Save the Date: Writer and Playwright Cherríe Moraga to Speak on Campus on March 24

image of author Feminist playwright, poet and essayist Cherríe Moraga will stop by campus for a roundtable discussion titled “Embodying Activist Research: Gender, Violence and the Politics of Fieldwork” hosted by Student Diversity Initiatives. A part of the Abriendo Brecha Conference—an annual conference at UT Austin dedicated to activist scholarship—the event will take place on Thursday, March 24, 2 p.m. in the Gordon-White Building.

image of bookMoraga co-edited This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, republished in a new edition by SUNY Press in 2015. A political and literary essayist, she has published several collections of writings, including, most recently, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness; Writings 2000-2010.

For nearly 20 years she has served as an artist in residence at Stanford University in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies and, since 2008, in the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Program. She is currently completing a memoir.

Moraga will also appear at two off-campus events in March. She will deliver a keynote address on March 24, 6 p.m. at the Art Building and Museum, 2301 San Jacinto Blvd. And she will also give a reading at a community event on March 25, 6 p.m. at Six Square District Office, 1152 San Bernard Street.

Michener Center Hosts Reading by Poet and Novelist Laura Kasischke Feb. 11

image of authorThe UT Michener Center for Writers will host a reading by poet and novelist Laura Kasischke on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302 on UT campus.

Kasischke is the author of nine acclaimed books of poetry, most recently The Infinitesimals. She won the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry for Space, In Chains. She has also written nine novels, three adapted to feature film: The Life Before Her Eyes, starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood; Suspicious River; and White Bird in a Blizzard, which premiered at Sundance in 2014. Her collected stories were published in If A Stranger Approaches You. She is the endowed chair of English at the University of Michigan, where she teaches in their distinguished MFA program.

“It is not enough to say that Kasischke’s language is ‘poetic,’ a word that has come to mean ‘pretty.’ Rather, her writing does what good poetry does—it shows us an alternate world and lulls us into living in it.”– The New York Times

Parking is available in the nearby UT San Jacinto Garage, and the event is free and open to the public.

Save the Date! English Alumna to Read and Sign ‘Out of Darkness’ at BookPeople Jan. 8

image of bookYA Novelist Ashley Hope Pérez will stop by BookPeople to read and sign her new book Out of Darkness (Carolrhoda Books, 2015) on Friday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.

In Out of Darkness. Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion—the worst school disaster in American history—as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people. Read her Q&A for more about the book.

“[This] layered tale of color lines, love and struggle in an East Texas oil town is a pit-in-the-stomach family drama… A tragedy, real and racial, swallows us whole, and lingers.” – The New York Times Book Review

“The work resonates with fear, hope, love, and the importance of memory…. Pérez …gives voice to many long-omitted facets of U.S. history.” – starred, School Library Journal

image of authorIn addition to Out of Darkness, Ashley Hope Pérez is the author of the YA novels The Knife and the Butterfly, and What Can’t Wait. She grew up in Texas and taught high school in Houston before pursuing a Ph.D. in comparative literature. She is now a visiting assistant professor of comparative studies at The Ohio State University and spends most of her time reading, writing and teaching on topics from global youth narratives to Latin American and Latina/o fiction. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Arnulfo, and their son, Liam Miguel.

Before the BookPeople event, she be at the SCBWI Austin lunch with a fellow YA author Cynthia Leitich-Smith on Friday, Jan. 8, 12 p.m. (SCBWI membership required to register). She will also be at a writing workshop at The Writing Barn from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 10. In Houston, she’ll be signing at Brazos Books on Saturday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m.

Visit these Facebook events to join in on the online conversation.
Austin-BookPeople:  https://www.facebook.com/events/852434314876257/

Houston-Brazos Books: https://www.facebook.com/events/1649418651976776/

 

Save the Date: Michener Center’s Visiting Professors Read their Works Dec. 3

Visiting professors, Jim Crace and Anthony Giardina, will be reading and discussing their literary works at a campus event hosted by the Michener Center for Writers on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Aces Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302.

 image of booksCrace’s ten books to date have received such honors as the Whitbread Novel Award and the National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (Being Dead). His books Quarantine and Harvest have been shortlisted twice for the Man Booker Prize. His archive resides at the university’s Ransom Center

booksAnthony Giardina is the author of five novels, a story collection, and numerous plays, most recently City of Conversation, which has its world premier at Lincoln Center last year.

