Join us at the Love House & Hutchins Forum as we celebrate the publication of Gabrielle Calvocoressi‘s new book of poetry, Rocket Fantastic. Calvocoressi teaches creative writing at UNC-Chapel Hill, and she recently assumed duties as poetry editor for Southern Cultures. We’ll also hear some poetry by Tyree Daye, longtime editor of Raleigh Review and author of What You and The Devil Do to Stay Warm (2015).
While she was working on the manuscript, Calvocoressi shared some insights with the Boston Review: “There are three ‘speakers’ in the manuscript: a young man who is deployed in a jungle war in the late 1960s, his sister who is living in the Hollywood Hills, and the bandleader with whom she has become involved (whose band is called Rocket Fantastic). I’m not sure how it will turn all out but there’s something in the variation of voices and the way pieces manage to live in a kind of mystery that resists clear narrative while still telling a story that feels intimate and deeply challenging for me as a writer. And that’s all I want from my work: to push me to a place where failure is always possible and sometimes really wonderful things occur that transform me.”
You can read excerpts from the book here, and you can buy it now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite local bookstore. Extra credit for anyone who finishes the book before the party!
“Storytellers and Sociopaths: Thoughts on How We Define Reality from Post-Obama Appalachia”
This lecture will explore connections between the rich storytelling tradition, grinding economic challenges, hard political choices, despair, and hope experienced by people in the southeast Kentucky coalfields. Gipe will read from his previously published fiction, and he will address the creation of the Higher Ground community performances, a series of oral history-based theater events in Harlan County, Kentucky which have been running from 2003 to the present.
Robert Gipe is the author of the award-winning illustrated novel Trampoline (Ohio University Press, 2015). His short story “Dreadful Crash” appeared in the 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures (Fall 2016). Gipe teaches at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he directs the Appalachian Studies program. He has worked previously as a pickle packer, a forklift driver, and a DJ.
This lecture, to be held in 039 Graham Memorial Hall, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Join us in the Hitchcock Room at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center as we welcome Monique Truong back to the Old North State. Her lecture is titled “Writing Plenty / Writing Hunger / Writing North Carolina.” The talk will begin with Truong’s first meal in the U.S., eaten in a refugee relocation camp in 1975, and will explore the “magical thinking” relationship that she formed toward food during her girlhood in Boiling Springs, NC.
Born in Saigon, South Vietnam in 1968, Monique Truong is a novelist and essayist based in Brooklyn. She is the author of the national bestseller The Book of Salt (2003) and Bitter in the Mouth (2010). Her novel The Sweetest Fruits is forthcoming from Viking Books. Translated into 14 languages, her novels have garnered her a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, among other honors. She is currently the Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College, CUNY. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney.
She is also a contributor to the forthcoming 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures, which you can preview here.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program, the Department of English and Comparative Literature, the Carolina Asia Center, the Center for Global Initiatives, the Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Food For All campus theme, and Southern Cultures, as well as UNC Libraries’ North Carolina Collection and Southern Historical Collection.
In celebration of Black History Month, the Friday Center proudly presents a free theatrical performance presented by dramatic artist Mike Wiley on Sunday, February 14 at 3:00 pm.
His one-man play, One Noble Journey, tells the story of Henry “Box” Brown, an African American born into slavery, who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to gain a life of freedom. After the death of his first master, Henry’s family was torn apart and parceled out to various beneficiaries of the estate. Eventually Henry married and had children, only to have his wife and children sold to a new owner and never seen again. This devastating incident was Brown’s breaking point. He devised an ingenious escape plan—sealing himself in a wooden box for shipment to friends and freedom in Philadelphia. Although he was not subjected to physical violence, Henry’s story, as the basis of the play, demonstrates that the cruelty of slavery was just as devastating to the heart as it could be to the body. One Noble Journey offers a powerful lesson of freedom, faith, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Admission is free, open to the public, and appropriate for all ages. Advance registration is requested: call 866-441-3683 or email email@example.com.