Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer), and contributors Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do) and Meron Hadero present/read from The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. Edited by Nguyen, himself a refugee, The Displaced brings together a host of prominent refugee writers from around the world to explore and illuminate their experiences. The Displaced is an indictment of closing our doors and a powerful look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of asylum. The publisher will donate 10 percent of the cover price of this book, a minimum of $25,000 annually, to The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid, relief, and resettlement to refugees and other victims of oppression or violent conflict.
William Middleton in conversation with City Lights’ Paul Yamazaki discussing the subject of his new book Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil published by Alfred Knopf. (recorded in the City Lights Publishing office)
City Lights celebrates the first and definitive biography of the celebrated collectors Dominique and John de Menil, who became one of the greatest cultural forces of the twentieth century through groundbreaking exhibits of art, artistic scholarship, the creation of innovative galleries and museums, and work with civil rights.
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Time, Parade, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, PBS, Vulture, Buzzfeed, BookRiot, PopSugar, Refinery29, Bustle, The Rumpus, Paste, and the BBC.
“A shocking novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.”
R. O. Kwon is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Guardian, Vice, Buzzfeed, Time, Noon, Electric Literature, Playboy, and elsewhere. She has received awards from Yaddo, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Omi International, the Steinbeck Center, and the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.
The man Paul Auster called “a master of bewitchments” and a founder of the Fiction Collective returns to the novel after twenty years. In the spirit of “transcendental buffoonery,” Curtis White’s return to fiction is fun in the extreme. The story begins when a masked man with “a message both obscure and appalling” appears at the door of the Marquis claiming a matter of life and death, declaring, “I stand falsely accused of an atrocity!”
Founded in 1994, Kaya Press has established itself as the premier publisher of cutting-edge Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic writers in the United States. Their diverse list of titles includes experimental poetry, noir fiction, film memoir, avant-garde art, performance pieces, “lost” novels, and everything in between. Kaya and its authors have been the recipients of numerous awards, including the Gregory Kolovakas Prize for Outstanding New Literary Press, the American Book Award, the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award, the PEN Beyond Margins Open Book Prize, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Award, and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Prize. Their books have become cornerstone texts in American Studies and Asian American Studies curricula at major universities throughout the country.
Matthew Dickman celebrates the release of the poetry collection Wonderland from W.W. Norton and Emily Strelow celebrates the release of her debut novel The Wild Birds from Rare Bird Lit.
Matthew Dickman is the author of All-American Poem (American Poetry Review/ Copper Canyon Press, 2008), 50 American Plays (co-written with his twin brother Michael Dickman, Copper Canyon Press, 2012), Mayakovsky’s Revolver (W.W. Norton & Co, 2012), Wish You Were Here (Spork Press, 2013), 24 HOURS (One Star Press, Paris, France, 2014), Brother (Faber&Faber UK, 2016), and the forthcoming poetry collection Wonderland (W.W. Norton & Co, 2018) He is the recipient of The May Sarton Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Kate Tufts Award from Claremont College, and a 2015 Guggenheim. His poems have appeared in Poetry London, McSweeny’s, The London Review of Books, Esquire Magazine, Best American Poetry and The New Yorker among others.
Emily Strelow was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley but has lived all over the West and now, the Midwest. For the last decade she combined teaching writing with doing seasonal avian field biology with her husband. While doing field jobs she camped and wrote in remote areas in the desert, mountains and by the ocean. She is a mother to two boys, a naturalist, and writer. The Wild Birds is her first novel.
Cruel Futures, the fifth collection from Latinx feminista Carmen Giménez Smith, is a witchy confessional and wildly imagistic volume that examines subjects as divergent as Alzheimers, Medusa, mumblecore, and mental illness in sharp-witted, taut poems dense with song. Chronicling life on an endangered planet, in a country on the precipice of profound change compelled by a media machine that produces our realities, the book is a high-energy analysis of popular culture, as well as an exploration of the many social roles that women occupy as mother, daughter, lover, and the resulting struggle to maintain personhood—all in a late capitalist America.
Omnidawn Press presents David Koehn celebrating the release of Compendium: Donald Justice’s Prosody Syllabus and Robert Hass reading from his A Little Book on Form: An Exploration into the Formal Imagination of Poetry (published by Ecco). Following the presentation of each book, the authors have a conversation on prosody and the poetic imagination.