Parking is available in the nearby UT San Jacinto Garage, and the event is free and open to the public.

 

Award-Winning Guatemalan Novelist David Unger to Read from his Works

image of book coverGuatemalan novelist and translator David Unger will discuss his works today from 4 to 6 p.m. in Benedict Hall, room 2.104.

Unger won the 2014 Premio Nacional de Literatura Miguel Angel Asturias, the highest award for a Guatemalan writer. He is the international Representative for the Guadalajara International Book Fair and teaches at the City College of New York. His new novel, El manipulador (The Manipulator), has just appeared in both Spanish and English editions.

The event is hosted by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies. Co-Sponsored by LLILAS Benson.

Faculty Authors Showcase their Works at the 20th Annual Texas Book Festival

image of logoBookworms, foodies, artists and scholars will partake in an annual rite of fall here in Austin: The Texas Book Festival! This Texas-size literary event will take place in and around the State Capitol and nearby venues on Oct. 17-18.

A record 300 authors are coming to the festival—the largest number in its 20-year history.  Here are just few highlights featuring education outreach events and top faculty authors from colleges and schools throughout the Forty Acres. Dates, times and locations will be available on the Texas Book Festival website later this month. Use this hashtag to join the conversation: #TXBookFest

Special Events

image of book and authorThe Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken Wendell Pierce, Actor and Tony Award-Winning Producer
Moderated by Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city’s neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce’s family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. Pierce and his family were some of the lucky ones: They survived and were able to ride out the storm at a relative’s house 70 miles away. Read more here…

About the author: Wendell Pierce was born in New Orleans and is an actor and Tony Award-winning producer. He starred in all five seasons of the acclaimed HBO drama The Wire and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role. He also starred in the HBO series Treme and has appeared in many feature films including Selma, Ray, Waiting to Exhale, and Hackers. Since Hurricane Katrina, Pierce has been helping to rebuild the flood-ravaged Pontchartrain Park neighborhood in New Orleans.

15th Annual Youth Fiction Writing Contest
Co-hosted by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

writingcontestThe Fiction Writing Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. The submissions are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry. Read more here…

Place and Race, a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Leonard Moore, senior associate vice president, DDCE 

image of authorsAuthors Wendy S. Walters and Jason Sokol discuss the dynamic and complicated course of civil rights over the past several decades in America. Racism emerges in unexpected locations, and the ways in which people resist, cope, and consent are not predictable.

Negroland
Margo Jefferson
Moderated by Shirley Thompson, Departments of Anthropology and Africa and African Diaspora

image of author Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and memoirist Margo Jefferson recounts growing up in a small region of African-American upper class families in Chicago during the civil rights movement and the genesis of feminism. With this point of view, Jefferson discusses race, identity, and American culture, through her own lens. Read more here…

 

Author Appearances

image of book and author Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City
Javier Auyero, Department of Sociology

Austin, Texas, is renowned as a high-tech, fast-growing city for the young and creative, a cool place to live, and the scene of internationally famous events such as SXSW and Formula 1. But as in many American cities, poverty and penury are booming along with wealth and material abundance in contemporary Austin. Rich and poor residents lead increasingly separate lives as growing socioeconomic inequality underscores residential, class, racial, and ethnic segregation. Read more here…

Reagan: The Life
H.W. Brands, Professor, Department of History

Image of author and bookRonald Reagan today is a conservative icon, celebrated for transforming the American domestic agenda and playing a crucial part in ending communism in the Soviet Union. In his masterful new biography, H. W. Brands argues that Reagan, along with FDR, was the most consequential president of the twentieth century. Reagan took office at a time when the public sector, after a half century of New Deal liberalism, was widely perceived as bloated and inefficient, an impediment to personal liberty. Reagan sought to restore democracy by bolstering capitalism. In Brands’s telling, how Reagan, who voted four times for FDR, engineered a conservative transformation of American politics is both a riveting personal journey and the story of America in the modern era. Read more here…

Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library Mark K. Updegrove, Director, LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

image of book and authorPresident Lyndon B. Johnson played a monumental role in America’s quest for civil rights. The legacy of those efforts reached a crescendo from April 8 through 10, 2014, as the LBJ Presidential Library hosted a historic Civil Rights Summit to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. A host of luminaries—including President Barack Obama, the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office, and former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter—came to the LBJ Library to recognize the progress made in the country’s long, often troubled, journey toward civil rights. Read more here…

 

Save the Date! “Invisible Austin” Launch Party and Panel Discussion is this Friday at BookPeople

image of bookYou’re invited to a book launch of Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City this Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m. at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

In Invisible in Austin, the award-winning UT Austin sociologist Javier Auyero and a team of graduate students explore the lives of those working at the bottom of the social order: house cleaners, office-machine repairers, cab drivers, restaurant cooks and dishwashers, exotic dancers, musicians, and roofers, among others.

