinster’s struggle to break way from her controlling family—a classic story that she treats with cool feminist intelligence, while adding a dimension of the supernatural and strange.
Sylvia Townsend Warner’s brilliantly varied and self-possessed literary production never quite won her the flaming place in the heavens of repute that she deserved. . . . This is the witty, eerie, tender but firm life history of a middle-class Englishwoman who politely declines to make the expected connection with the opposite sex and becomes a witch instead. —John Updike
The NYRB Classics series started in 1999 with the publication of A High Wind in Jamaica and by the end of this year over 400 titles will be in print—so we have plenty of excellent reading material to choose from. The series includes nineteenth-century and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, established classics and cult favorites, and literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. Literature in translation also constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, including new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Aeschylus, Dante, Balzac, Nietzsche, and Chekhov, as well as fresh translations of Stefan Zweig, Robert Walser, Alberto Moravia, and Curzio Malaparte, among others.
How it works:
Stop by Malvern Books to sign up and you’ll receive a 10% discount off the title! Read the book and then come to the meeting prepared with either a question or specific passage to discuss with the group. We’ll look forward to seeing you on April 1st.
In association with VSA Texas (The State Organization on Arts and Disability) and the Pen2Paper Creative Writing Contest (a project of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities), we’re delighted to present an inclusive (mic-less) open mic for writers and musicians. Join us for a fun and friendly evening suitable for performers of all ages and abilities.
This month, as well as our Open Mic, we have a special guest, Austin artist and author David Borden. We’ll be celebrating the release of And Yet We Rise, David’s graphic novel on life as a caregiver to a significantly disabled child. Meditative, humorous, and raw, And Yet We Rise dares to dive into the hidden world of parenting a medically fragile child with significant, multiple disabilities. This graphic novel explores the beauty and heartbreak with frankness and humanity.
David Borden is an artist and award winning writer living in Austin, Texas with his wife and daughter. He’s held various jobs in education: director of art programming at a non-profit for persons with disabilities, ESL and GED instructor, and college administrator. Once, long ago, he even sold everything and moved to Morocco for five years. He is often described as unconventional, irreverent, and indomitable. His daughter Savannah taught him to laugh loudly, face every day with courage, and dare to dream.
Footage from previous Lion & Pirate open mic events can be seen here: http://bit.ly/1m7v4L8.
Join us for an afternoon with poets Dan Boehl, Katy Chrisler, and Cindy St. John (left to right, below).
Dan Boehl is a founding editor of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry publisher, which put out his book The Kings of the F**king Sea. He co-founded the Austin reading series Fun Party and has received fellowships and residencies from the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, the Vermont Studio Center, the Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Lighthouse Works, and POGON. His latest book on Edition Solitude, emoemoji : woods, came out in 2016.
Katy Chrisler received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has held residencies with the Land Arts of the American West and 100 West Corsicana. Recent work of hers has appeared in Tin House, Black Warrior Review, The Volta, and The Seattle Review. Her chapbook, If It Be A Skeleton, will be out this summer from Walls Divide Press. She currently lives and works in Austin, Texas.
Cindy St. John is the author of Dream Vacation, recently published by H_NGM_N Books, as well as four chapbooks. She lives in Austin, TX, where she teaches at a public school.
Join us in celebrating the launch of Michael Anania’s poetry collection, Continuous Showings.
With Anania’s familiar, quick movement from perception to the precise but often kinetic image and his extraordinary musicality, Continuous Showings explores a wide range of continuities, from the persistence of tribal culture and language in Mexico to the experience of a fifties movie with Sinatra and Doris Day, from Newton’s alchemical encounter with the New World to the coincidence of science and Dadaism in Paris in 1922, from lute music to jazz. The collection’s final section, the award-winning “Omaha Appendices,” returns to the setting of Anania’s early poetry and fiction to examine the tragicomedy of Italian-American life in the Midwest.
Michael Anania is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. His published work includes twelve collections of poetry, among them Selected Poems (l994), In Natural Light (1999) and Heat Lines (2006). His work is widely anthologized and has been translated into Italian, German, French, Spanish and Czech. He has also published a novel, The Red Menace, and a collection of essays, In Plain Sight. He has received a number of awards and fellowships, including the Charles Angoff Award and the Aniello Lauri Award for poems in this collection.
