DOUBLE NEGATIVE BOOK CLUB
Tuesday February 18 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
EXPLORING BOOKS AND THEIR ON-SCREEN ADAPTATIONS
Join us for a discussion of Jeff Vandermeer's novel Annihilation and its 2018 adaptation by writer/director Alex Garland
THE MICROGENRE: A QUICK LOOK AT SMALL CULTURE
Friday February 21 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
COME CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF THE MICROGENRE: A QUICK LOOK AT SMALL CULTURE
The Microgenre: A Quick Look at Small Culture is a collection of essays about all kinds of ultra-specific cultural ephemera, from classical epigrams about cows to 1980s nuclear disaster movies to Mexican neo-surf music. Contributors Megan Becker, John Hay, Heather Lusty, and Susanna Newbury will talk about their essays along with co-editor of the volume, Anne Stevens.
More information is available here.
This is event is free and open to the public.
THE BELIEVER PRESENTS: BRANDON TAYLOR
Monday February 24 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
THE AUTHOR OF REAL LIFE IN CONVERSATION WITH DREW COHEN
Black Mountain Institute and The Writer’s Block are proud to present fiction writer Brandon Taylor, whose debut novel, Real Life, explores intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town. Taylor will discuss his work with Drew Cohen, co-owner of The Writer’s Block.
Brandon Taylor is the associate editor of Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading and a staff writer at Literary Hub. His writing has received fellowships from Lambda Literary and the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop. He currently lives in Iowa City, where he is a student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in fiction.
BREAKOUT FICTION WRITER: JAMEL BRINKLEY
Monday March 09 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
A CONVERSATION AND READING WITH THE AUTHOR OF A LUCKY MAN
Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man, a finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. With incisive and nuanced prose, Jamel’s stories explore the charged, complex ties between men. Spend a night with us reflecting on tenderness and vulnerability in a world shaped by race, gender, and class.
Monday March 16 | 6:30PM - 7:30PM
READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF MANY RESTLESS CONCERNS: THE VICTIMS OF COUNTESS BATHORY SPEAK IN CHORUS
Although Many Restless Concerns illuminates the horror of absolute control over others, it also shines a beacon on the strength of women sharing their truths one by one, of spirits joining together to topple the seemingly untouchable. This work speaks to our own times, to our #metoo reckoning, to our power as survivors to take back our stories and reclaim the darkness.Oppression of any kind never holds, even if it takes the dead to bring it down. This book is a haunting, essential read for all uneasy souls.
Gayle Brandeis grew up in the Chicago area and has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old. Brandeis is the author of The Art of Misdiagnosis (memoir), The Selfless Bliss of the Body (poetry), Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (craft), and the novels The Book of Dead Birds (winner of The Bellwether Prize), Self Storage, Delta Girls, and My Life with the Lincolns. Her novel in poems, Many Restless Concerns: The Victims of Countess Bathory Speak in Chorus (A Testimony) was published by Black Lawrence Press in February 2020. Gayle’s poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies (such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, Longreads, Salon, The Rumpus, The Nation, The Mississippi Review, and many others) and have received several awards, including the QPB/Story Magazine Short Story Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelley Peace Poetry Award, a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016. Gayle is the founding editor of the online journal, Lady/Liberty/Lit. She is also mom to kids born in 1990, 1993 and 2009.
BIG BOOK CLUB, PART 2
Thursday March 19 | 6:00PM - 7:00PM
THIS SPRING: THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN
A two-part book club discussion of Thomas Mann's seminal novel, The Magic Mountain (Previous meeting: January 30th).
The Big Book Club tackles some of the thickest and most enduring novels in world literature. Broken into two sessions over four months, the club invites readers to experience these books at a leisurely pace, and to enjoy the companionship of fellow readers making the same journey at the same time.
In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. The Magic Mountain is a monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.
Club attendees will be reading John E. Woods's English translation of the German masterpiece.
This is the second of two book-club sessions. Attendees are encouraged to finish The Magic Mountain by this second meeting.
WHAT WOULD TWITTER DO?
Tuesday March 24 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
KRISTEN ARNETT AND MORGAN PARKER IN CONVERSATION ABOUT ONLINE LIFE
This event will take place on the campus of UNLV at RLL 101 (4505 S. Maryland Pkwy).
Kristen Arnett is the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestselling author of the debut novel Mostly Dead Things. She is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter‘s Literary Award in Fiction and is a columnist for Literary Hub. Her work has appeared at North American Review, The Normal School, Gulf Coast, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Electric Literature, McSweeney’s, PBS Newshour, Bennington Review, Tin House Flash Fridays/The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her story collection, Felt in the Jaw was published by Split Lip Press and was awarded the 2017 Coil Book Award.
