Monday, April 20, 2015

Boswell Event Blast: Andrea Lochen Monday, Theatre Gigante Tuesday, Liz Carlisle Thursday, Jennifer Jordan Friday, Susan Scott Saturday, and Elizabeth Crawford and Listen to Your Mother on Sunday.

Monday, April 20, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Andrea Lochen, author of Imaginary Things.

Burned-out and broke, single mother Anna Jennings moves to her grandparents’ rural home for the summer with her four-year-old son, David. The sudden appearance of shadowy dinosaurs forces Anna to admit that either she’s lost her mind or she can see her son’s active imagination. Frightened for David’s safety, Anna struggles to learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon and how best to protect him. But what she uncovers along the way is completely unexpected: revelations about what her son’s imaginary friends truly represent and dark secrets about her own childhood imaginary friend.

Living right next door is Jamie Presswood, Anna’s childhood friend who has grown much more handsome and hardened than the boy she once knew. Jamie reminds her of simpler times—Ferris wheels and sparklers, picnics by the river, and Neapolitan ice cream—but due to past regrets and the messy lives they’ve since led, rekindling their friendship proves easier said than done. Between the imaginary creatures stalking her son and her tumultuous relationship with David’s biological father, Anna doesn’t have any room left in her life or her heart for another man. But as David’s visions become more persistent and threatening, Anna must learn to differentiate between which dangers are real and which are imagined, and who she can truly trust.

Andrea Lochen is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Michigan. An early version of her first novel, The Repeat Year, won the Hopwood Prize. She currently teaches writing at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha where she was recently awarded the UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Tuesday, April 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Theatre Gigante presents a preview of Terminus.

Terminus is an audacious Irish drama of interlocking monologues that illuminate the quietest fears and most intimate desires of its three characters: a lonely woman looking for love; her mother, seeking atonement; and a serial killer who has sold his soul to the Devil. Playwright Mark O’Rowe’s dizzying language is dark, unrelenting and gorgeously wrought: a dense, musical brand of colloquial poetry that sounds like a mix between Jay-Z and Tom Wolfe on a gonzo riff. It is Spoken Word Poetry from contemporary Ireland, written entirely in verse.

Our preview features a series of talks: Paul Kosidowski will set the stage, if you will, speaking about the play, Mark O'Rowe, and Irish drama, followed by a talk about the current production from Theatre Gigante's own Mark Andersen and Isabelle Kralj. We'll round off the evening with a craft talk from featured Terminus actors, Megan Kaminsky and Tom Reed. We'll have copies of both editions of Terminus for sale.

 The play debuts May 1st and will run through May 16th, on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, at Kenilworth Square Studio 508 on the East Side. Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors and $15 for students); for more info, call Theatre Gigante: 1-800-838-3006. or visit Brown Paper Tickets site.

Thursday, April 23, 7 pm, at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center:
Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America.

Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness launched a campaign to push small grain farmers to modernize or perish, or as Nixon Administration Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz put it, to “get big or get out. But twenty-seven year-old David Oien decided to take a stand. When he dropped out of grad school to return to his family’s 280 acre farm, Oien became the first in his conservative Montana county to seed his fields with a radically different crop: organic lentils. A cheap, healthy source of protein, rich in fiber, folate, Vitamin B1, and amino acids, lentils are drought tolerant and don’t
require irrigation. And unlike the chemically dependent grains American farmers had been told to grow, lentils make their own fertilizer and tolerate variable climate conditions, so their farmers aren’t beholden to industrial methods. Today, David Oien leads a thriving movement of organic farmers who work with heirloom seeds and biologically diverse farm systems. Under the brand Timeless Natural Food, this “lentil underground” has grown into a million dollar enterprise that sells to hundreds of independent natural foods stores, and a host of renowned restaurants.

Author Liz Carlisle is joined by farmer David Oien at the Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center. Liz Carlisle is a fellow at the Center for Diversified Farming Systems at the University of California, Berkeley. Suggested admission is $10, $5 for Urban Ecology Members.

Friday, April 24, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jennifer A. Jordan, author of Edible Memory: The Lure of Heirloom Tomatoes and Other Forgotten Foods
This event is co-sponsored by UWM Urban Studies Programs.

Each week during the growing season, farmers’ markets offer up such delicious treasures as brandywine tomatoes, cosmic purple carrots, pink pearl apples, and chioggia beets—varieties of fruits and vegetables that are prized by home chefs and carefully stewarded by farmers from year to year. These are the heirlooms and the antiques of the food world, endowed with their own rich histories. While cooking techniques and flavor fads have changed from generation to generation, a Ribston Pippin apple today can taste just as flavorful as it did in the eighteenth century. But how does an apple become an antique and a tomato an heirloom? In Edible Memory, UWM associate professor of sociology Jennifer A. Jordan examines the ways that people around the world have sought to identify and preserve old-fashioned varieties of produce. In doing so, Jordan shows that these fruits and vegetables offer a powerful emotional and physical connection to a shared genetic, cultural, and culinary past.

From Wendy Griswold at Northwestern University: “Although a lot of books have appeared in recent years about food cultures and foodways, none have analyzed how personal nostalgia and food politics are intertwined, sometimes in mutual support of one another (local heirloom tomatoes) and sometimes in conflict (green Jell-O salad, anyone?). Jordan, who has done exemplary research on how memory shaped modern Berlin, is perfectly situated to examine the emotion work and emotion play we lavish on what we grow, seek, and put into our mouths. Jordan is working in some of the most vital areas in cultural sociology: theoretically, a sociology of materiality and sensory experience; substantively, food studies and cognitive sociology; methodologically, interweaving of the micro-historical (personal) with the macro-historical (developments in agriculture, consumerism, nationalism). This is an important book.”