Anania was poetry editor of Audit, a quarterly, founder and co-editor of Audit/Poetry, poetry and literary editor of The Swallow Press, poetry editor of Partisan Review and a contributing editor to Tri-Quarterly and has served as an advisory editor to a number of other magazines and presses. He is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a member of the faculty in writing at Northwestern University. He also taught at SUNY at Buffalo and the University of Chicago. He lives in Austin, Texas, and on Lake Michigan.
Join us for a night with Austin’s Typewriter Rodeo! Rodeo members David Fruchter and Sean Petrie will write full-length poems for us on-the-spot, on vintage typewriters, based on whatever prompts the Malvern audience provides. And our Curmudgeon in Chief Joe Bratcher will also interview the Rodeo crew about their ad-lib artistry. Come along for a fun night of extemporaneous poetry… and be prepared with a suggestion or two!
You can read more about Typewriter Rodeo here.
We’re thrilled to be hosting a series of readings as part of the 25th annual Austin International Poetry Festival.
12:00 – 1:30: Workshop facilitated by Joaquin Zihuatanejo (State Feature)
1:45 – 3:15: Workshop facilitated by Robert Lee Brewer (National Feature)
3:30 – 4:45: City Read at Malvern Books with readers Brooke Axtell (Local Feature); Sue Littleton (International Feature); Luz EtchemendiGaray; Robert Brewer (National Feature); Tammy Brewer
See the Austin International Poetry Festival website for the full schedule of readings.
Join us for another installment of Novel Night, a monthly celebration of all things prose! Here’s how it works: two published authors will read from their books and there’ll be an audience Q & A. And we’ll also have “Book Talk,” in which an intrepid Malvern staff member will introduce you to one of our favorite prose titles. Also worth noting: we’re offering 20% OFF ALL FICTION TITLES during Novel Night (from 6pm till closing).
This month we have something rather special: a SciFi/Fantasy/Speculative fiction-themed reading with two very talented writers, Ron Seybold and S.R. Bond.
We’re thrilled to be hosting a series of readings as part of the 25th annual Austin International Poetry Festival.
12:00 – 2:15: City Read at Malvern Books with readers Sue Littleton (International Feature); Luz EtchemendiGaray
2:30 – 4:45: City Read at Malvern Books with readers TBA
See the Austin International Poetry Festival website for the full schedule of readings.
Join us in celebrating the launch of new books from poets Andrew Wessels, James Meetze, and Kelli Anne Noftle, with readings from Andrew, James, and Kelli, plus special guest John Fry. Andrew will be reading from A Turkish Dictionary; James will read from Phantom Hour; and Kelli will read from Adam Cannot Be Adam.
Andrew Wessels currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Istanbul, where he teaches at Koç University. He has previously lived in Houston, Cambridge, and Las Vegas. He has held fellowships from Poets & Writers and the Black Mountain Institute. His first book is A Turkish Dictionary from 1913 Press. Semi Circle, a chapbook of his translations of the Turkish poet Nurduran Duman, was published by Goodmorning Menagerie in 2016. His poems and translations can be found in VOLT, Witness, Tammy Journal, Faultline, and Colorado Review, among others. He is the NOS Series editor at Les Figues Press and a founding editor of The Offending Adam.
James Meetze is the author of I Have Designed This for You and Dayglo, which was selected by Terrance Hayes as winner of the 2010 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and published by Ahsahta Press. He is editor, with Simon Pettet, of Other Flowers: Uncollected Poems by James Schuyler (FSG, 2010). His work has also appeared in five chapbooks and numerous publications, including AGNI, A Public Space, American Letters & Commentary, The Rattling Wall, and New American Writing, among others. His third book, Phantom Hour, will be published by Ahsahta Press in March, 2016. He spends his time between Los Angeles and San Diego, where he teaches creative writing and film studies at Ashford University.
Kelli Anne Noftle is a poet, musician, and business manager who currently lives in San Diego with her husband and their 50-year-old Sulcata tortoise, Bong Rip. Her first collection of poems, I Was There For Your Somniloquy, was selected by Rae Armantrout for the 2010 Omnidawn Book Prize. Her new book of poems, Adam Cannot Be Adam, is now out from Omnidawn Publishing.
