2:00pm | Claire Vaye Watkins | Chelsea Depot

By |2017-11-30T15:54:23-05:00December 5th, 2016|

Claire Vaye WatkinsGold Fame Citrus

2:00 pm | Chelsea Depot (125 Jackson St.) See map.

Claire Vaye Watkins debut novel, Gold Fame Citrus, was recently named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, NPR, Vanity Fair, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Refinery 29, Men’s Journal, Lit Hub, Book Riot, Los Angeles Magazine, Powells, BookPage and Kirkus Reviews. Gold Fame Citrus describes a future American West ravaged by drought, where water has disappeared, turning California into desert wasteland, and its citizens forced into internment camps and prevented from leaving the desert. From this desolate place,a young couple and a mysterious child head east on a dangerous road, seeking another kind of life. Born in Bishop, California in 1984, Vaye Watkins was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa California and then across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA form the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. A Guggenheim Fellow, Claire in on the faculty of the Hell Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada. In addition to Gold Fame Citrus, Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn, an award-winning collection of stories that earned Vaye Watkins the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honor.

At once beautiful and profoundly unsettling, [Gold Fame Citrus] sears its way into the brain, burning hot through the devastating journey and lingering long after the last page is turned.”–ELLE


3:00pm | Christopher Sorrentino | Chelsea Depot

By |2017-02-01T09:24:24-05:00December 5th, 2016|

Christopher Sorrentino, The Fugitives

1:00 pm | Chelsea Depot (125 Jackson St.) See map.

Christopher Sorrentino is the author of five books, including his latest, The Fugitivesand Trance, a National Book Award Finalist for fiction. In The Fugitives, Sorrentino’s lead character retreats from his turbulent Brooklyn life to a quiet Michigan town where he hopes to finish his long-overdue novel. There, he becomes fascinated by a native Ojibwe storyteller who regularly appears at the local library – but who readers soon learn is not all he appears to be. Moving, funny, tense, and mysterious, The Fugitives is at once a love story, a ghost story, and a crim thriller– but also a cautionary tale of twenty-first century American life, a meditation on the meaning of identity, on the role storytelling plays in our understanding of ourselves and each other, and on the difficulty of making genuine connections in a world that’s connected in almost every way. Sorrentino’s work has been widely anthologized, and has appeared in Esquire, Fence, Granta, Harper’s, The Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, The Paris Review, and other publications. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, the New School, Fairleigh Dickinson, and at the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y, where he is a core faculty member.

“Sorrentino’s smartly conceived story is something of a thriller, though more Richard Russo than Robert Ludlum; it’s about ruses and masks and our desire to be something other than our imperfectible selves…Thoughtful but full of action–and a pleasing entertainment, too.” — KIRKUS


3:00pm | Jamaal May | Chelsea Clocktower Commons

By |2017-02-01T09:25:18-05:00December 5th, 2016|

Jamaal MayThe Big Book of Exit Strategies

3:00 pm | Chelsea Clocktower  Commons (320 N. Main St.) See map.

Jamaal May was born in 1982 in Detroit, MI where he taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer. His new book of poetry, The Big Book of Exit Strategies will be released in April 2016. May’s first book of poems, Hum, is a “bittersweet love song” to the ruined streets of his native Detroit, using images of technology past and present to render the “hum” that drives human identity and connection. Since Hum’s publication in 2013, May has won the Beatrice Hawley Award and the 2014 Notable Book Award from the American Library Association, was a finalist for the NAACP Image award and Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was named one of The Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2013. May has also been on the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA. He has served as an associate editor of West Branch and the series editor, graphic designer and filmmaker for the Organic Weapon Arts Chapbook and Video Series. May is also a member of six national poetry slam teams, including five from Detroit and the NYC-based LouderARTS.

In May’s skilled hands, Keats’s urn becomes a Chinese takeout box and Wordsworth’s abbey spires are belching Zug Island factories.” — BOSTON REVIEW on Hum


3:00pm | Robin Coste Lewis | Chelsea Clocktower Commons

By |2017-02-01T09:26:04-05:00December 5th, 2016|

Robin Coste LewisVoyage of the Sable Venus

3:00 pm | Chelsea Clocktower Commons (320 N. Main St.) See map.

Robin Coste Lewis’s debut collection of poetry, Voyage of the Sable Venus is an electrifying meditation on the cultural depiction of the black female figure. Coste Lewis is a Provost’s Fellow in Poetry and Visual Studies at the University of Southern California and is also a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. She received her MFA in poetry from NYU, and an MTS in Sanskrit and comparative religious literature from the Divinity School at Harvard University. She has taught at Wheaton College, Hunter College, Hampshire College, and the NYU Low-Residency MFA in Paris. Lewis was born in Compton, California; her family is from New Orleans. Voyage of the Sable Venus is her first book of poetry.

Voyage of the Sable Venus is a massive work, and from its first page it declares itself as a powerful and era-defining poetic achievement.” – SLATE


4:00pm | Paula McLain | Chelsea Clocktower Commons

By |2017-02-01T09:27:37-05:00December 5th, 2016|

Paula McLain Circling the Sun

4:00 pm | Chelsea Clocktower Commons (320 N. Main St.) See map.

Paula McLain is the author of the huge New York Times bestseller, The Paris Wife (2011) and her latest bestselling novel, Circling the Sun (2015), named one of NPR’s best books of the year. With Circling the Sun, McLain masterfully demonstrates why, as writer Ann Patchett declared, “Paula McLain is considered the new star of historical fiction-for good reason.” Her new novel brings to life the amazing story of Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir, Out of Africa. Born in Fresno, California in 1965, McLain and her two sisters became wards of the California Court System after being abandoned by both parents, moving in and out of various foster homes for the next fourteen years. After she aged out of the system, McLain supported herself by working as a nurses aid in a convalescent hospital, a pizza delivery girl, an auto-plant worker, and a cocktail waitress before discovering she could (and very much wanted to) write. McLain received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996. The recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the author of two collections of poetry; a memoir, Like Family: Growing up in Other People’s Houses (1994), and a first novel, A Ticket to Ride (2008). She lives with her family in Cleveland.

“As chronicled in Paula McLain’s richly textured new novel, Circling the Sun, Beryl Markham’s life is the stuff of legend…McLain has created a voice that is lush and intricate to evoke a character who is enviably brave and independent.” – NPR


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