Georgia Center for the Book Hosts: Cindy Woodsmall
April 29th | 7:15 p.m.
Decatur Library Auditorium
New York Times bestselling author Cindy Woodsmall will be sharing her secrets about writing and selling commercial fiction. With seven novels, four novellas, and a collaborative work of non-fiction to her name, Woodsmall will certainly have her share of insight.
Georgia Center for the Book and Poetry Atlanta are drawing National Poetry Month to a close with a bang! Contributors from this year's Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. 5 will rally together for an evening of readings. Host Collin Kelley will guide the evening of poetry that will include work from Chelsea Rathburn, David Bottoms, Thomas Lux, Judson Mitcham, Christopher Martin, and more!
On the same day that Korean pop phenom Psy was on his way to breaking another YouTube record with the release of his follow-up video to "Gangnam Style," Atlanta-based spoken word artist Antony Bui was busy garnering his own hype with a verbal smack down of pop culture's decades-long perpetuation of corny Asian stereotypes. In his poem "Bruce Is Back" (above), Bui humorously theorizes about Hollywood's insidious plot to desecrate the Asian American image ever since the 1973 death of "strong," "sexy," "ass-kicking" film and martial arts star Bruce Lee.
"Bruce was just too good of an Asian man prototype," he muses out loud. "Somebody had him killed, and I bet you it was the same douchebag who came up with that small penis stereotype."
Besides serving as a sharp, comical critique on the one-dimensional geekification and desexualization of Asian males by mainstream media, it offers an alternate take on the widespread view that Asians are the most culturally assimilated among non-white ethnic groups in America. Bui won first place with "Bruce Is Back" at the sixth annual Kollaboration Atlanta talent showcase, an Asian American performance artists platform for which I served this year as one of seven judges. After hearing his poem, I talked to the 22-year-old about his thoughts on K-pop, Asian assimilation, and how he (among others) is using YouTube as a burgeoning filmmaker and first-generation Vietnamese American to counter the BS.
Your poem "Bruce is Back" reminded me of the kind of politically charged, conscious spoken word that came out of the African American community in the late '90s. It was refreshing to hear that Asians are pissed too.
Yeah, that's a great way to put it.
Are those the themes you usually tackle?
Typically, no. I usually write just kind of about how I'm feeling. But this was something that I felt like writing after my friend Kavi Vu won Kollaboration last year. She and I kind of have this friendly rivalry and I really wanted to beat her. So I was trying to think of a topic that would really excite the crowd and get a strong reaction.
This is one of the biggest issues for Asian Americans; specifically, I wanted to write something that I could relate to personally so the way Asian American men are portrayed in the media was a great topic.
When you mentioned Psy in the poem, it made me think about how much K-pop regurgitates western culture, even though western culture revels in all the Asian stereotypes you denounce in your poem. What do you think about the K-pop phenomenon and Psy's crossover success?
I think it's great that Psy's broken so many records. I never thought I would turn on [Atlanta's No. 1 urban station] V-103 and hear Korean pop music playing. It's like the craziest thing. My only thing with Psy is I really have to wonder why he got so popular in America. Because I'm not sure if people are laughing with him or at him. He's kind of like a fat guy, he prances around and he's kind of perverted. He's kind of a goofy looking guy. I don't think you would call him sexy. And in that way he kind of fits into the Asian American stereotype of a desexualized person.
U.S. Poet Laureate and Emory University professor Natasha Trethewey was named today by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a 2013 member.
Founded in 1780, the illustrious honorary society and independent policy research organization has long elected "thinkers and doers" including the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Albert Einstein. This year, Trethewey was one of nearly 200 new members and fellows chosen from across a wide range of disciplines.
"Natasha Trethewey is among the nation's foremost contemporary voices in poetry," Emory Provost Claire Sterk said in a statement. "She also is a deeply dedicated and gifted teacher, helping scores of Emory students understand the creative process and the meaning of poetry and its relation to our lives and history."
Last November, CL profiled the nation's preeminent poetry ambassador as part of a special issue exploring Atlanta's literary scene. The Decatur resident and 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner has worked for Emory University since 2001, now serving at its Creative Writing Program's director. Her latest poetry collection, Thrall, came out in September 2012.
A full list of the American Academy's elected fellows and members in 2013 can be found here.
This week, the Georgia Center for the Book announces the winners of its annual Letters About Literature contest, an amazing exercise that challenges students to personally address their love of literature to the authors who have affected them. This is a win for everyone: the authors, the students, and our literary community as a whole. What's not to celebrate?
Until I Say Goodbye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's firsthand account of her struggle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a debilitating condition that degenerates the nervous system's control over the muscles. Co-author Bret Witter comes to Atlanta to discuss Spencer-Wendel's perspective on life, death, humor, and dignity.
After a lifetime of journalistic pursuit in the South, H. Brandt Ayers has many a story to tell. His memoir of his life in publishing and journalism during the civil rights struggle, In Love With Defeat, goes beyond the birth and descent of the New South.