Thursday March 26 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF EDIE ON THE GREEN SCREEN
FOLLOWED BY A CONVERSATION WITH DAYVID FIGLER
In late '90s San Francisco, Edie Wunderlich was the It girl, on the covers of the city's alt-weeklies, repping the freak party scene on the eve of the first dot-com boom. Fast-forward twenty years, and Edie hasn't changed, but San Francisco has. Still a bartender in the Mission, Edie now serves a seemingly never-ending stream of tech bros while the punk rock parties of the millennium's end are long gone. When her mother dies, leaving her Silicon Valley home to Edie, she finds herself mourning her loss in the heart of the Bay Area's tech monoculture, and embarks on a last-ditch quest to hold on to her rebel heart.
New York Times bestseller Beth Lisick's first novel EDIE ON THE GREEN SCREEN chronicles Silicon Valley's rapidly changing culture with biting observational humor, an insider's wisdom, and disarming pathos, while asking, "What comes after It?"
Beth Lisick is a writer and actor from the San Francisco Bay Area, currently living in Brooklyn. She is the author of five previous books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool, and co-founder of the Porchlight Storytelling Series. Beth has also worked as a baker, a promotional banana mascot, a background extra for TV and film, and an aide to people with developmental disabilities and dementia. This is her first novel.
E. PATRICK JOHNSON
Friday March 27 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
READING AND SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF HONEYPOT: BLACK SOUTHERN WOMEN WHO LOVE WOMEN
E. Patrick Johnson's Honeypot opens with the fictional trickster character Miss B. barging into the home of Dr. EPJ, informing him that he has been chosen to collect and share the stories of her people. With little explanation, she whisks the reluctant Dr. EPJ away to the women-only world of Hymen, where she serves as his tour guide as he bears witness to the real-life stories of queer Black women throughout the American South. The women he meets come from all walks of life and recount their experiences on topics ranging from coming out and falling in love to mother/daughter relationships, religion, and political activism. As Dr. EPJ hears these stories, he must grapple with his privilege as a man and as an academic, and in the process he gains insights into patriarchy, class, sex, gender, and the challenges these women face. Combining oral history with magical realism and poetry, Honeypot is an engaging and moving book that reveals the complexity of identity while offering a creative method for scholarship to represent the lives of other people in a rich and dynamic way.
E. Patrick Johnson is Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies and the Curator for Black Arts in the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for Performing Arts at Northwestern University.
Tuesday March 31 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF ALL HEATHENS
WITH HANNA ANDREWS, SRESHTHA SEN AND BRITTANY BRONSON
All Heathens is a declaration of ownership—of bodies, of histories, of time. Revisiting Magellan’s voyage around the world, Marianne Chan navigates her Filipino heritage by grappling with notions of diaspora, circumnavigation, and discovery. Whether rewriting the origin story of Eve (“I always imagined that the serpent had the legs of a seductive woman in black nylons”), or ruminating on what-should-have-been-said “when the man at the party said he wanted to own a Filipino,” Chan paints wry, witty renderings of anecdotal and folkloric histories, while both preserving and unveiling a self that dares any other to try and claim it.
Marianne Chan grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of All Heathens, forthcoming from Sarabande Books in March 2020. Her poems have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, West Branch, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.
Hanna Andrews is the author of Slope Move and holds a PhD from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the co-founder of Switchback Books, where she was an Editor from 2006-2017, and is also the former Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets, where she curated the Poem-a-Day series.
Sreshtha Sen is a poet from Delhi, and one of the founding editors of The Shoreline Review, an online journal for and by South Asian poets. She studied literatures in English at Delhi University and completed her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College.
Brittany Bronson is a writer based in Las Vegas, NV. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times of London, Bitch Magazine, and others. Brittany earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2014.
ALUMNI READING SERIES: CLANCY MCGILLIGAN
Wednesday April 01 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
AN EVENING WITH UNLV ALUMNI CLANCY MCGILLIGAN
This event will take place on the campus of UNLV at RLL 101.
Clancy McGilligan’s novella History of an Executioner won the 2019 novella prize from Miami University Press. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Cimarron Review, Slice Magazine, Sycamore Review, Columbia Journal, Santa Monica Review, the Ploughshares blog, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere. Currently, he’s a PhD candidate in English and Creative Writing at Florida State University, and he serves as the Reviews/Interviews Editor at Split Lip Magazine.
BOURBON BOOK CLUB
Thursday April 09 | 6:00PM - 7:30PM
A BOOK DISCUSSION PAIRED WITH WHISKEY
For April, Bourbon Book Club attendees will discuss Michael Ondaatje's Man Booker Prize-winning novel The English Patient.
