Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Story/Stereo 2, Charles Jensen, and Merrill Feitell

The Writer's Center celebrates the beginning of October with the second part of Story/Stereo, and an installment of our Open Door Reading Series with Charles Jensen (The First Risk) and Merrill Feitell (Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes), as they read from their work. Read on!

Story/Stereo Part II
Friday, October 2, 7:30P.M.

Story/Stereo is the headline event for The Writer's Center's Emerging Writer Fellowships. It features two writers on stage with great local musicians. The musical component of the event is co-curated by local muscians Chad Clark of the band Beauty Pill and Matt Byars of The Caribbean. Last year, The Writer's Center hosted an event with poets Deborah Ager, Sandra Beasley, Bernadette Geyer, and The Caribbean. That event was the prototype for Story/Stereo.

After the success of our first Story/Stereo, please join us for Story/Stereo Part II!

Join Alexander Chee as he reads from his forthcoming second novel, The Queen of the Night. He is joined by Srikanth Reddy, author of Facts for Visitors. Workshop leader and board member Rose Solari will introduce the emerging writer fellows and their will be a performance by special musical guest Bluebrain.

Alexander Chee was born in Rhode Island, and raised in South Korea, Guam and Maine. He is a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the VCCA. His first novel, Edinburgh (Picador, 2002), is a winner of the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor’s Choice Prize, and was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. In 2003, Out Magazine honored him as one of their 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His essays and stories have appeared in, Out, The Man I Might Become, Loss Within Loss, Men On Men 2000, His 3 and Boys Like Us. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has taught fiction writing at the New School University and Wesleyan. He is currently the Visiting Writer at Amherst College and lives in Western Massachusetts.

Srikanth Reddy’s first collection of poems, Facts for Visitors, received the 2005 Asian American Literary Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in various journals. Reddy is currently an assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago.

About Bluebrain (from Chad Clark of Beauty Pill, co-musical curator with Matt Byars of The Caribbean):

Bluebrain's music is electric, serrated, often abstract, always texture-fixated. Upon first listening, you will detect a decidedly futurist bent. However, under the veneer of hallucinogenic, technological treatments, there is storytelling and communication. Each song is a vista unto itself and they often highlight this with a video component to their performances. The word "multimedia" is a little banal, but it applies here.

The band is a duo of brothers Ryan and Hays Holladay. Bluebrain was borne in 2008 from the ashes of their respected and recently disbanded group, The Epochs. The Epochs were a clever, mischievous, and inventive pop band who I became acquainted with through my studio work. They were clients who impressed me enough to invite them to open for Beauty Pill, where upon they proceeded to blow us away and, frankly, embarrass us as headliners. Bluebrain's aesthetic extends outward from The Epochs, but has a distinctly different feel and perhaps a darker, more erotic persona. Learn more about Bluebrain here.

We are honored to have Bluebrain, Alexander Chee, and Srikanth Reddy with us for Story/Stereo Part II, and would be even more honored to have you as well!

Open Door Reading Series: Charles Jensen and Merrill Feitell
Sunday, October 4, 2:00

Charles Jensen reads from The First Risk, his first full-length collection of poems. He is joined by Merrill Feitell, who reads from her first collection of short stories, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes.

Charles Jensen is the author of three chapbooks, including Living Things, which won the 2006 Frank O’Hara Chapbook Award, and The Strange Case of Maribel Dixon (New Michigan Press, 2007). His first full-length collection, The First Risk, is forthcoming in September 2009 from Lethe Press. A past recipient of an Artist’s Project Grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, his poetry has appeared in Bloom, Columbia Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, The Journal, New England Review, spork, and West Branch. He holds an MFA in poetry from Arizona State University and is currently pursuing an MA in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. He is the founding editor of the online poetry magazine LOCUSPOINT, which explores creative work on a city-by-city basis. He serves as director of The Writer's Center.

In four extended sequences, The First Risk confronts the murder of Matthew Shepard and the myth of Venus and Adonis through the eyes of Italian Renaissance painter Luca Cambiaso; the eccentric women of Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother and the search for authenticity; the nature of love and obsession in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the pain and confusion of loss; and the compelling story of a physicist in search of his lost wife, haunted by a phantom voice that may or may not be hers...

Merrill Feitell was born and raised in New York City. Her first book, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes, won the 2004 Iowa Award for Short Fiction. Her stories have appeared in many publications, including the Best New American Voices series, and have been short-listed in Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Awards. She was selected as one of Fiction’s New Luminaries in the Virginia Quarterly Review, has been a fellow at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and was the Theodore Morrison Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf in 2005.

From bookstore manager Janel Carpenter:

Merrill Feitell has put together a superb collection of stories in Here Beneath Low Flying Planes. She has the ability to unravel seminal moments in characters' lives, full of messy complexity and intricacy, in tidy prose. Her stories are at once revelatory and a thoughtful look at the wonder in ordinary occurrences.

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