EMU Creative Writing BathHouse Events
~ Presents ~
An Afternoon Reading:
November 10, 1 PM
Eastern Michigan University Student Center Auditorium
Philip Metres is the author of a number of books, including Sand Opera (2015), I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (2013), To See the Earth (2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (2007). His work has garnered two NEA fellowships, five Ohio Arts Council Grants, the George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, the Beatrice Hawley Award, two Arab American Book Awards, the Watson Fellowship, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize and the PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant. He is professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland
April 14th at 6pm
With the winter semester coming to an end, Capstone approaches for our creative writing undergraduates. We have spent the past couple months organizing and preparing our projects for the event and will be preforming our creative pieces on April 14th in the McKenny Ballroom. The event will be a great opportunity to get a look into our creative writing program; there will be students preforming poetry and prose, as well as mixed media projects. Please come out and support our writers.
BathHouse reading series welcomed Miranda Mellis this fall, and Aaron Smith (a current graduate student) wrote a wonderful introduction to her reading. I thought I’d share it here!
“Today we welcome Miranda Mellis, a powerfully surreal mind & voice in a world that cannot slow down or re-trace its steps. Our cultures have carved a heavy path through time, have created & shaped what we imagine as history, and Mellis works intensely to decode our collective views of both history & time, past, present, future, and other realities. She asks a continuous array of questions that guide her readers & characters through fictional realities that further question what is happening to us & them as individuals, and question how we perceive ourselves & our world.
Lucia, the narrator of The Spokes, at one point offers a direct analysis of past & present: “We’ve been this kind of human […] for two hundred thousand years […] If we don’t know ourselves, how can we know the ancestors?” Our vision of history is blurry at best, and the ways in which our knowledge of the past is commonly obscured cause us to un-learn countless ways of living that have much to teach us about collaboration & communication. Mellis’s vivid imagery opens doors to the past & versions of the present that we might otherwise overlook forever. In a 2012 interview with Green Apple bookstore, she explains: “our everyday lives are outrageously pressurized in ways that we become habituated to, that become invisible, and then rear up in all sorts of painful intensifications, symptoms & so forth. Forms of magic – magical thinking, magical transformations, and magical actions – represent reachable, alternative forms of agency & knowledge in lieu of political power for the disenfranchised, abandoned, and oppressed.”
In another 2012 interview with City Lights bookstore, she alternately describes fiction as “an organ for detecting what otherwise goes unregistered.” By utilizing these “alternative forms of agency,” Mellis is able to both openly ridicule & rigorously analyze “what otherwise goes unregistered” for many people: the ways in which our cultures & histories push themselves forward at maddening speeds, inevitably crash & collapse, then slowly repeat the long, determined climb back to some epic climax. In The Spokes, her narrator Lucia argues that “Sometimes the impossible is the missing ingredient.” This element of “the impossible” is what drives powerfully meaningful pieces of our own reality deeper into our minds when winding through the fantastic landscapes assembled by Mellis; over time her imagined landscapes begin to feel more familiar than our own.
I would like to close with a quote from The Revisionist; a paragraph that stands alone on pg. 63, and in many ways defines the sense of time that pours through all her parables: “There were so many different kinds of time. There was time measured in objects & time measured in space. There was time enclosed by language […] There was the way a person measures the distance between what she once felt & the moment she realizes she no longer feels that way. There was also the void, for which time was conventionally the foil.”
Miranda Mellis teaches at Evergreen State College. She is the author of The Quarry, The Spokes, None of This Is Real, Materialisms, and The Revisionist, which was the subject of a 90-foot mural at Franklin Art Works in Minneapolis. Miranda is also a founding editor with The Encyclopedia Project, a hybrid publication that plays with the ideas of reference book, literary journal & arts catalogue, blending all into a hybrid series of cross-referenced hardcover volumes. Please welcome her to our small pocket of time & space.”
Friday, October 18 at 8:00pm.
128 W Michigan Ave, apt 5
Performances by TAC & friends. All are welcome! Come out and enjoy what this Ypsi community has to offer.
TAC presents guest reader Cynthia Spencer:
Join us on November 5th and 6th as BathHouse Events and the Creative Writing Department welcomes Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant!
Readings by Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant
Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
EMU Student Center Auditorium
And:“Textual Orality: African Diasporic Aesthetic Practices”
A Discussion with Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant
Wednesday, Nov. 6th 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
EMU Student Center Auditorium
The aesthetic and formal roots of African diasporic cultural production are often determined in relation to oral tradition, from poetic expression and practical education, to transmission of cosmologies and the genealogical storytelling of village griots. Celebrating and analyzing solely the oral can come at the expense of the written word, from signs and pictographs of ancient Egypt or Haiti, to the ‘spirit writing’ of African American mediums and healers. In response to this enduring but insufficient binary thinking, Tisa Bryant and Douglas Kearney devised the concept Textual Orality. Textual Orality is a way of naming this site of generative tension within African diasporic literature. Using this concept as a critical frame, Bryant and Kearney will explore the ways in which both the (il)legible and aural, the stylized mark and the spoken word, experiments in writing and traditions in performance (or vice-versa), are distinct and interdependent features of their individual writing practices and pedagogies.
Site/Nonsite Detroit: Poetry @ASAP
Brian Ang (Oakland, CA; editor of Armed Cell); Sara Larsen; (Oakland, CA; organizer of The Public School); David Lau (Santa Cruz, CA; editor of Lana Turner); Rob Halpern (Ypsilanti, MI; author of Music for Porn); Jonathan Stalling (Norman, OK; author of Yingelishi); UIjana Wolf (Berlin/Brooklyn; author of falsche freunde). Hosted by Tyrone Williams (Xavier University). Organized by Barrett Watten (Wayne State University).
Friday, October 4, 7:30–9:00 PM TheWelcome Center @ Wayne State University Woodward and Warren, Detroit Free and open to the public!