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+ Midwinter Constellation: A Reading and Discussion
+ Friday, May 13, 7:00 pm
On December 22, 2018, the 40th anniversary of Bernadette Mayer’s writing of Midwinter Day, 32 women poets typed into Google Docs titled Dreams, Morning, Noontime, Afternoon, Evening, and Night. Following the six-part structure of Mayer’s book, they composed alongside each other all day, dozens of cursors blinking in a virtual happening. Midwinter Constellation is the result. Join three of the collaborators of this radical poetic experiment from Black Lawrence Press, as they share excerpts from the collection, discuss the process of collaboration in this work and in general, and share the collaborative works that have inspired them. With Marisa Crawford, Caolan Madden, Lee Ann Brown, Kate Colby, Eleni Sikielianos, and Anneysa Gaille.
+ BLOODTIDE, WITH ELI NIXON
+ Saturday, May 14, 4:00 pm
Join local artist and rabble-rouser Eli Nixon for a celebration of their new book, BLOODTIDE: A New Holiday In Homage To Horseshoe Crabs. Eli will share a short suitcase crankie show about the holiday, read some book excerpts, and engage interested participants in conversation about how this holiday could manifest locally. All are also invited to collaborate on hands-on cardboard horseshoe crab carapace building, time capsule-making and crabaoke singing. Weather permitting- all action will occur in the outdoor courtyard. All ages welcome!
+ VIDEO ART CLUB
+ Wednesday, May 18, 7:30pm
Curated and presented by artist Leah Beeferman / new collections of video artwork every month
+ TOM ROACH + SHAKA MCGLOTTEM
+ Thursday, May 19, 7:00pm
Tom Roach is the author of Screen Love: Queer Intimacies in the Grindr Era. In work, play, education, and even healthcare, we are using social media during COVID-19 to approximate "normal life" before the pandemic. In Screen Love, Tom Roach urges us to do the opposite. Rather than highlight the ways that social media might help reproduce the pre-pandemic status quo, Roach explores how Grindr and other dating/hookup apps can help us envision a radically new normal: specifically, antinormative conceptions of selfhood and community. Although these media are steeped in neoliberal relational and communicative norms, they offer opportunities to reconceive subjectivity and ethics in ways that defy normative psychological and sexual paradigms. In the virtual cruise, Roach argues, we might experience a queer sociability in which participants are formally interchangeable avatar-objects. On Grindr and other m4m platforms, a model of selfhood championed in liberal-humanist traditions—an intelligent, altruistic, eloquent, and emotionally expressive self—is often a liability. By teasing out the queer ethical and political potential of an antisocial, virtual fungibility, Roach compels readers to think twice about media typically dismissed as sordid, superficial, and narcissistic.
Shaka McGlotten is the author of Dragging: Or, In the Drag of a Queer Life is an assemblage of fragments that collectively tell stories about a diverse group of artists and activists for whom drag serves as inspiration, method, object, and aim. Methodologically grounded in ethnography, Dragging incorporates auto-theoretical material that lays bare the intimacies of research, teaching, and loving, as well as their painful failures. Drag is more than gender impersonation, and it is more than resistance to norms. It is productively messy and ambivalent, and in these and other ways can serve to attune us to political and aesthetic alternatives to the increasingly widespread desire to be led. One of very few books about drag by an anthropologist, and using a uniquely personal approach, Dragging is an ethnography of artists and activists.
+ DIANE JOSEFOWICZ: AUTHOR OF READY, SET, OH
+ Friday, May 20, 7:30pm
Local writer Diane Josefowicz is the author of the new novel Ready, Set, Oh. Set against the upheavals of the Sixties, Ready, Set, Oh follows three college students as they confront the limits imposed on them by family, culture, and history. Providence, Rhode Island, 1967. Tino Battuta returns home from medical school in disgrace and without his draft deferment to attend his grandfather’s funeral and to spend time with his sweetheart, Primrose Tirocchi. Primrose, an art student, has an abusive home life and serious mental health challenges. Primrose has plans: she is writing The Book of Love with her best friend while dreaming about living in New York and showing her art in galleries. Tino has a dream as well: to escape the war. Complicating matters, Primrose is soon carrying Tino’s baby. But marriage isn’t one of Tino’s dreams. Primrose hooks up with Students for aDemocratic Society and with Lupo Light, a budding astronomer with a deferment. Meanwhile, Tino and his best friend fix up a boat that could be their ticket to Canada and out of the Vietnam war. In the end, Primrose and Tino must each choose between fighting for their dreams or following a path imposed on them by their families and community, and by history.
Diane will be joined by author Kirstin Allio for a discussion.
+ RIFFRAFF BOOK CLUB
+ Wednesday, May 25, 7:00pm
An I-Novel, by Mine Mizumura
+ OPEN MIC NIGHT
+ Wednesday, June 1, 7:30pm
Sign up starts at 6:30 / four minutes each / all genres of writing welcome / no music (sorry)
+ JHANI RANDHAWA, JAY GAO and LUCY BLAGG
+ Friday, June 3, 7:00pm
Jhani Randhawa is the author of the new book Time Regime and a Kenyan-Punjabi/Anglo-American multidisciplinary artist and independent scholar. They received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, and live between the U.S. and the U.K. With Teo Rivera-Dundas, Jhani is a co-founding editor of rivulet, an experimental journal dedicated to investigations of the interstitial.
About Time Regime:
A collection of experiments, mechanical dream logs, epistolaries, and field notes, Time Regime (April 2022, Gaudy Boy) — winner of the 2021 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize — assembles an emergent mutant body intent on interrupting neoliberal imperialism’s rhythms and expectations. Disassembling and reassembling the marginalized body through the intersecting lenses of ecofeminism and necrosociality, the poems in Time Regime form a poetic fugue that defies regimes of purity and correctness, in an historical epoch demarcated by violence, discipline, and erasure. Time Regime traces the lives, ecological contexts, and dreams of multiple beings— rice germ, red ticks, a grandmother’s skin cells, limestone deposits, machine intelligence, shaggy language, the poet, no-self, or the mythological winged cow Surabhi—as they collide and float in parallel vectors. Displaced and seeking, these spectral and material bodies erode and recombine at the edges of domestic ruin, ecological collapse, and state-sanctioned death, delivering an image of presence that seeks communion with mess. In their transcending debut, Jhani Randhawa posits an alternative figuration for the post-modern self—one untethered by oppressive regimes marked by systems of silence—and gives us a body that transforms itself into a site of resistance by bearing witness to our living.
+ BOOK-ISH TRIVIA
+ Wednesday, June 8, 7:30pm
Teams of no more than six / free to play / prizes!
+ ALSION ESPACH, AUTHOR OF NOTES ON YOUR SUDDEN DISAPPEARANCE
+ Friday, June 10, 7:00pm
Alison Espach is the author of the novel The Adults and the new novel Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Vogue, Joyland, Glamour, Salon, and McSweeney’s, among other places. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Providence College in Rhode Island.