John Fry is the author of the chapbook silt will swirl (NewBorder, 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Colorado Review, West Branch, Water~Stone Review, and The Laurel Review, among others. He is a graduate of the MFA program at Texas State University. He serves as a poetry editor for Newfound Journal, and he is an assistant instructor and PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin.
We’re thrilled to be hosting an evening with Bucolics Anonymous as part of the annual Austin International Poetry Festival.
Bucolics Anonymous honors and celebrates nature and gardens in poetry and in music. Front-man Thom the World Poet reads a mixture of his own work, along with those of Naomi Shihab Nye, Hāfez, Thomas Hardy, Rumi, and the poetic prose of Guardian writer Paul Evans. These are all set to music by Darrel Mayers (leader of Bucolics), and performed with a 3- or 4-piece folk band. They normally perform in community gardens and on farms—but are delighted to return to the AIPF on this important anniversary, six years after our last performance at Ruta Maya.
In celebration of Caits Meissner’s new poetry collection, Let It Die Hungry, join us for a reading with Caits, plus special guests Ebony Stewart and Amanda Johnston.
In this world where so many things are uncertain, shaky, volatile, Let It Die Hungry does not offer easy solutions, but builds upon the idea that to affect change, one must look inward and learn from the infinities of the self before pointing our human tentacles outward. It is an inspiration for what a book can do and I argue there needs to be more literature like this, now more than ever. Literature that calls the world out, holds it in the light, and demands the reader do the work too. Oh, and did I mention the artwork? It’s pretty dope too. —M.K. Rainey, 3:AM Magazine
New York City-based Caits Meissner (center, above) is the author of the multidisciplinary poetry book Let It Die Hungry, and The Letter All Your Friends Have Written You, co-written with poet Tishon Woolcock. Her award-winning work has been widely published in journals and anthologies. Caits serves as Writer-in-Residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, facilitates classes at the transgender unit of Manhattan Detention Center and is part-time faculty at The New School University and CUNY. Her current projects include writing with ReEmergent Theatre, a company in collaboration with people emerging from prison, and you can find her touring her new book in public venues, as well as prisons across America. She is completing her MFA at City College of New York.
Ebony Stewart (left, above) is an international touring artist, poet, writer, occasional slammer. Been on some teams. Coached a lot of teams. Won a bunch of awards. Been featured in a bunch of articles, journals, and magazines. Ate a lot of cupcakes. She. Her. Woman. So black she be magic. Ebony Stewart aka The Gully Princess, story of the black girl winning.
Amanda Johnston (right, above) earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. Her poetry and interviews have appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them Kinfolks Quarterly, Muzzle, Pluck! and the anthologies Small Batch, di-ver-city and The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South. The recipient of multiple Artist Enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Christina Sergeyevna Award from the Austin International Poetry Festival, she is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem graduate fellow. Johnston is a Stonecoast MFA faculty member, a co-founder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founding executive director of Torch Literary Arts.
Join us for something rather special: Austin Community College’s Creative Writing Department will be introducing us to the two winners of their 2015 Balcones Prize: writer Margaret Malone, whose debut short story collection People Like You won the Fiction Prize; and Michael Wiegers, editor of What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, which won the Poetry Prize.
In Margaret Malone’s debut story collection, characters in the thick of everyday experience absent of epiphanies, are caught off-guard or cast adrift by personal impulses even while wide awake to their own imperfections. Final judge John Blair called the book ‘a masterfully minimalist collection of lives lived poorly but with the best of intentions. Her stories are powerful, sad, and plain-spoken, and this debut collection takes the normative-yet-desperate circuits of the day-to-day that Bobbie Anne Mason and Frederick Barthelme brought to the forefront of American short fiction and makes them both new again and powerfully affecting. These are marvelous and worthy stories, and very much deserving of recognition.’
Malone’s writing has appeared in The Missouri Review, Oregon Humanities Magazine, Coal City Review, Propeller Quarterly, The Timberline Review, Swink, Nailed and latimes.com. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission and Literary Arts, two Regional Arts & Culture Council Project Grants, and residencies at The Sitka Center and Soapstone. Malone has a degree in Philosophy from Humboldt State University and has taught creative writing as a visiting artist at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She lives with her husband filmmaker Brian Padian and two children in Portland, where she co-hosts the artist and literary gathering SHARE. (Photo by Sabina Poole.)
