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9/21 - Rebecca Gayle Howell

Join us Monday, September 21st at 7pm for a poetry reading by Rebecca Gayle Howell as a part of the UT Creative Writing Series.

To join the Zoom Webinar, find the link on the Facebook Event before 7pm on Monday. 

Check out Rebecca's recommended title: LAST ONE OUT SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS by Stephanie Soileau. Detailed description and ordering info below. 

Rebecca Gayle Howell’s most recent book is American Purgatory, selected by Don Share for Great Britain’s 2016 Sexton Prize and named a must-read collection by Poetry London, The Millions, and the Courier-Journal. She is also the author of Render / An Apocalypse, which received wide acclaim, most notably by David L. Ulin for the Los Angeles Times who called it “remarkable.” Howell’s debut was as the translator of Amal al-Jubouri’s Hagar Before the Occupation / Hagar After the Occupation, shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award and selected by Library Journal as a best book of 2011. Among her other honors are fellowships from United States Artists, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Carson McCullers Center, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Since 2014, she has served as Poetry Editor for Oxford American.

DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN PURGATORY


Poetry. Winner of the 2016 Sexton Prize for Poetry (selected by Don Share of Poetry magazine), AMERICAN PURGATORY is a story of the working class, a dystopia set in a near-future United States marked by severe drought, herbicidal warfare, and a totalitarian climate of poverty. This purgatory is populated by those who believe that if they work hard enough, they will be set free. Against this backdrop, three unlikely characters begin a journey that will take them away from work, belief, and even each other, until the protagonist uncovers a truth about this place that indeed sets her free. Equal parts Dante and Cormac McCarthy, AMERICAN PURGATORY is a coming-of-age for capitalism written in the decade of tea-party terror.

DESCRIPTION OF LAST ONE OUT SHUT OFF THE LIGHTS


"A lightning bolt of a literary debut." ---Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner

"Enchanting and so neatly planed they feel made by time, these stories mark the debut of a writer to watch." ---John Freeman, Literary Hub

Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is an evocative portrait of the last-chance towns of southwest Louisiana, where oil development, industrial pollution, dying wetlands, and the ever-present threat of devastating hurricanes have eroded their inhabitants' sense of home. These eleven piercing stories feature indelible characters struggling to find a foothold in a world that is forever washing out from under them, people who must reckon with their ambivalence about belonging to a place so continually in flux.

In a collection whose resonant echoes abound, we meet a reluctant teenage mother who stows her baby in a closet to steal a night out; a spiteful retiree who sabotages his neighbor in the wake of a hurricane; a Pentecostal singer in a children's theater company who confronts the cultish leader of her troupe; a community of elderly Cajuns who conspire with a family of Sudanese immigrants to hide an escaped cow from the authorities; and a desperate young woman who tries to drag her brother to Mexico for surgery, determined to save his life and her own.

As Lauren Groff did for the state of Florida in her recent collection Florida, Stephanie Soileau demonstrates that Louisiana is as much a state of mind as it is a place on the map. A love letter to the Cajun language, life rhythms, and customs that still make the region unique, Last One Out Shut Off the Lights is also a powerful reminder of the treacherous escape routes that bedevil anyone longing to leave home, and the traps that remain for those who desire to return.

Event Date: 
Monday, September 21, 2020 - 7:00pm
Address: 
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Books: 
American Purgatory Cover Image
$14.49
ISBN: 9781911335443
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Eyewear Publishing - February 10th, 2017

Last One Out Shut Off the Lights Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316423403
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - July 7th, 2020

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