Pen Pals

Tucson welcomes authors to readings, book signings and libraries this fall

Antigone Books

All Antigone readings take place at Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave.

click to enlarge Naomi Oriz: Sustaining Spirit. - COURTESY
Naomi Oriz: Sustaining Spirit.
click to enlarge Margaree Little: Rest. - COURTESY
Margaree Little: Rest.

Naomi Oriz, author of Sustaining Spirit.

The full title of this unique self-care guidebook is Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice, and it delves into the physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion many activists—like Ortiz herself—experience. Better yet, it uses interviews with more than 30 social justice activists to remind readers how important it is to practice self care. After all, you can't care for your community if you're not caring for yourself. 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.

Margaree Little, author of Rest.

This book of poetry by award-winning writer Margaree Little was inspired by the author's discovery of human remains on the Arizona-Mexico border. Working with a story for which the ending is clear and bleak, Little imagines the rest of this unknown life and invites her readers to consider the human and moral costs of undocumented immigration. 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14.

click to enlarge Robert McWhirter: Bills, Quills, and Stills. - COURTESY
Robert McWhirter: Bills, Quills, and Stills.

Robert McWhirter, author of Bills, Quills, and Stills.

The subtitle of this book is Annotated, Illustrated and Illuminated History of the Bill of Rights, which is fitting, because McWhirter is not only an award-winning author and attorney, but is an acknowledged authority on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This book illuminates the life of the Bill of Rights through illustrations, photos, factoids and discussion of its relevance today. At this event, McWhirter will lead a discussion on the Constitution and Donald J. Trump. 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21.

click to enlarge Lydia Millet: Fight No More: Stories. - COURTESY
Lydia Millet: Fight No More: Stories.

Lydia Millet, author of Fight No More: Stories.

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Milllet's latest is a web of stories that explore what it means to be at home. The protagonist, Nina, is a lonely real-estate broker estranged from her only relative, and living in a web of fractured families and communities in Los Angeles. Both funny and heartbreaking in turn, Millet—a Tucson local—delivers once again with this work. 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.

click to enlarge Beverly Spears: Early Churches of Mexico: An Architect’s View. - COURTESY
Beverly Spears: Early Churches of Mexico: An Architect’s View.

Beverly Spears, author of Early Churches of Mexico: An Architect's View.

Beverly Spears is an architect, landscape architect and member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. In this gorgeous book of photographs, she documents more than 120 16th-century mission churches and monasteries founded in the wake of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Her black-and-white photographs depict a period in history where two cultures (indigenous and Spanish) began interweaving, leaving us with culture of Mexico we know today. 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5.

UA Poetry Center.

All poetry center readings take place at the UA Poetry Center, 1508 E. Helen St., unless otherwise noted.

click to enlarge Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading. - COURTESY
Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading.

Morgan Lucas Schuldt Memorial Reading.

This annual installment in the Poetry Center's reading and lecture series honors the late poet Morgan Lucas Schuldt, and incudes a reading, Q&A and book signing with two authors. Morgan Parker is the author of several books, including There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, and has received honors including a Pushcart Prize and a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. Tommy "Teebs" Pico is a poet from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, and the author of books including IRL, Nature Poem and Junk. 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.

click to enlarge UA Prose Series: Venita Blackburn. - COURTESY
UA Prose Series: Venita Blackburn.

UA Prose Series: Venita Blackburn.

Venita Blackburn is part of this program curated by the UA's creative writing faculty and featuring prose writers of distinction. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Prairie Schooner book prize for fiction and several Pushcart prize nominations. Her collected short stories, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, was published in 2017. 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13.

click to enlarge Jane Miller - COURTESY
Jane Miller
click to enlarge Farid Matuk: This Isa Nice Neighborhood - COURTESY
Farid Matuk: This Isa Nice Neighborhood
Faculty Reading: Farid Matuk and Jane Miller.

Farid Matuk, an assistant professor in the UA's creative writing program, is the author of This Isa Nice Neighborhood and The Real Horse. His work also appears in several anthologies and journals, and he serves as poetry editor at Fence and on the editorial board for the book series Research in Creative Writing at Bloomsbury. Jane Miller is the former director of the UA's creative writing program, and performed her work and lectured on writing for over 25 years. She is the author of ten books of poetry and a book of essays, and is currently the visiting poet at the University of Texas Michener Center in Austin. These two will read from their work and do a short Q&A and book signing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20.

click to enlarge Charles Simic - COURTESY
Charles Simic

Charles Simic.

