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More Than a Single Story: Vigilance in Uncertain Times

Date: 11/12/17

Location: The Loft at Open Book (Performance Hall)

Day of the Week: Sunday

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm

• Regular: $10.00
• Member: $5.00

The Loft presents More than a Single Story: Vigilance In Uncertain Times moderated by Carolyn Holbrook, featuring panelists:  April Gibson, David Grant, Qais Munhazim, David Mura, and Diane Wilson. The opening poet will be Keno Evol.
Vanessa Hua, author of the short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities said “This country was built on the backs of immigrants and people of color, and in times of war, we have protected this country, too. We need to hear these stories more than ever at a time when the president questions our loyalty, when he denies the disabled, the queer community, and the marginalized their humanity. Every hurled slur, every stereotype and assumption denies us our stories ― and I’m vowing to tell as many and as deeply as I can in the years ahead.”
The writers in this discussion will examine how writing and literature bear witness, and how it helps them hold light and maintain their center in the darkness of the uncertain times we are living in.

David Mura is a creative nonfiction writer, poet, fiction writer, critic, and playwright. He’s written two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, which won the Josephine Miles/Oakland PEN Book Award and was listed in the New York Times Notable Books of Year; and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity. His most recent work is the novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire. His collection of poetry, The Last Incantations, came out in 2014. Other poetry books are: Angels for the Burning, The Colors of Desire (Carl Sandburg Literary Award) and After We Lost Our Way (National Poetry Series Contest winner). His book of critical essays is Song for Uncle Tom, Tonto & Mr. Moto: Poetry & Identity. His essays have appeared in Mother Jones, the NY Times, and numerous anthologies. He teaches in the Stonecoast MFA Program and the VONA Writers’ Conference.

Diane Wilson is a creative nonfiction writer whose essays and memoir use personal experience to illustrate broader social and historical context. Her first book, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (Borealis Press), won the Minnesota Book Award for autobiography, memoir, and creative non-fiction in 2006. Wilson is the recipient of numerous grants and residencies, including two Jerome Travel and Study grants, a research grant from the Minnesota Historical Society, and residencies at Norcroft Writers’ Retreat and Hedgebrook in Washington. Her work has been published widely, and most recently in Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions, 2009); Homelands: Women’s Journeys across Race, Place, and Time; Yellow Medicine Review; the American Indian Quarterly; Rain Taxi; and many other local publications.

Qais Munhazim is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota. He hails from Afghanistan, the land of famous poets such as Rumi and Haasi, whose work inspired him to write poems and auto-ethnographic narratives about love, war,home, identity, longing, belonging, and displacement. He is the the founder of MN Caravan of Love, an activist movement that works for the rights, love, dignity, and respect of immigrants, refugees, and marginalized identities in Minnesota. Resisting the recent Muslim ban, Qais recently co-curated the Loving in a Time of War reading at Intermedia Arts, Twin Cities.

April Gibson is a poet, essayist, and educator whose work has appeared in Pluck!, Valley Voices, Tidal Basin Review, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She has received a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry (2014), a Vermont Studio Center Residency (2015), and is a fellow of The Watering Hole Poetry Retreat (2016), a VONA/Voices Writing Workshop fellow (2017), and a Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop fellow (2017). Her chapbook, Automation (2015), was published by Willow Books as part of their emerging poet and writer series. Her current project is a full-length poetry collection titled The Black Woman Press Conference.

David Grant is a Twin Cities-based writer. As a playwright and screenwriter, he has written for the Minnesota Science Museum, The Playwrights’ Center, Def Pictures, HBO, and the Showtime Network, among others. He has been a recipient of screenwriting fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation, and has been awarded a Regional Emmy for Best Original Dramatic Program and the Cine Golden Eagle. He has recently completed work on the documentary film, Word of Honor: Redeeming Mandela’s Promise for Monde World Films, and is commencing work on Killing Mookie for Bully Productions. He has contributed to Solas Publishing’s Best Travel Writing, 2009; Open to Interpretation Press’s Water’s Edge; and two anthologies from Minnesota Historical Society Press. Mr. Grant currently teaches screenwriting at Independent Filmmaker Program in St. Paul, and has taught at the Loft, the University of St. Thomas, and Augsburg College’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. He also facilitates life skills groups for men incarcerated at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility.

Keno Evol is the founder and executive director of BlackTableArts, an arts-based organization in the Twin Cities centered on conjuring other worlds through black arts by connecting creatives and cultivating volume in black life. BlackTableArts powers community through the Black Lines Matter writing program covering black protest poetry at The Loft Literary Center, The Free Black Table Open Mic at the illusion theater, and curated events centering black social politics and creativity. Evol is a six year educator who has taught, performed, taught workshops and led professional development across the nation. For his work, Evol has won First Place in the 2017 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Contest; received the Verve Grant, and the Beyond the Pure fellowship; has been published in Split This Rock, Radius Lit, and Vinyl; and has appeared on TPT and Urban Perspectives. He navigates noting Patricia Hill Collins, who has stated, “My work has always been bigger than my job.”

Advanced tickets guarantee a general admission seat and help cover the Loft's costs to host the event. Pay-what-you-can tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the event on a first-come, first-served basis. No one turned away for lack of funds. Doors open 30 minutes before the event. Seating is general admission (not assigned).


Pricing Option: $10.00 (Non-Member Price)