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.

Unspeakable Practices V: Celebrating Robert Coover

     WORK OF

Schedule of Events  

Festival Bios   ◊      Exhibit

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The Department of Literary Arts at Brown University will present Unspeakable Practices V: Celebrating the Work of Robert Coover, a multi-day festival of readings, music and panels featuring such writers as Joanna Scott, Rick Moody, Sam Lipsyte, Ben Marcus, and many others, May 1 – 3.

Unspeakable Practices will honor the life and work of novelist Robert Coover, Professor of Literary Arts, who will retire this spring after 33 years teaching at Brown.

 Widely acknowledged as an innovator in the field of post-modern American fiction, Coover, along with “such writers as Thomas Pynchon, William Gass, Donald Barthelme and John Barth, broke open the carapace of postwar American realism to reveal a fantastical funhouse of narrative possibilities,” according to Hari Kunzru of The Guardian.  Michiko Kakuntaini of The New York Times has said “Of all the postmodern writers, Robert Coover is probably the funniest and most malicious, mixing up broad social and political satire with vaudeville turns, lewd pratfalls, and clever word plays that make us rethink both the mechanics of the world and our relationship to it.”

Author of more than a dozen books, including, most recently, The Adventures of Lucky Pierre: Directors’ Cut; Stepmother; and A Child Again, Coover has been the recipient of the William Faulkner, Brandeis University, American Academy of Arts and Letters, National Endowment of the Arts, and Rea Lifetime Short Story awards, as well as of numerous other fellowships, prizes, and recognitions.

An outspoken supporter of free speech and freedom-to-write issues worldwide, he also worked, during his years at Brown, to establish the International Writers Project Fellowship, a program that annually brings to Providence one writer who has faced threats, harassment, imprisonment, and suppression of his or her work in nations throughout the world.  Established in 2003, the International Writers Project has brought to the Brown campus writers from Iran, Nigeria, Uganda, Cambodia, Burma, Zimbabwe, and the Congo, many of whom have subsequently remained in the U.S. to pursue writing careers.

The participants of Unspeakable Practices V are colleagues and former students who have worked with Robert Coover throughout his career.

All Unspeakable events will be free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the Brown University Creative Arts Council, the Office of President Ruth Simmons, The Woods Fine Arts Lectureship Fund, and the Department of Literary Arts.  

C.K. Williams

C. K. Williams’s most recent book of poems, Wait, was published in 2010, as was his study of Walt Whitman, On Whitman. He will bring out a new book of poems, Writers Writing Dying, and a book of essays, In Time:  On Poetry, Poets and the Rest, in the autumn of 2012.He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Ruth Lilly Prize.  He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.   

Amitav Ghosh Visit, 11 & 12 April

Through a series of public events on April 11 & 12, Dr. Amitav Ghosh, anthropologist and author of several highly acclaimed works of historical fiction, will speak about the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary and trans-regional scholarship—and about his success in bringing the results of his anthropological and historical research to a broader public through fiction.  This visit is co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities, the Departments of American Studies, Anthropology and Literary Arts, and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

For full schedule, log onto:  Year of China, Amitav Ghosh

Jenny Boully


Jenny Boully is the author of not merely because of the unknown that was stalking towards them (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2011), The Book of Beginnings and Endings (Sarabande, 2007), [one love affair]* (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2006), The Body: An Essay (Essay Press, 2007 and Slope Editions, 2002), and the chapbook Moveable Types (Noemi Press, 2007). A new book of verse is forthcoming from Coconut books in Fall 2012. Her work has been anthologized in The Next American Essay, The Best American Poetry, Language for a New Century, and Great American Prose Poems. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and holds graduate degrees in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame and Hollins University. Born in Thailand and reared in Texas, she teaches poetry and nonfiction and currently directs the MFA Program in Nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago.

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Open Interval, a National Book Award finalist, and Black Swan, winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. She teaches in the English Department at Cornell University. She is currently at work on The Coal Tar Colors, her third collection of poems, and Purchase, a collection of essays.

BREATHTAKEN - Reading & Book Signing by Poet, C.D. Wright

Brown/Ziggurat Press will host a reading and book signing in the John Hay Library for BREATHTAKEN, a long poem by C.D. Wright with visual accompaniments by Walter Feldman. Following the reading, there will be a reception in the foyer during which visitors can view displayed books, and purchase copies for Walter Feldman and CD Wright to sign. This event is free and open to the public.

If you are unable to attend and would like to purchase a book, contact the Friends of the Library at FOL@brown.edu or (401) 863-2163.

Amy Fox: The Art and Practice of Screenwriting

Amy Fox is a playwright and screenwriter whose scripts include the Merchant Ivory film, Heights, as well as the plays Where the Children Are (Ensemble Studio Theater) and By Proxy (CAP 21).   Her play Breakfast and Bed was included in Best American Short Plays 2006-2007, and she has over a dozen theater productions to her credit.  Time Out New York has called her “a ferocious talent.”   She is on the faculty of the Graduate Department of Film and Television at NYU, and lives in Brooklyn. 

Vaun Monroe: The Art and Practice of Screenwriting

Vaun Monroe is a Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Columbia College’s Film and Video Department.  He holds an MFA from Temple University.  He was the President of the National Association of Black Screenwriters (2010).  His produced work includes Chicago (a teleplay), All the World’s A Stage (a short), and Mere Players.  He is a Senior Story Analyst for Ithaca Entertainment.

Rebecca Brown

Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books, including, most recentlyAmerican Romances (City Lights 2009), winner of a Publishing Triangle Award.  Her other titles include The Terrible GirlsThe Gifts of the BodyThe Last Time I Saw You, and The Dogs.  She has written for dance, theater and the visual arts. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, and Italian.  She lives in Seattle and teaches in at Goddard College in Vermont and elsewhere.


Art as Sin

Art as Sin:  The Middle East & Freedom of Expression - 12-16 March 2012

Novelists Ron Leshem and Daniel Mueenuddin, along with filmmaker Behram Beyzaie and many other prominent Middle Eastern artists, will headline a multi-day festival at Brown University celebrating the literature and culture of Iran and the Middle East. 

To view full event page:  Art as Sin

For artist bios, click here.