Michael Wiegers is poetry editor of Narrative Magazine and executive editor of Copper Canyon Press. His previous titles include This Art, The Poet’s Child and Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (co-edited with Monica de la Torre).
Join us in celebrating the launch of Schadenfreude, A Love Story by Rebecca Schuman.
Schadenfreude is the story of a teenage Jewish intellectual who falls in love—in love with a boy (who breaks her heart), a language (that’s nearly impossible to master), a culture (that’s nihilistic, but punctual), and a landscape (that’s breathtaking when there’s not a wall in the way). At once a snapshot of a young woman finding herself, and a country slowly starting to stitch itself back together after nearly a century of war (both hot and cold), Schadenfreude, A Love Story is an exhilarating, hilarious, and yes, maybe even heartfelt memoir proving that sometimes the truest loves play hard to get.
Rebecca Schuman is a St. Louis-based writer and translator who contributes regularly to The Awl, The Hairpin, Slate, the Atlantic, and other publications. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from The New School and a PhD in German from the University of California-Irvine. SCHADENFREUDE, A LOVE STORY is her first work of commercial nonfiction.
“We read all types, we take all types. Aim to keep things light and fun.” Hosted by Jon Meador. Please visit Austin Book Club for more information.
Join us in celebrating the launch of Tomás Q. Morín’s new poetry collection, Patient Zero (Copper Canyon Press). With readings from Tomás and Elena Passarello.
Tomás Q. Morín’s Patient Zero is full of life and its undeniable hungers. Claws, fins, mouths, and feathers populate a fanciful world: a man in a crowded market becomes a tree of butterflies, a mountain gives a feline yawn, grocery bags contain “milk for bones — salt for blood.” Meanwhile at the edge of the fantastic, realism beckons: the buzzard stalks the tortoise, heartbreak sickens the living, and each beginning contains an end.
Tomás Q. Morín is the author of Patient Zero and A Larger Country. He translated Pablo Neruda’s The Heights of Macchu Picchu and with Mari L’Esperance co-edited Coming Close: Forty Essays on Philip Levine. He teaches at Texas State University and in the low residency MFA program of Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Elena Passarello is the author of two collections of essays, Let Me Clear My Throat and Animals Strike Curious Poses. Her essays on performance, pop, culture, and the natural world have recently appeared in Oxford American, Virginia Quarterly Review, Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. The recipient of the 2015 Whiting Award in nonfiction, she teaches at Oregon State University.
In tandem with a workshop they’re leading at the Fusebox Festival on Sunday, April 16th, Ayden LeRoux and Abraham Burickson offer a reading from their book Odyssey Works: Transformative Experiences for an Audience of One (Princeton Architectural Press). Odyssey Works infiltrates the life of one person at a time to create a custom-tailored, life-altering performance. It may last for one day or a few months and consists of experiences that blur the boundaries of life and art. The book uses a performance for Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm, to discuss the broader ideas of their creative and collaborative work. Ayden and Abraham will read from portions of the book and discuss the ideas within, along with holding a question and answer session with the audience.
Ayden LeRoux is an artist, writer, critic, and educator. She is the author of Odyssey Works: Transformative Experiences for an Audience of One, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2016, and Isolation and Amazement, published by Samsara Press in 2012. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from Public Books, Cosmonauts Avenue, Theo Westenberger Estate, Works & Conversations, and Emergent Art Space. She is a regular contributor to Glasstire. LeRoux’s photography, performance, installation, and video work often incorporates text and has been exhibited in China, Cuba, Greece, and throughout the United States. She has had solo exhibitions at IDIO Gallery and Flux Factory in New York. She was an artist in residence at the ACE Hotel, Flux Factory, and with the Alaskan Parks and Recreation Department. LeRoux collaborates frequently and is the Assistant Director of Odyssey Works, an interdisciplinary performance group that studies the life of one individual and makes immersive, durational experiences for that person. Odyssey Works has been featured by Newsweek, the New York Times, ArtInfo, BOMB, Hyperallergic, the Marina Abramovic Institute, Vulture, NPR’s Studio 360, Fast Company, and San Francisco Magazine. She has been a Visiting Artist, lectured, and led workshops at the Brooklyn Museum, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Fordham University, and Battersea Centre for the Arts, among others.