David Koehn has taught at the University of Florida, Eastern Oregon State College, Blue Mountain Community College, the University of Alaska, and San Francisco State University. He has published several books of poetry, Coil (a chapbook of poems), Tunic (a letterpress chapbook of translations of Catullus) and Twine (a full length collection of poems). David also edited Compendium about Donald Justice’s thoughts on prosody. His next full-length book of poems, Scatterplot, is due for release in 2020.
Robert Hass—former poet laureate, winner of the National Book Award, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize—illuminates the formal impulses that underlie great poetry in this sophisticated, graceful, and accessible volume of essays drawn from a series of lectures he delivered at the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
This sweeping account of the Bay Area in the age of the tech boom covers many bases. It begins with the phenomenal concentration of IT in Greater Silicon Valley, the fabulous economic growth of the bay region and the unbelievable wealth piling up for the 1% and high incomes of Upper Classes—in contrast to the fate of the working class and people of color earning poverty wages and struggling to keep their heads above water. The middle chapters survey the urban scene, including the greatest housing bubble in the United States, a metropolis exploding in every direction, and a geography turned inside out. Lastly, it hits the environmental impact of the boom, the fantastical ideology of TechWorld, and the political implications of the tech-led transformation of the bay region.
Also named one of the best books of the year in The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews.
Tommy Orange is a graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.
Scarlett Sabet & Janaka Stucky reading from new works.
Scarlett Sabet is a London based poet and performer. She wrote, directed and starred in her poetic short film Burning which was produced by BAFTA-winning producer Charlie Hanson in 2012. Her first collection Rocking Underground was launched with a reading at the Chelsea Arts Club in November 2014. Her second collection “The Lock And The Key” was launched with a reading at Shakespeare and Company in Paris in July 2016. In October 2016 GQ online released a video of Scarlett performing her poem Feathers at Leighton House to celebrate National Poetry Day. Scarlett’s third collection of poetry which was released in Spring 2018.
Janaka Stucky is an mystic poet, performer, and publisher. The founding editor of Black Ocean, as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome, he is also the author of a few poetry collections. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in The Boston Phoenix. In 2015 Third Man Books chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. Janaka’s poems are at once incantatory, mystic, and epigrammatic. His esoteric & occult influences, combined with a mesmeric approach to performance, create an almost ecstatic presence on stage.
Feminist Press in conjunction with Asian American Writers’ Workshop present a book release party for Go Home!, edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan with foreword from Viet Thanh Nguyen, published by The Feminist Press. Opening statement by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan with readings by Rachel Khong, Beth Nguyen, and R.O. Kwon.
Asian diasporic writers imagine “home” in the twenty-first century through an array of fiction, memoir, and poetry. Both urgent and meditative, this anthology moves beyond the model-minority myth and showcases the singular intimacies of individuals figuring out what it means to belong.
Go Home! is published in collaboration with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Established in 1991, AAWW is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the creating, publishing, developing and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans through a New York events series and online editorial initiatives.
Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic. Her novels are Haunted Houses; Motion Sickness; Cast in Doubt; No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and American Genius, A Comedy. Her nonfiction books include The Velvet Years: Warhol’s Factory 1965–1967, with photographs by Stephen Shore; Bookstore: The Life and Times of Jeannette Watson and Books & Co.; and What Would Lynne Tillman Do?, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. Her most recent short story collections are Someday This Will Be Funny and The Complete Madame Realism. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writing Fellowship. Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at The University of Albany and teaches at the School of Visual Arts’ Art Criticism and Writing MFA Program in New York. She lives in Manhattan with bass player David Hofstra.
Vegas Tenold discussing his new book Everything You Love Will Burn published by Nation Books.
Six years ago, Vegas Tenold embedded himself among the members of three of America’s most ideologically extreme white nationalist groups-the KKK, the National Socialist Movement, and the Traditionalist Workers Party. At the time, these groups were part of a disorganized counterculture that felt far from the mainstream.But since then, all that has changed. Racially-motivated violence has been on open display at rallies in Charlottesville, Berkeley, Pikesville, Phoenix, and Boston. Membership in white nationalist organizations is rising, and national politicians, including the president, are validating their perceived grievances.