Recounting their subjects’ life stories with empathy and sociological insight, the authors show us how these lives are driven by a complex mix of individual and social forces. These poignant stories compel us to see how poor people who provide indispensable services for all city residents struggle daily with substandard housing, inadequate public services and schools, and environmental risks. Timely and essential reading, Invisible in Austin makes visible the growing gap between rich and poor that is reconfiguring the cityscape of one of America’s most dynamic places, as low-wage workers are forced to the social and symbolic margins.

Want to know more about the research that went into this sociological portrait of Austin’s rapidly gentrifying landscape? Check out this Q&A with three sociology graduate students who co-authored the book. For more about the book, visit this website: www.othersidesofaustin.com

Save the Date: Austin African American Book Festival Set for June 27

33442_2720772Austin’s African American Book Festival will explore love, perseverance and intellectual growth under the heading “Black Lives Matter,” on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Carver Museum and Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Featured speakers include author M.K. Asante, novelist Beverly Jenkins, and Dr. Kevin Cokley, professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Educational Psychology.

 

asanteAsante, an award-winning author, poet and filmmaker, will discuss his memoir Buck, and how what he learned on urban streets helped him become not only an artistic tour de force, but also a tenured college professor.

 

jenkinsWith more than 30 titles to her credit, Jenkins is one of the most widely read writers of historical romances. Much of her work is set in the 19th century and features African American protagonists. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, People, and the Dallas Morning News.

 

cokelyIn an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Cokley challenges the notion that Black students are anti-intellectual. Cokely, who is also a counseling psychologist, explores how issues of identity impact the achievement of African-American students.

Once again the festival will host book discussions and a Texas author showcase.

 

Now in its ninth year, the African American Book Festival is a multigenerational event intended to promote literary exploration and library usage in the community.

For more information visit www.aabookfest.com or African American Book Festival on Facebook.

CantoMundo Event Celebrates National Poetry Month

UntitledIn celebration of national poetry month, the CantoMundo Poets at the UT Poetry Center are presenting a poetry reading event on Thursday, April 23 at the Perry-Castaneda Library.

The event will feature readings by Octavio Quintanilla, author of “If I Go Missing,” and Ire’ne Lara Silva, author of “Furia, Flesh to Bone,” and “Blood Sugar Canto.”

CantoMundo co-director and poet Celeste Guzmán Mendoza will lead a discussion on the daily sustenance of Chicano@ poetry, the role of CantoMundo in poetry today, and the political life of poetry broadsides. Barrio Writers youth poets will open the event and join in the closing conversation. Go to this website for more details.

In addition to the poetry reading event, Quintanilla and Lara Silva are offering two free writing workshops on Saturday April 25, 2-5 p.m. at Resistencia Bookstore, 4926 E. Cesar Chavez. Quintanilla’s workshop “What We Love about Poems” will take place at 2-3:30 p.m. Lara Silva’s workshop “Gritos: On Finding the Source of Our Voices” is scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m.

Please RSVP to: irenelarasilva@gmail.com

Co-Sponsors include Red Salmon Arts, UT Libraries, CantoMundo, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Austin Cultural Arts Division.

Coming April 2: LLILAS Presents an Evening of Latin@ Poetry and Spoken Word

llilaseventStop by the Benson Latin American Collection for an evening of poetry readings and spoken-word performances on Thursday, April 2, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The 13th annual ¡A Viva Voz! Migraciones event, hosted by LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, will feature live readings and performances of original work by Central Texas–based poets and spoken word artists.

The following artists will share diverse perspectives around themes of migration and identify:

  • Ariana Brown, Afro-Mexicana poet, performer, and author
  • Marcos Cervantes (aka Mex Step of Third Root hip hop collective), educator and scholar
  • Las Krudas, Cuban hip hop artists
  • Teresa Palomo Acosta, poet, educator and historian
  • Moderator: Celeste Guzmán Mendoza, poet

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided. RSVP and find updates on Facebook at http://bit.ly/avv2015.