Abraham Burickson is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Odyssey Works. Burickson was trained in architecture; his work spans writing, design, and performance.
This event is co-sponsored by the Michener Center for Writers.
Join us for an evening with poet Cathy Eisenhower.
Cathy Eisenhower is a recent transplant to Austin, TX, and is the author of Language of the Dog-heads (Phylum 2001), clearing without reversal (Edge 2008), would with and (Roof 2009), and distance decay (Ugly Duckling 2015). She co-curated the In Your Ear Reading Series for several years in Washington, DC, and her work has appeared in The Recluse, Aufgabe, West Wind Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and Fence.
Join us in celebrating the launch of Deborah Clearman’s short story collection, Concepción and the Baby Brokers (Rain Mountain Press), which features nine thematically linked stories set largely in Guatemala.
This collection brings to life characters struggling with universal emotions and dilemmas in a place unfamiliar to most Americans. From the close-knit community of Todos Santos to the teeming danger of Guatemala City, to a meat-packing plant in Michigan and the gardens of Washington DC, Deborah Clearman shows us the human cost of international adoption, drug trafficking, and immigration. With searing humanity, Clearman exposes the consequences of American exceptionalism, and the daily magic and peril that inform and shape ordinary lives.
Deborah Clearman is the author of a novel Todos Santos, from Black Lawrence Press. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is the former Program Director for NY Writers Coalition, and she teaches creative writing in such nontraditional venues as senior centers, public housing projects, and the jail for women on Rikers Island. She lives in New York City and Guatemala.
Join us for an evening with myth-maker and storyteller William Kuko, who will share a personal narrative mixed with history and myth to create a sacred place.
William Kuko (ウィリアム・空狐) is an inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest. Most of his time is spent in the Seattle metro area; he is an hermit and recluse by nature, even in the metropolis. Often Mr. Kuko disappears into the Cascade Mountains for great lengths of time. He is a most extraordinary student of poetry, history and all things biologic. Most importantly, William Kuko is a myth-maker and a storyteller: he makes all that was old and forgotten new again.
Join us for an evening with poets Brad Richard and W. Joe Hoppe.
Brad Richard chairs the creative writing program at Lusher Charter School in New Orleans. 2015 Louisiana Artist of the Year and poetry winner in the 2002 Poets & Writers Writers Exchange competition, he is the author of three collections of poems, Habitations, Motion Studies (winner of the 2010 Washington Prize) and Butcher’s Sugar, and two chapbooks, The Men in the Dark and Curtain Optional. His poems and reviews have appeared in Gettysburg Review, Okey-Panky, Unlikely Stories, Guernica, American Letters & Commentary, and other journals. He is also co-director of the southeast Louisiana affiliate of the Scholastic Writing Awards and of The New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival.
W. Joe Hoppe’s poems have appeared in Analecta, Borderlands, Cider Press Review, Di*Verse*Cities, Nerve Cowboy, Utter, and The Blanton Museum of Art’s Poetry Project. His poems have been anthologized in Stand Up Poetry, How to be This Man, gumballpoetry.com, and Beatest State in the Union. Joe’s one-of-a-kind poetry video, “$5200 MSTA,” has been shown at the Dallas Video Festival, San Antonio Underground Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, and VideoEx in Zurich, Switzerland. His books include a collection of short stories, Harmon Place (1991) from Primal Press, a poetry collection, Galvanized (2007), from Dalton Publishing, and a second poetry collection, Diamond Plate (2012), from Obsolete Press. Hoppe is the Poet Lariat of Austin’s intellectual variety show The Dionysium. He has hosted numerous poetry events at Austin’s Malvern Books, including interviews of local poets, a reading and discussion of Emily Dickinson, a communal performance of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl celebrating its 60th anniversary, and an annual memorial reading for the late, great Austin poet Albert Huffstickler. He is currently finishing up a four-year effort to get a customized ’51 Plymouth Cranbrook roadworthy for a trip down Route 66 in the summer of 2017. Hoppe is an Associate Professor in English and Creative Writing at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas.