The Book Club discussion will be complemented by a bourbon selected and provided by The Whiskey Attic. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance.
Thursday April 16 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF LURKING: HOW A PERSON BECAME A USER
WITH KATE LOSSE
In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been.
In Lurking, Joanne McNeil digs deep and identifies the primary (if sometimes contradictory) concerns of people online: searching, safety, privacy, identity, community, anonymity, and visibility. She charts what it is that brought people online and what keeps us here even as the social equations of digital life—what we’re made to trade, knowingly or otherwise, for the benefits of the internet—have shifted radically beneath us. It is a story we are accustomed to hearing as tales of entrepreneurs and visionaries and dynamic and powerful corporations, but there is a more profound, intimate story that hasn’t yet been told.
Joanne McNeil was the inaugural winner of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation’s Arts Writing Award for an emerging writer. She has been a resident at Eyebeam, a Logan Nonfiction Program fellow, and an instructor at the School for Poetic Computation. Lurking is her first book.
Kate Losse has written on tech and culture for The New Republic, The New York Times, Dissent Magazine, The New Yorker, Vox, Eater, and Curbed. She is the author of The Boy Kings, a memoir of early Facebook culture and Silicon Valley.
Wednesday April 22 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
READING AND BOOK SIGNING WITH THE AUTHOR OF THE DESERT BETWEEN US
The Desert Between Us is an epic historical novel based on the U.S. government’s decision to open more routes to California during the Gold Rush. To help navigate this waterless, largely unexplored territory, the War Department imported seventy-five camels from the Middle East to help traverse the brutal terrain that was murderous on other livestock.
When Sophia Hughes meets Geoffrey Scott in St. Thomas, she is torn between her attraction for the stranger, her fidelity as a polygamist wife, and her unresolved feelings for the man who abandoned her. The death of Sophia’s child and her illicit relationship with Geoffrey generate a complex nexus where her new love for Geoffrey competes with societal expectations and a rugged West seeking domesticity.
Phyllis Barber is an award-winning author of nine books, including Raw Edges and How I Got Cultured(winner of the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction). She has received awards for both her fiction and nonfiction and has published essays and short stories in North American Review, Crazyhorse, and Kenyon Review. She has been cited as Notable in The Best American Essays and in The Best American Travel Writing.
Saturday May 23 | 5:00PM - 6:30PM
BOOK SIGNING AND READING WITH THE AUTHOR OF AMERICAN DREAM HOUSES
With Flynn Dexter and Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña
"Emilee Wirshing’s interrogation of the past becomes an act of understanding identity as something truly rooted in duality. In these poems, suburbia and the landscape surrounding it reveal their most crucial influence on family, marriage, and childhood the more they are opened by decay, affirming that, 'even dream houses have rooms / no one enters.'"
Samuel Piccone, author of Pupa, Editors’ Choice Award in the 2017 Rick Campbell Chapbook Prize with Anhinga Press
Emilee Wirshing is a librarian and lifelong Nevadan. She earned her BA in creative writing and literature from James Madison University and her MLIS from San Jose State University. Emilee advocates for local poets and creativity in the community by hosting various Poetry Open Mic Nights and writing workshops through Henderson Libraries. She has served as a judge for the Library of Congress ‘Letters About Literature’ Contest, and was the founding poetry editor of Noble / Gas Qtrly. Her poetry has been published in 300 Days of Sun, Infinite Rust, Quiddity, Helen, and Thing. Anthologies Clark and Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace also include her work. Emilee currently lives in Henderson, Nevada with her grandmother’s spaniel.
COMANCHE BOOK LAUNCH
Tuesday September 01 | 6:30PM - 8:30PM
BRETT RILEY'S DEBUT NOVEL, COMANCHE
Join Imbrifex Books and The Writer’s Block for the launch of Brett Riley's debut novel, Comanche. Police in a tiny Texas town are mystified by a double murder at the train depot. Witnesses swear the killer was dressed like an old-time gunslinger. Rumors fly that it’s the ghost of The Piney Woods Kid, back to wreak revenge on the descendants of the vigilantes who killed him. Help arrives in the form of a team of investigators from New Orleans. Shunned by the local community and haunted by their own pasts, they’re nonetheless determined to unravel the mystery. They follow the evidence and soon find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer.
Brett Riley is professor of English at the College of Southern Nevada. He grew up in southeastern Arkansas and earned his Ph.D. in contemporary American fiction and film at Louisiana State University. The author of a collection of short fiction, Riley has also won numerous awards for screenwriting. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Comanche is his first novel.