Everything You Love Will Burn offers a terrifying, sobering inside look at these newly empowered movements, from their conventions to backroom meetings with Republican operatives. Tenold introduces us to neo-Nazis in Brooklyn; a millennial Klanswoman in Tennessee; and a rising star in the movement, nicknamed the “Little Führer” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, who understands political power and is organizing a grand coalition of far-right groups to bring them into the mainstream. Everything You Love Will Burn takes readers to the dark, paranoid underbelly of America, a world in which the white race is under threat and the enemy is everywhere.
Joseph Lease reading from his new poetry collection The Body Ghost from Coffee House Press. Spare, airy, exacting poems whose quietness is often at an ironic counterpoint to their fiery leftist politics. “Promise me the rich can’t sleep,” Joseph Lease begs in The Body Ghost, offering poems as light on the page as nursery rhymes, and as powerful as prayer. Here, verse conjures up the body in pain, the body politic in collapse, and the tensile strength of the filaments that connect us.
Joseph Lease’s critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease has received The Academy of American Poets Prize and numerous grants and awards in poetry and poetics from Columbia University, Brown University, Harvard University, and California College of the Arts. He is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts and a member of the Advisory Board of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.
Craft Recordings, the Catalog division of Concord Music, is pleased to announce a deluxe vinyl box set, celebrating Allen Ginsberg’s iconic Howl And Other Poems, one of the most important pieces of modern American literature. Due out February 23rd, the collection offers Ginsberg’s recording of the poems, pressed on translucent red vinyl – reproducing the original 1959 LP release, as well as a replica of the synonymous book of poetry, published in 1956 by City Lights for their Pocket Poets series. Also included in the box set is a photo of Ginsberg from the ’50s, a reproduction of the original City Lights reading invite from 1956 and a booklet, with new liner notes by Beat scholar Ann Charters, as well as notes by poet Anne Waldman.
Allen Ginsberg (1926–1997) was one of the best-known writers of the Beat Generation as well as a leading figure in the counterculture movement. Tirelessly prolific throughout his life, Ginsberg was most closely associated with was Howl – a poetic rage against society’s conformism and capitalism, which rocked the literary world upon its publication, and has gone on to be one of the most widely performed poems of the 20th Century.
The diverse stories of Beautiful Days, Joyce Carol Oates explore the most secret, intimate, and unacknowledged interior lives of characters not unlike ourselves, who assert their independence in acts of bold and often irrevocable defiance. “Fleuve Bleu” exemplifies the rich sensuousness of Oates’s prose as lovers married to other persons vow to establish, in their intimacy, a ruthlessly honest, truth-telling authenticity missing elsewhere in their complicated lives, with unexpected results.
In “Big Burnt,” set on lushly rendered Lake George, in the Adirondacks, a cunningly manipulative university professor exploits a too-trusting woman in a way she could never have anticipated. “The Nice Girl” depicts a young woman who has been, through her life, infuriatingly “nice,” until she is forced to come to terms with the raw desperation of her deepest self. In a more experimental but no less intimate mode, “Les beaux jours” examines the ambiguities of an intensely erotic, exploitative relationship between a “master” artist and his adoring young female model. And the tragic “Undocumented Alien” depicts a young African student enrolled in an American university who is suddenly stripped of his student visa and forced to undergo a terrifying test of courage. In these stories, as elsewhere in her fiction, Joyce Carol Oates exhibits her fascination with the social, psychological, and moral boundaries that govern our behavior—until the hour when they do not.
Jenn Pelly in conversation with Greil Marcus about The Raincoats, presented in conjunction with City Lights and the Rock and Roll Book Club of San Francisco, celebrating a new edition in the 33 & 1/3 series, The Raincoats, by Jenn Pelly published by Bloomsbury Academic.
In this short book – the first on the Raincoats – author Jenn Pelly tells the story of the group’s audacious debut album, which Kurt Cobain once called “wonderfully classic scripture.” Pelly builds on rare archival materials and extensive interviews with members of the Raincoats, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, Hole, Scritti Politti, Gang of Four, and more. She draws formal inspiration from the collage-like The Raincoats itself to explore this album’s magic, vulnerability, and strength.
