Monday, August 13, 2012

Events this Week--Summer Poetry with Abbate, Farrell, Potos, Plus Jean Zimmerman, Josh Schonwald

Where does the time go? It's the 2nd half of August and our event schedule is heating up again. All five of our authors this week are from Wisconsin. Farrell and Potos head over from Madison, Zimmerman has Wausau ties, and Schonwald grew up in Kenosha.

Thanks to Stacie who put together our press release which I repurpose for this blog post. And press releases are often taken from the original publisher copy. Stacie was having a chat with a publishing person, who told she is very excited when she sees the copy reused. So mind you this is not plagiarism, or even that self-plagaiarism that came to light in part one of the unfortunate Jonah Lehrer incident. No, in this case, we're telling you that someone wrote these words before, and you'll likely see these words again. But if they get you to come to Boswell one evening this week and you have a good time, they will have served their purpose.

Monday, August 13, 7 pm, at Boswell:
The science fiction book club is discussing God's War, by Cameron Hurley.

Tuesday, August 14, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Summer Poetry Night, featuring Francesca Abbate, Tyler Farrell, and Andrea Potos.
A meditation on the nature of betrayal, the constraints of identity, and the power of narrative, the lyric monologues in Francesca Abbate’s Troy, Unincorporated offer a retelling, or refraction, of Chaucer’s tragedy Troilus and Criseyde. The tale’s unrooted characters now find themselves adrift in the industrialized farmlands, strip malls, and half-tenanted “historic” downtowns of south-central Wisconsin, including the real, and literally unincorporated, town of Troy.

Francesca Abbate is associate professor of English at Beloit College. Her poetry has appeared in Field, Iowa Review, NEO, and Poetry, among others.

In The Land of Give and Take, Tyler Farrell’s second collection of poems, a variety of characters appear as on a stage: teenagers and grandparents, priests and poets, the wise and the foolish, professors and proles. Their stories are told by an acute narrator, or often by the characters themselves, and as one poem says, “someone buys the story.”

Tyler Farrell is the author of two collections of poems, both from Salmon Poetry: Tethered to the Earth and The Land of Give and Take. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in many periodicals and anthologies, and he is author of a biographical essay for James Liddy’s Selected Poems. Farrell teaches writing and literature at Marquette University and currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

"Poets light but Lamps –/ Themselves – go out –," declared Emily Dickinson. Only those who burned with "vital Light" become a lens for the ages. The works of revered women writers, particularly the Brontë sisters, Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath, have been such a lens for Andrea Potos. The poems in We Lit the Lamps Ourselves pursue the trail of creative genius in the lives of these ladies of the literati.

Andrea Potos is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Yaya’s Cloth which received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association. She has also received the James Hearst Poetry Prize from the North American Review, and the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Prize.

Wednesday, August 15, 7 pm, at Boswell
Jean Zimmerman, author of The Orphanmaster and Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance. Our event will include a Powerpoint that uses incorporates the research that went into The Orphanmaster.
This historical thriller, bordering on horror and described as “compulsively readable” by Booklist, is an intensely dramatic narrative that brings to life 1660s Manhattan. When the orphans of New Amsterdam begin disappearing, some suspect any one of a cast of questionable characters, while others point to signs that it could be the witika—a demonic creature that feasts on human flesh. A young Dutch woman – also an orphan, and a trader – joins forces with an English spy in order to find out the truth.

The Orphanmaster is a sweeping novel of great and precise imaginative intelligence; it's also the most entertaining and believable historical novel I've read in years. Jean Zimmerman is a debut novelist who already writes like an old master.” Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Half a Life and Chang and Eng.

Zimmerman’s latest work of nonfiction, Love Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance, is the true story of the people behind one of John Singer Sargent’s most famous paintings, “Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes.” Library Journal says: “With an impressive amount of research behind every page, Zimmerman manages to capture the sweeping drama of the turn of the century as well as the compelling story of a couple who knew how to love, fiercely. Her superb pacing and gripping narrative will appeal to all who enjoy history, biography, and real-life romance.”

Jean Zimmerman is also the author of The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune and a Dynasty. She earned an MFA in writing from the Columbia University School of the Arts and has published her poetry widely in literary magazines. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

Thursday, August 16, 7 pm, at Boswell: Josh Schonwald, author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food.

What will food look like in 2035? Schonwald tackles that question in his new book, covering such topics as salad, meat, seafood, ethnic cuisines, and nanotechnology, as he introduces forward-thinking farmers, mad scientists, and capitalistic entrepreneurs who are developing new ways to produce and improve food sources. Whether he is learning the art of leafy green prediction, touring indoor fish farms or government-controlled food labs, Schonwald is willing to travel the globe to find the answer.

Schonwald’s travels take him to the Netherlands where test-tube meat is being engineered, backed by an indefatigable 30-something graduate student, and Martinsville, Virginia where the largest indoor fish farm is breeding the ubiquitous tilapia, with hopes of creating a similar market for cobia, a species largely unknown to Americans. In Detroit, Schonwald searches for the next trend in ethnic food, and explains why chefs like Rick Bayless and Marcus Samuelsson have the power to influence ethnic food trends in a way that many producers and importers cannot. Breaking down the argument for GMO’s (genetically modified foods), Schonwald shows how such controversial food production techniques might actually help feed the planet, and how aquaculture has become the fastest-growing source of food production in the world. Ending inside the hallowed halls of a Pentagon facility experimenting with food pills, The Taste of Tomorrow paints a fascinating picture that takes food off the supermarket shelves and into farms and food labs around the globe.

 Josh Schonwald has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Salon. He lives with his family in Evanston, Illinois.

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