Kenneth Goldsmith is the author of 11 books of poetry and the founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb. He teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor of the online poetry archive PennSound. In 2011, he read at President Obama's A Celebration of American Poetry and held a workshop with the First Lady. He also co-edited Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. Goldsmith participated in dOCUMENTA (13) in Germany in 2012 and was appointed MoMA’s first Poet Laureate in 2013.
Christian Bök is the author of Eunoia, a bestselling work of experimental literature that won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2002. He is well-known for his virtuoso recitals of “sound-poems” and has performed at more than 200 venues around the world in the last four years. Bök is currently finishing "The Xenotext," a project that requires him to engineer the genome of an indestructible bacterium whose DNA might become not only a durable archive to store poems, but also an operant machine that writes poems in response. He teaches in the Department of English at the University of Calgary.
Experimental poets Kenneth Goldsmith and Christian Bök are two of the earliest founders of the conceptual writing movement. They will discuss an unofficial history and overview of conceptual literature, concluding with a reading and presentation of a range of conceptual texts. more ...
Columnist and bestselling author Carl Hiaasen reads from and discusses his latest novel, Bad Monkey. more ...
In the deep of winter 1893, a briskly practical physician named Mrs. Mellon arrives at a New York tenement and takes up her duty to care for the aged, the indigent and the dying. Her patient in the garret, she decides, fits all three categories nicely—that is, before she realizes she is in the presence of a most unusual lost soul: the charismatic Maggie Fox of the famous and controversial Fox Sisters who inspired the Spiritualist Movement. Soon Mrs. Mellon finds Maggie is revealing her family’s secrets. But is Mrs. Mellon her confessor, her saviour, her interrogator—or the last person upon whom Maggie is working her finely honed art?
On the day the Herath family moves in, Sal Mal Lane is a quiet street, disturbed only by the cries of the children whose triumphs and tragedies sustain the families that live there. As each neighbour adapts to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes and small rivalries. But when the tides of civil war begin to turn towards the neighbourhood, their differences ignite in ways no one could have imagined.
In the badlands of the North American west in the late 1800s Miette, an orphan, begins a quest to find her mother, the notorious Calamity Jane. She’s reluctant to meet the woman who abandoned her—whom she knows only as an infamous soldier, drinker and exhibition shooter—but she sets out nonetheless across a landscape peopled with madwomen, thieves, minstrels and ghosts, many of whom add a thread to the story of her famous mother.
At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives. Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother's hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses.
Andrew Yancy—late of the Miami Police, soon-to-be-late of the Key West Police—has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, his commander might relieve him of Health Inspector duties, aka Roach Patrol. But first Yancy will negotiate an ever-surprising course of events--from the Keys to Miami to a Bahamian out island--with a crew of equally ever-surprising characters.
Claire Mulligan’s first work of historical fiction, The Reckoning of Boston Jim, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize as well as the Ethel Wilson Award. Mulligan was born and raised in British Columbia. She currently lives in Pennsylvania. Set during the 19th century, Mulligan’s second novel, The Dark retells the epic true story of the Fox Sisters and the rise of Spiritualism.