Jenn Pelly is an editor at Pitchfork. Her writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, SPIN, The Wire, and The Village Voice. Pelly’s book on feminist punk band The Raincoats was published in October as part of Bloomsbury’s 33 ⅓ series.
Greil Marcus is a music journalist, cultural critic, and author of numerous notable books. He is the author of Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, and many others. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine, The Believer, Village Voice, Art Forum, Pitchfoirk, Creem, and numerous others.
Michael Hardt teaches in the Literature Program at Duke University. He is the author of Gilles Deleuze: an Apprenticeship in Philosophy, Labor of Dionysus: a Critique of the State-form (with Antonio Negri), EMPIRE (with Antonio Negri), Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (with Antonio Negri), Commonwealth (with Antonio Negri), and Declaration (with Antonio Negri).
Joshua Clover is author of six books including poetry, cultural history, and political theory; he’s been translated into a dozen languages. His most recent books are the poetry collection Red Epic (Commune Editions 2015) and Riot.Strike.Riot: The New Era of Uprisings (Verso 2016), a political economy of insurrection and renarration of capital’s history. He is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at UC Davis and edits Studies in Revolution and Literature for Palgrave Macmillan.
A celebration of the release of sam sax’s poetry collection Madness published by Penguin Books. D.A. Powell opens the reading and then sam sax reads from Madness.
In this powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet’s personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax’s innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.
sam sax is a queer Jewish writer and educator. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. He’s the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and his poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and other journals.
D. A. Powell is the author of four previous collections of poetry, the trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, and Chronic, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His last two books have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches in the English department at University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area.
David Harvey and Richard A. Walker discussing the subject of David Harvey’s new book Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason from Oxford University Press. In Marx, Capital, and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey not only provides a concise distillation of his famous course on Capital, but also makes the text relevant to the twenty-first century’s continued processes of globalization. Harvey shows the work’s continuing analytical power, doing so in the clearest and simplest terms but never compromising its depth and complexity.
David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate School, where he has taught since 2001. His course on Marx’s Capital, developed with students over 40 years, has been downloaded by over two million people since appearing online in 2008. He is also the author of The Enigma of Capital, A Brief History of Neoliberalism, and The Ways of the World.
Brian “B+” Cross in conversation with Jeff Chang to celebrate the release of his new book Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed, published by University of Texas Press. A magnificent retrospective of the world’s preeminent hip-hop/rap photographer. Ghostnotes offers a unique visual mix tape of hip-hop artists, producers, and record dealers from the West Coast to the global African musical diaspora.
BRIAN “B+” CROSS is an assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California San Diego and co-founder of Mochilla, a production house whose output includes feature length music documentaries, music videos, music and photography. A former student of award-winning author Mike Davis and photographer Allan Sekula, Cross was the photo editor of the music magazine Wax Poetics from 2004 to 2010, and Rappages from 1993 to 1998. He has worked in hip-hop culture as a photographer and filmmaker for over twenty years. Cross’ 1993 book on the LA hip-hop scene, It’s Not About a Salary, was on “best book of the year” lists for Rolling Stone and NME magazines, and Vibe named it one of the top ten hip-hop books of all time. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
JEFF CHANG is a journalist and a music critic who has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. He is the author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation, Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, and We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes On Race and Resegregation. He is currently working on a biography of Bruce Lee. Jeff has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and a winner of the North Star News Prize. He was named by The Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” by KQED as an Asian Pacific American Local Hero, and by the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts as one of its 2016 YBCA 100 list of those “shaping the future of American culture.” With H. Samy Alim, he was the 2014 winner of the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University.
Mark Bray discussing his book Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook from Melville House.
In a smart and gripping investigation, historian and former Occupy Wall Street organizer Mark Bray provides a one-of-a-kind look inside the movement, including a detailed survey of its history from its origins to the present day — the first transnational history of postwar anti-fascism in English. Based on interviews with anti-fascists from around the world, Antifa details the tactics of the movement and the philosophy behind it, offering insight into the growing but little understood resistance fighting back against the alt-right.
Mark Bray is a historian of human rights, terrorism, and political radicalism in Modern Europe who was one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street. He is the author of Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street, and the co-editor of Anarchist Education and the Modern School: A Francisco Ferrer Reader. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, Critical Quarterly, ROAR Magazine, and numerous edited volumes. He is currently a lecturer at Dartmouth College.