This week, Autumn House Press releases Chelsea Rathburn's latest collection of poetry, A Raft of Grief, with an intimate celebration at Inman Park's White Space Gallery. The collection, which was awarded the 2012 Autumn House Poetry Prize, is Rathburn's first release since 2005's The Shifting Line. Although I haven't yet had the pleasure of reading the collection in its entirety, I have grown especially fond of its title poem, which originally appeared in The Atlantic in 2008.
Open to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writers alike, this facilitated group is tailored for serious writers looking for a literary workshop to shape up their work and keep them focused. Suggested donation of $5.
It takes a rare man to walk the 1,000 miles from from Jeffersonville, Ky., to Cedar Key, Fla. Author James B. Hunt shares the legendary story of John Muir's 1867 trek in his new book Restless Fires.
Here's a thought: Rather than celebrate the Ides of March the old-fashioned way this year, why not join Loose Change Magazine's revelry over at the Highland Ballroom? WonderRoot's literary magazine is back with a vengeance (sorry ... I couldn't resist) and celebrating the release of its third issue with an evening of readings, raffles, and dancing. Listen to Floyd Hall's interview with Managing Editor Molly Dickinson to learn more about what the magazine has been up to over the past year and what the evening will have in store.
Open to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writers alike, Charis Circle From Margin to Center Literary Program's facilitated group is tailored for serious writers looking for a literary workshop to shape up their work and keep them focused. Suggested donation of $5.
This month, Write Club Atlanta puts its own spin on Women's History Month by pitting female writers against each other. Combatants Melody Benjamin, Sheronda Gipson, Suehyla El-Attar, Gina Rickicki, Emily Philp, and Maggie McEnemy have been tasked with harnessing their inner Amazons.
Somehow, even with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs hosting its annual conference in Boston this week, Atlanta still has a myriad of literary events taking place. We have too much momentum to stop now!
It's the first Monday of March, which means Bernard Setaro Clark and Gina Rickicki are back with NAKED CITY for another evening of unrestrained, unorthodox debauchery at the Goat Farm. This month's theme? BANG/WHIMPER. Competitors have five minutes to make their point or are forced to face the Wheel of Death. $10-25 pay-what-you-can at the door.
A biweekly writing workshop for writers of every make and model: essayists, poets, novelists - all are welcome. Take the opportunity to bond over the written word and get to know community, with or without writing in tow.
Partnering with the Carter Center Library and the Ossabaw Island Educational Alliance, the Georgia Center for the Book hosts author Paul Presley for a discussion of colonial Georgia and its integration into British Caribbean trade.
Dennis Kimbro addresses a wealth of economic travesty in his book The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires. The result of seven years of study of a thousand of the nation's wealthiest African-Americans, the book takes an honest and direct approach to the socioeconomic impact of the economic crisis on the African-American community at-large.
Open to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writers alike - Charis Circle's From Margin to Center Literary Program's facilitated group is tailored for serious writers looking for a literary workshop to shape up their work and keep them focused. Suggested donation of $5.
Carapace Raconteurs: Mean Lies and Dirty Love Tricks
Feb. 26 | 7:30 p.m.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Carapace has elected to bring February to a close with tales of romantic misdemeanors. Come take the stage at Manuel's Tavern and recount your most true betrayals of the heart. Readers will have five minutes to tell their tales - the event begins at 7:30.
A bi-weekly writing workshop for writers of every make and model. Essayists, poets, novelists- all are welcome. It's an opportunity to bond over the written word and get to know a community - with or without writing in tow.
A unique writing workshop - writers of all genres are invited to share 10 minutes of their work aloud with a supportive community of authors who will provide constructive feedback for five minutes.
Over the past few years, Ivy Hall and SCAD's writing program have brought some real heavyweights to the city (Chuck Klosterman, Andre Dubus III, and Sandra Beasley, to name a few). With their new Potlatch series, Ivy Hall and SCAD draw their focus inside the perimeter and bring Atlanta's literary talent center stage. The first of these readings will take place this Friday evening, with readings from Amy McDaniel (HTMLGiant, the Solar Anus Reading Series) and Bruce Covey (What's New In Poetry, Coconut Books).
Open to fiction, poetry, and non-fiction writers alike, the Charis Circle From Margin to Center Literary Program's facilitated group is tailored for serious writers looking for a literary workshop to shape up their work and keep them focused. Suggested donation of $5.
Christal Presley shares her story of growing up under the shadow of her father's post-traumatic stress syndrome. Her book Thirty Days with My Father is a telling tale of her development and her choice to work help her father work through his disorder.
Stories on the Square
Feb. 12th | 7:30 p.m.
2947 N Druid Hills Road, Decatur, GA
An open-mic opportunity for every kind of storyteller with true tales to tell. Seven minutes onstage for those who sign up and have non-fictional stories to share. The evening's suggested theme is "trouble."
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