Listen to Jordan discuss heirloom tomatoes on Chicago Public Radio.

Saturday, April 25, 1:30 pm, at the Cedarburg Library:
Susan Scott, author of Call Me Captain: A Memoir of a Woman at Sea.

Writer and marine biologist Susan Scott had an enviable existence—a home in Hawaii, a prized 37-foot sailboat and exciting international adventures, all shared with her physician husband Craig in a marriage so intimate they called it the Twinship. Yet, when her menopausal hormones raged and Craig grew preoccupied with Ironman triathlon training, this perfect life ended. Once blessed with well-being, love, humor, and sharing, the Twinship exploded with fights, silence, accusations, and failed counseling.

Shell-shocked, Susan sought solace in the one thing that always gave her joy: marine wildlife. She overhauled the couple’s neglected boat and, with a male friend nearly half her age, sailed away. Except it wasn’t that easy; Susan had always relied on Craig to make the sailing decisions and Alex, her young first mate, was a sailing novice. Call Me Captain follows Susan as she leaves everything behind—or tries to— and sails to spectacular but isolated Palmyra Atoll to work as a volunteer biologist. Susan helps rescue baby sea turtles, bands seabirds, and corrals ten-pound coconut crabs that look like Godzillas with knife-blade claws. She determinedly repairs her sailboat, skippers it through terrifying storms, and to her surprise, finds she and Craig are falling in love all over again. This time the two rediscover one another via satellite phone—Susan calling from her tiny floating speck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Craig in his hospital emergency room on Oahu.

Susan, a native of Cedarburg, writes with passion about swimming with manta rays, kayaking with sharks, and sailing with whales and dolphins. In those passages, she shows ways these magnificent animals guided her through the journey of a lifetime. Her memoir of self-discovery is a romance, a rousing sea tale, and a personal account of nature’s power to put life in perspective.

Sunday, April 26, 3 pm, at Boswell:
Elizabeth Crawford, author of At the Table: Recipes and Techniques

In At the Table: Recipes and Techniques, each recipe’s introduction reflects the sense of memoir, paying homage to the lessons Elizabeth Crawford has learned from her students and from cooks she’s met throughout her travels. With every dish, she places herself in the reader’s shoes, anticipating their experience level, questions, doubts, and emotional connections to food so that what could simply be a recipe becomes a narrative fueled by the dialogue between writer and cook. The fundamental philosophy behind At the Table is an understanding that food is essential for bringing people to the table, and once there, we all have the opportunity to share our hearts and ideas so that we may listen and be heard.

“I’ve had the privilege to hire and work with Elizabeth as part of our culinary program here at the Milwaukee Public Market and I am continually amazed at her knowledge, yet she always wants to interact with the students to learn from them as well. It’s such a passion that is evident in everything she does.” —Jill Nickerson, Culinary Director, Milwaukee Public Market

Wisconsinite Elizabeth Crawford is a self-taught cook in the classical French model, who is so enamored with the practice of Tai Chi that she weaves its principles into her cooking. A teacher, caterer, spice seller, consultant, and armchair anthropologist, she is currently hard at work on her next project.

also Sunday, April 26, 3 pm, at Alverno College's Pitman Theatre:
Listen to Your Mother Milwaukee.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 26th, 2015 (two weeks before Mother’s Day) at 3:00 p.m. at the Pitman Theatre on the Alverno College campus right in the heart of Milwaukee at 3431 South 39th Street for the third annual Listen to Your Mother event.

Come see these amazing women and gentleman perform their mom-ologues (that's a Boswell pun; don't blame the cast): Elaine Maly, Anna Stone, Michelle Dobbs, Liza Cohen, Moira Sennett, Katy Meyer, Nicole Smith, Mary Steinert-Ng, Raina Johnson, Jack Douthitt, Leana’ Cristiana Grimm, and Alexandra Rosas, who is also co-producer.

Tickets are $15; the service fee is not included. 10% of ticket proceeds will be donated to Strong Baby, a campaign of United Way Greater Milwaukee & Washington County. Strong Baby is focused on improving conditions that lead to poor birth outcomes and infant mortality.

Just on sale is the the official tie-in book, Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now, edited by Madison's Ann Imig. Books will be for sale at this event, but note that Ann Imig will not be present.

Monday, April 27, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Jessica Hagy, author of The Art of War Visualized: The Sun Tzu Classic in Charts and Graphs, presenting and in conversation with Mitch Teich of Milwaukee Public Radio's Lake Effect.

It’s the perfect meeting of minds. One, a general whose epigrammatic lessons on strategy offer timeless insight and wisdom. And the other, a visual thinker whose succinct diagrams and charts give readers a fresh way of looking at life’s challenges and opportunities. A Bronze Age/Information Age marriage of Sun Tzu and Jessica Hagy, The Art of War Visualized is an inspired mash-up, a work that completely reënergizes the perennial bestseller and makes it accessible to a new generation of students, entrepreneurs, business leaders, artists, seekers, lovers of games and game theory, and anyone else who knows the value of seeking guidance for the future in the teachings of the past.

Jessica Hagy is an artist and writer best known for her Webby award-winning blog, Indexed . A fixture in the creative online space, Jessica has been illustrating, consulting, and speaking to international media and events since 2006. Mitch Teich is the executive producer and co-host of Lake Effect, which airs on WUWM.

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