Join us for a reading from acclaimed poets Steve McCaffery and Karen Mac Cormack. Steve will read from Dark Ladies, an explosive meditation on death and laughter cast as both a Menippean masque and a user’s guide to the tragi-comic. Karen will read from various works, including Implexures.
Steve McCaffery has been twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award and is twice recipient of the Gertrude Stein Prize for Innovative Writing. He is the author of over 40 books and chapbooks of poetry and criticism. An ample selection of his poetic explorations in numerous forms can be savoured in the two volumes of Seven Pages Missing (Coach House Press). As well as Panotpicon, Tatterdemalion (Veer Books UK), Alice in Plunderland (Book Thug), Revanches (Xexoxial), and Parsival (Rook). His book-object-concept A Little Manual of Treason was commissioned for the 2011 Shajah Biennale in the United Arab Emirates. A founding member of the sound poetry ensemble Four Horsmen, TRG (Toronto Research Group) and the College of Canadian Pataphysics and long-time resident of Toronto, he is now David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the University at Buffalo.
Karen Mac Cormack (born Luanshya, Zambia, 1956) is a contemporary experimental poet. She holds dual British/Canadian citizenship, and lived for many years in Toronto; more recently, she moved to Buffalo, New York, when her husband, the poet Steve McCaffery, was hired by SUNY-Buffalo for the David Gray Chair. Mac Cormack is the author of Straw Cupid (1987), Quirks & Quillets (1991), Marine Snow (1995), The Tongue Moves Talk (1997), At Issue (2001), Vanity Release (2003) and Implexures (part one, 2003; full-length publication, 2009), as well as a collaboration with the British poet Alan Halsey, Fit to Print (2003). Though she was not directly part of the Language movement, her work shows many affinities with it, in its use of disjunctiveness at a within-sentence and between-sentence level, and in her interest in the interrogation of cultural norms and ideologies through the skeptical reworking of “found” materials and genres. In Fit to Print, for instance, the poems mimic and distort the format and themes of a typical daily newspaper, while in At Issue the poems are quarried from the pages of women’s fashion and beauty magazines. The prose pieces in the recent project Implexures are somewhat atypical in their use of biographical and autobiographical materials, especially a series of letters written from a variety of Mediterranean locations by an unnamed female traveller (possibly to be identified with the author, possibly not).
Join us in celebrating the release of the latest issue of Hothouse Literary Journal.
Hothouse Literary Journal is the official journal for the UT English Department. They publish poetry, nonfiction, and fiction stories from multiple genres every year. The release event consists of readings from the published authors and a chance to own a free copy of Hothouse.
Join us for a reading from novelists Natalia Sylvester, David Hicks, and Charlotte Gullick (left to right, below).
Natalia Sylvester was born in Lima, Peru, and came to the U.S. at age four. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Miami and is a faculty member of the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University. Her articles have appeared in Latina Magazine, Writer’s Digest, The Austin American-Statesman, and NBCLatino. Her debut novel, Chasing the Sun, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad, and was chosen as a Book of the Month by the National Latino Book Club. Her second novel, Everyone Knows You Go Home, is forthcoming from Little A in 2018.
David Hicks grew up in New York, moved to Colorado in his thirties, and is now a professor at Regis University in Denver, where he co-directs the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing. He and his wife Cynthia enjoy hiking in the mountains with their dog Rosie and meeting the children, Stephen and Caitlin, for a big breakfast afterwards. David has published many stories in such fine journals as Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, and Saranac Review. White Plains is his first novel, and this is his first-ever visit to Austin.
Charlotte Gullick is a novelist, essayist, editor, educator and Chair of the Creative Writing Department at Austin Community College. She graduated with a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts in May 2016. Charlotte’s first novel, By Way of Water, was chosen by Jayne Anne Phillips as the Grand Prize winner of the Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Awards Program. Her other awards include a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship for Fiction, a Colorado Council on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, a MacDowell Colony Residency, a Ragdale Residency, Faculty of Year from College of the Redwoods as well as the Evergreen State College 2012 Teacher Excellence Award.
Join us in celebrating the launch of Intent, the debut poetry collection from Austin-based actor and writer Christia Madacsi. With readings from Christia, Erica Parfit, and others (TBA).
Intent consists of reflections and observations on children and family, friendship, beauty, time, place, seasons and learning.