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.

Brian Evenson

Brian Evenson is the author of twelve books of fiction, most recently Immobility (2012) and Windeye (2012).  His other books include Last Days (which won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York's top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is a professor in  Brown University's Literary Arts Department. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and three O. Henry Prizes.

Lynne Tillman

Lynne Tillman’s most recent book, and fourth collection of stories, Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in April 2011 by Red Lemonade Press.  Her most recent novel, American Genius, A Comedy, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2006, and was cited as one of the best books of the Millennium (so far) by The Millions. Her other novels are Haunted Houses, Motion Sickness, Cast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has published three nonfiction books, including The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-67, based on photographs by Stephen Shore. Her other story collections include This Is Not It, stories and novellas written in response to the work of 22 contemporary artists. Her work has appeared in the journals Tin House, McSweeney’s, Black Clock, Bomb, Aperture, and Conjunctions; her criticism in Artforum, Frieze, Aperture, Nest, The Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review.  Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence at The University at Albany, and teaches at The New School, as well at School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Martin Corless-Smith

Martin Corless-Smith is the author of English Fragments:  A Brief History of the Soul; Swallows; Nota; Complete Travels; and Of Piscator.  A limited edition chapbook, Roman and Moscow Poems, was published in 2011.  Born and raised in Worcestershire, England, he has studied painting and poetry, with degrees from the University of Reading, Southern Methodist University, the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.  He is currently director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University.

Interface Play

An organic, interdisciplinary performative digital arts event integrating image, text and sound, featuring new work generated through a multi-day workshop by artist Catherine Siller.

A graduate of RISD's Digital + Media MFA program, Catherine Siller uses technology to integrate sculpture, video, performance, and creative writing into a hybridized, process-oriented creative practice.  Her most recent work centers on developing dynamic systems for structured improvisations--computer programs that change dynamically in response to her movements and in response to which she moves.  Catherine received her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University.  She has studied mixed media with Grace Knowlton at the Art Students League of New York; theater with the SITI Company, the Atlantic Theater Company, and Circle in the Square; and dance with Igal Perry, Marcus Schulkind, Nicole Wolcott, and through a Radcliffe Externship with Juilliard's Dance Department.  She has performed and shown her work in New York and New England.  For more info visit: http://catherinesiller.com/

Paul Legault

Paul Legault was born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee. He holds an
M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A.
in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He is the
author of two books of poetry, The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010)
and The Other Poems (Fence Books, 2011). He co-founded and co-edits
the translation press Telephone Books. He'll be reading from his new
book, The Emily Dickinson Reader. In this original collection,
Dickinson classics are reinterpreted by a modern voice.

Unspeakable Practices V: Celebrating Robert Coover

     WORK OF

Schedule of Events  

Festival Bios   ◊      Exhibit

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ 

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.