Wednesday, September 28, 2016

from Litmus Press Writing (US)Americ(k)a(s)

I wish I had a private plane to fly to these readings in!

From Litmus Press:

The country is a fiction, a narrative of legalese, piety, and slaughter.
The country is a positioning, its geographic bounty.
The country is a fingering of continents, a cordillera stitching the western expanse.
The country is the slip of skin on which we write ourselves: the warriors and the wounded, the chained and transported, the subsequent generations of, those who cling to its mythos as if a snail.
—Aja Couchois Duncan
Dear Friends,

We hope you can join us this weekend in celebrating the recent release of Aja Couchois Duncan's Restless Continent, as part of Duncan's cross-country reading series, Writing (US)Americ(k)a(s).

Duncan will be joined in conversation by Youmna Chlala, Maryam Parhizkar, and Simone White in a series of three east coast events devoted to the question of what it means to write (US)Americ(k)a(s). They will discuss ideas of mapping terrain, disembodying language, connecting with ghosts, and constructing alternative ethnography.

Friday, September 30, 8pm: Reading and talk as part of the Poetics Plus Reading series at SUNY-Buffalo. Full details here.

Sunday, October 2, 5:30pm: Book release celebration at Berl's Poetry Shop in Brooklyn, NY with readings by Youmna Chlala (The Paper Camera, Litmus 2017) and Maryam Parhizkar. RSVP on Facebook.

Monday, October 3, 7pm: Reading and discussion with Simone White presented by the Race & Innovative Poetics Working Group at Yale University, moderated by Maryam Parhizkar and Camille Owens. RSVP on Facebook.

Restless Continent communes with a North America that speaks elegiac, celebratory, and melancholic histories human and geological. In this collection, the body of that land and those histories fuse with the body of Duncan’s languagethe body of memory, and the physical body. Intertwining English with Ojibwe, this debut full-length collection of poems ominously holds us in its ethereal sound, bearing sharp witness to the ruptures perpetuated by the violences of humanity—bodies and lands colonizing and colonized, naming and othering, stamping life into disappearance.

"When the earth is mined of all her treasures, the land will be barren. But the sky will be crowded with bodies. When the limp appendages slap against one another, there is a second sound, less percussive. It is her, raptor, this cry."
from Restless Continent

Aja Couchois Duncan is a Bay Area educator, writer and coach of Ojibwe, French and Scottish descent. Her writing has been anthologized in Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative (Coach House Press), Bay Poetics (Faux Press), and Love Shook My Heart 2 (Alyson Press). Her most recent chapbook, "Nomenclature, Miigaadiwin, a Forked Tongue" was published by CC Marimbo press. A fictional writer of non-fiction, she has published essays in the North American Review and Chain. In 2005, she was a recipient of the Marin Arts Council Award Grant for Literary Arts, and, in 2013, she received a James D. Phelan Literary Award. She holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and a variety of other degrees to certify her as human.

Youmna Chlala is a writer and an artist born in Beirut & currently based in New York. Her work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through drawing, video and performance, prose and poetry. She is the Founding Editor of Eleven Eleven {1111} Journal of Literature and Art and the recipient of a Joseph Henry Jackson Award. Her writing appears in Urban Hopes by Steven Holl and in publications such as Guernica, Bespoke, CURA, MIT Journal for Middle Eastern Studies, and XCP: Journal of Cross Cultural Poetics. She is an Associate Professor in the Humanities & Media Studies Department at the Pratt Institute.

Maryam Ivette Parhizkar is a writer, musician, and scholar interested in sound, resonance, migration, family myths, and finding ways to use them to work through the constraints of the English language. She is the author of two chapbooks: Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014) and As For the Future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016). Recent work can also be found online in The Recluse, Gesture, the The Brooklyn Rail, and Essay Press's chapbook Labor Poetic Labor! She is part of the editorial collective of Litmus Press and a PhD student in African American Studies and American Studies at Yale University.

Simone White is the author of Of Being Dispersed (Futurepoem), Unrest (Ugly Duckling Presse), and House Envy of All the World (Factory School). She is a mother, Program Director at The Poetry Project and currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Literary Studies at The New School. She lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

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