Poet, essayist and translator Charles Simic immigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia in 1954, when he was just a teenager. He published his first book of poems at age 21 and went on to publish many books of poetry and essays, a memoir and many books of translations. And he picked up a Pulitzer Prize, a Griffin Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship and a Wallace Stevens Award along the way. He was the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2007 to 2008, too. This is a man who knows what he's doing. Enjoy his reading, short Q&A and book signing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN/Radical WRITING Book Launch at Tucson Museum of Art.

This new anthology features innovative literature that is 1) from black women from the United States, England and the Caribbean, and 2) which challenges readers to make meaning out of the world. Book editors Dawn Lunday Martin and Erica Hunt, as well as contributors Ruth Ellen Kocher and Giovanni Singleton will conduct a reading and a conversation about the book at the Tucson Museum of Art. Entrance to the museum is free. Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave. 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Killing Floor Book Launch.

Ai, one of Tucson's greatest poets and the winner of the National Book Award, published Killing Floor, her critically acclaimed second book, for the first time in the '70s. Now, Tavern Books is republishing a 40th anniversary, posthumous edition of the previously out-of-print poetry collection. Hear readings of her poems, written in the dramatic monologue form, and marvel at how much talent comes out of Tucson. 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13.

click to enlarge Carl Phillips: Wild is the Wind - COURTESY
Carl Phillips: Wild is the Wind

Carl Phillips.

Carl Phillips is the author of 14 books of poetry (most recently Wild Is the Wind), as well as two books of prose, and is also the translator of Sophocles' Philoctetes. A four-time finalist for the National Book Award, he's also received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship (to name just a few). He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis. Reading, Q&A and book signing are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25.

click to enlarge James Allen Hall - COURTESY
James Allen Hall

UA Prose Series: James Allen Hall.

James Allen Hall has received awards all over the country, including from the University of Arizona Poetry Center. His first book of poems, Now You're the Enemy, published as a winner in the 2008 University of Arkansas Poetry Series, won awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Texas Institute of Letters and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He currently serves as the editor in chief for Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal at Washington College, and teaches creative writing and literature at Washington College. 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Annual In Memoriam Reading.

This docent-led event celebrates the voices of poets who are no longer with us, but whose legacies and voices live on. There's a lot of dead poets out there—we heard there's even a whole society of them—so this evening is one that's full of possibilities. Why not check it out and be reminded of some of your favorites, or be informed of some of your new favorites? 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.

click to enlarge Randall Horton: Hook - COURTESY
Randall Horton: Hook

Randall Horton.

Randall Horton's most recent work, Hook: A Memoir, won the GLCA New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction, and his previously work includes several poetry collections. He is an associate professor of English at the University of New Haven, and winner of the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. In addition, he is in the experimental performance group Heroes Are Gang Leaders, which has performed at Berlin JazzFest, Crossing the Border Festival in The Hague and Jazz Jantar in Gdansk, Poland. Thursday, Nov. 15.

click to enlarge Maggie Smith: Good Bones - COURTESY
Maggie Smith: Good Bones

Maggie Smith: Reading.

Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison and Lamp of the Body; as well as three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poem "Good Bones" was called the "Official Poem of 2016" by the BBC/Public Radio International, was featured on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary, and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others. Her reading is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29.

Pima County Public Library.

click to enlarge Frank Iosue: The Au Revoir of an Enormous Us - COURTESY
Frank Iosue: The Au Revoir of an Enormous Us

Frank Iosue will read from his collection, The Au Revoir of an Enormous Us, answer questions and sign books at this special library-hosted event. The author, born in Los Angeles, California in 1951, writes, "In my poems, I seek to create experiences that destabilize and scavenge ordinary perception, and transform the "apparent" into epiphanies of revelation and realization." 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.

click to enlarge Rosemary Simpson - COURTESY
Rosemary Simpson

Where Do the Ideas Come From? With author Rosemary Simpson.

Rosemary Simpson is the author of two standalone historical novels and four novels in the Gilded Age Mystery Series, so she's done her fair share of not only thinking up ideas, but seeing them through to the end. In this talk, Simpson will talk about not only where she gets her ideas, but how she determines which ideas are strong enough to pan out into full-length books, how to overcome writer's block and how to make an idea into a hook. A Q&A and book signing will follow. 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Road.

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