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.
Kevin Killian, one of the original “New Narrative” writers, has written three novels, Shy (1989), Arctic Summer (1997), and Spreadeagle (2012), a book of memoirs called Bedrooms Have Windows (1990), and three books of stories, Little Men (1996), I Cry Like a Baby (2001), and Impossible Princess (2009). He has also written two books of poetry, Argento Series (2001), and Action Kylie (2008). A third will appear in February 2014—Tweaky Village, from Wonder Books. With Lew Ellingham, Killian has written often on the life and work of the American poet Jack Spicer [1925-65] and with Peter Gizzi has editedMy Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (2008)—which won the American Book Award—for Wesleyan University Press. Wesleyan also brought out Killian and Ellingham’s acclaimed biography Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance in 1998. He is also a playwright who has written forty-five plays for the San Francisco Poets Theater. He teaches writing to MFA students at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Peter Richards is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry, an Iowa Arts Fellowship, an Academy of American Poets Prize, and the John Logan Award. His poems have appeared in Agni, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, The Yale Review, and other journals. He is the author of OUBLIETTE (Verse Press/Wave Books, 2001), which won the Massachusetts Center for the Book Honors Award; NUDE SIREN (Verse Press/Wave Books, 2003); and HELSINKI (Action Books, 2011). He has taught poetry at the University of Montana(Richard Hugo Visiting Poet) Harvard University (Briggs-Copeland Lecturer), Tufts University, Museum School of Fine Arts, and Brown University.
Jamaica Kincaid was born in St. John’s, Antigua. Her books include At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, Lucy, The Autobiography of my Mother, My Brother, Mr. Potter, and, most recently, See Now Then. She Lives with her family in Vermont.
Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded Skanky Possum, a poetry journal and book imprint in Austin, Texas, where they lived for 14 years. The author of eight books and chapbooks, she currently lives in Toronto where she teaches poetics in a private workshop and at Ryerson University. Wave Books published her third full-length collection of poems, As Long As Trees Last, in September 2012.
In 1988 Oakland poet Leslie Scalapino published the award-winning, book-length poem way. In 1999 San Francisco filmmaker Konrad Steiner proposed a collaboration: a reading of the entire book as the soundtrack to a montage of images. They recorded Leslie Scalapino reading the work in 2000 at her home. Over the next eleven years, Steiner created six different films, one for each segment of the poem, each stylistically distinct. In one “film, bum series,” original 16mm Kodachrome footage shows pedestrian life and light in downtown San Francisco; “no(h) - setting” displays haunting internet clips documenting the Iraq war; “hoofer” atomizes a Fred Astaire dance number; and so on. The montage is a visual response and supplement to the music, imagery and sense of the original poem. The film cycle does not supersede the book, much less illustrate it, rather it acts as a cinematic space where the montage and the poem, the poet's and the filmmaker's imagination, are braided in time.
Brian Holton, who was born in Scotland and grew up partly in Nigeria, is the son of an Irish father who was bilingual in English and French and fluent in Hausa, and a mother who was a natural Border Scots speaker: this led him to a career as a translator. After learning classical Greek, French and Latin at school, he studied Chinese at the universities of Edinburgh and Durham, two institutions where he later taught. He was the first director of the Chinese translation & interpreting program at Newcastle University, before teaching translation for ten years at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has published 15 books of Chinese poetry, and continues to translate into both English and Scots, including being principal translator on Jade Ladder, a major new anthology of contemporary poetry (2012, Bloodaxe Books). He lives in Melrose in the Scottish Borders.
Frédéric Boyer is a French novelist, essayist, poet, playwright and translator. He studied at Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, before teaching literature at university. Currently he is a head publisher for Humanities at Bayard Press, where he managed the work of a new translation of the Bible (1995 – 2001) bringing scholars of biblical languages together in collaboration with contemporary French writers including Jean Echenoz, Jacques Roubaud, Emmanuel Carrère, and Olivier Cadiot. Boyer’s own work synthesizes personal writing with the translation of early texts such as Augustine’s Confessions, Phaedra, and The Song of Roland.
Sarah Shun-lien Bynum is the author of two novels, Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the 2004 National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including the New Yorker, Ploughshares, Tin House, and the Best American Short Stories 2004 and 2009. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship, she was named one of “20 Under 40” fiction writers by the New Yorker. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design.
Cole Swensen is the author of thirteen volumes of poetry, most recently Greensward (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) and Ours (U. of California Press, 2008), and a volume of essays, Noise That Stays Noise (U. of Michigan Press, 2011). She is the co-editor of the 2009 Norton anthology American Hybrid, the founding editor of La Presse Books, which specializes in contemporary French writing translated by English-language poets, and a translator of contemporary French poetry, prose, and art criticism. Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN USA Award for Literary Translation, the Iowa Poetry Prize, and the San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, among others. She’s been writer-in-residence at Yale’s Beinecke Library, the Pratt Institute, Temple University, and various other places and taught at the University of Denver and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop before coming to Brown.
Karen Green is an artist and writer whose Bough Down (Siglio, 2013) has been called "the most moving, strange, original, harrowing, and beautiful document of grief and reckoning I’ve read," by Maggie Nelson in the Los Angeles Review of Books and "a profound, lovely, bitterly funny book that fulfills the first requirement of great art: it is magical" by George Saunders. Her work has also been published in Open City and anthologized in Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book. Her visual work is collected by individuals as well as institutions including the Yale Beinecke Library and the Whitney Museum of American Art special collections. She exhibits with the Space gallery in Los Angeles and the Calabi gallery in Northern California.