Writers Resist: Silence

Athens is joining cities across the nation for Writers Resist day, co-sponsored by PEN-America, to focus attention on the ideals of a free, just, and democratic society for all on Sunday, January 15, Martin Luther King’s birthday.  More about national events can be found at writersresist.org.

Here is Athens, we will host four events:

  • An all-ages writing workshop at the 493 Prince Ave. location of our beloved Avid Bookshop at 3 p.m..  We will also create peace flags.  https://www.facebook.com/events/571809756350854/
  • reading from 5–6 p.m. at Avid, featuring a variety of speakers reading from diverse works celebrating the ideals of democracy and free expression. Featured readers include Marquez Clark, Rashaun Ellis, Jenny Gropp, Sabrina Orah Mark, Reginald McKnight, Julian Staton, Magdalena Zurawski, and others.   https://www.facebook.com/events/571809756350854/
  • An oratory orchestra, from noon until 1pm, with people at various downtown Athens locations reciting seminal works on freedom and democracy. To participate, meet at Walkers Pub & Coffee, 128 College Ave., 11:45pm. For more info contact laurahoffman101@gmail . https://www.facebook.com/events/1053726604753778/
  • A writing workshop for seniors at the Athens Area Council on Aging, 135 Hoyt Street (Thursday, January 12th10-11:30 am.)

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New Town Revue this Friday honors Jeremy Ayers

New Town Revue has moved to the Fire Hall (next to Avid Bookshop) for this special evening honoring the work of our dear friend Jeremy Ayers who passed away on October 24th. It will be Friday, November 18, 6:30-7:30 PM. Details at the Facebook event page.

Thanks to Beth Hall Thrasher for organizing this evening and creating the beautiful flyer, featuring Jill Carnes’ photography.

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New Town Revue coming November 18

We are gearing up for November 18’s New Town Revue, featuring an eclectic mix of multi-talented performers. It will be held in Avid Bookshop from 6:30-7:30.

Jeremy Ayers was an experimental writer-poet, photographer, activist and musician. Jeremy was excited about the first public presentation of his latest literary work for the New Town Revue, but sadly he passed away suddenly on October 24th. Four of his dear friends, with whom he had been sharing this project, have graciously offered to read for him. We only wish he was here to celebrate his work with us. Jeremy might be best known for his time spent with (and photo documentation of) Occupy Wall Street, or for writing a column for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, or for his experimental-folk band Limbo District, or for collaborating with R.E.M. and the B-52s on songwriting. Like a shape-shifting cat with more than nine lives, Ayers literally changed from one year to the next surprising and delighting everyone he met. The Athens community is deeply saddened by the loss of this great artist.

Recent Los Angeles transplants Ezra Buchla and Claire Cronin will round out the bill.

Buchla uses violin, viola, voice and technology to create sound. He’s a veteran of beloved experimental indie bands Mae Shi and Gowns. He also develops music software and firmware such as the aleph sound processor.

Cronin is in the PhD creative writing program at UGA. She’s a poet and a musician, most recently recording the album Came Down a Storm with Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich. Read Cronin’s chapbook, Therese, from H_NGM_N Books here.

Hope to see there.

New Town with Rob Spillman, Garrard Conley, and Erin Lovett

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Don’t miss the next New Town! Rob Spillman, editor of Tin House and author of the amazing memoir All Tomorrow’s Parties, about a young man discovering his place in the world and in the arts, is reading with Garrard Conley.  Conley, who grew up in a fundamentalist Southern community, wrote a devastating memoir called Boy Erased, about his time in a gay conversion therapy program.
Erin Lovett of Four Eyes is providing our music. Stoked!
Check out these interviews with Rob in Electric Lit and Garrard in the Rumpus by New Town’s Deirdre Sugiuchi.
It all happens at Avid Bookshop, September 1, @ 6:30.  See you there!

Next New Town: Tuesday, February 9th @6:30

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The next New Town lineup is out of control amazing! Jessica Handler will be reading prose, Hope Hilton, poems, and long time Athenian Dave Marr will play some songs from his forthcoming album.

Jessica Handler is the author of Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief. Her first book, Invisible Sisters: A Memoir, was named one of the “Twenty Five Books All Georgians Should Read” and Atlanta magazine’s “Best Memoir of 2009.” She writes essays and nonfiction features which have appeared on NPR, in Tin House, Drunken Boat, Full Grown People, Brevity, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and More Magazine.

Hope Hilton was born in 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Hilton curates, collaborates, designs, publishes, writes, and walks. Recently completed projects include the writing of over 200 personal letters to anonymous participants for College of the Canyons, Valencia, CA, a Topophilia workshop with teens in Bonao, Dominican Republic, AND a project about her love of reading at The Kitchen, NYC as well as in Beit HaGefen Art Gallery in Haifa, Israel. She is the Artist in Residence at Double Helix STEAM School, an adjunct professor of Art Appreciation at Athens Technical College, a consultant for The Georgia Virtual History Project, as well as teaching art to children at Treehouse Kid & Craft and Athens Institute for Contemporary Art . Hilton was awarded a grant in 2010 from the Forward Arts Foundation in Atlanta and was a finalist for the inaugural Hudgen’s Prize.

Dave Marr is an Athens singer-songwriter who released two albums as frontman of The Star Room Boys during the late 1990s and early 2000s. His first solo album will be available in limited release in February in 2016. He currently plays with Bo Bedingfield, Don Chambers, Alan Flurry, Brandon Reynolds, and Thayer Sarrano.

Remixing Shakespeare recap

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Our latest New Town Revue was a smashing success. Shakespeare enthusiasts packed the Fire Hall to hear local writers and musicians give their take on the author. Laura Leidner started things off with a selection from her new novel. The UGA New Music Ensemble wowed us with a trio of songs composed by Richard Hunsinger and based on ghost scenes from three Shakespeare plays. Cindy Watkins regaled us with her delightfully twisted take on the Bard. Sujata Iyengar read some found poetry based on her experiences teaching Shakespeare. Finally, two scholars in town for UGA’s Shakespeare conference showed their creative side. Thanks to Sujata Iyengar and the conference Appropriation in an Age of Global Shakespeare for partnering with New Town Revue and helping set up the evening. And thanks to Bart Lemahieu for recording. Here’s a link to a recording of the show.