Tuesday, March 14, 2017
War, Conflict & Refugees: the literature of crisis at
War, Conflict & Refugees: the Literature of Crisis
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 7:00 PM
A refugee crisis is unfolding worldwide. Fleeing war, poverty, drought and political repression, millions of people are seeking to escape their countries of origin. Literature can provide us a window into their experiences, traumas, and dreams. In this event, three writers will explore lives in crisis through their work bridging the Middle East, Russia, Africa, and the United States.
Emmanuel Dongala, author of Johnny Mad Dog
A Los Angeles Times Book Review Favorite Book of the Year
Johnny Mad Dog, age sixteen, is a member of a rebel faction bent on seizing control of war-torn Congo. Laokolé, at the same age, simply wants to finish high school. Together, they narrate a crossing of paths that has explosive results. Set amid the chaos of West Africa's civil wars, and acclaimed by such writers as Philip Roth and Chinua Achebe, Emmanuel Dongala's powerful, exuberant, and terrifying new work is a coming-of-age story like no other.
Polina Barskova, author of This Lamentable City
Translated from the Russian by Ilya Kaminsky. Polina Barskova's poems are a zesty paradoxical concoction: bawdy and erudite, elegant and raw, subtle and brazen. As Ilya Kaminsky attests in his introduction to THIS LAMENTABLE CITY, "Barskova is an elegiac poet who brings to her American readers a language formally inventive, worldly and humorous. One of her strengths is her ability to bring together strikingly erotic, sensual images...with a deep sense of history and culture.... In Russian, Barskova is a master of meter, rhyme, and alliteration, and...(w)hat comes across in English is the tonality of the poems, the clarity of her vocal play and images, her intricacy of address."
Thérèse Soukar Chehade, author of Loom
As a blizzard blankets the northeast, burying residents and shutting down airports, the Farrah family eagerly awaits the arrival of Eva, a cousin visiting from Lebanon after a long absence. Over the course of several days, while Eva is stranded in New York City, Chehade’s nuanced story unfolds in the reminiscences and anxieties of each family member.
For questions concerning access or to request accommodations, please contact 413-587-1017 or email@example.com. Two weeks notice requested.
The Forbes Library reading series, The Modern Real and Surreal: Writers and Artists on Our Age, is in its second season. The series explores contemporary themes on the premise that libraries offer vibrant spaces to engage with and explore our era's most pressing questions – that in their surprises and contradictions can be understood through either a realistic lens, or through fantasy, science fiction and the surreal. The series invites the community to join us in examining how story and art can provide empathy and insight in our accelerating world.
The series will feature writers in genres ranging from fiction to nonfiction to poetry. National and international politics, challenges in science and the environment, and social justice from incarceration to refugee issues will be important themes this year. And, of course, some art is meant just to entertain - and the series will have a smattering of pure fun.
Curated and moderated by Forbes writer in residence Naila Moreira, the series meets in the Coolidge Museum on the first Wednesday of each month.
Naila Moreira is a writer, journalist, and naturalist whose work often focuses on the natural world. Her 2014 poetry chapbook Gorgeous Infidelities was published as an art book in collaboration with photographer Paul Ickovic. Her latest chapbook,Water Street was published by Finishing Line Press. Set in an old converted farmhouse apartment by the Mill River, it explores the conflict between freedom and domesticity, reflected in the natural world. She has written for the Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Science News and Detroit Free Press, appeared in literary magazines including The Cape Rock, Pirene’s Fountain and the Naugatuck River Review, and contributes a monthly environment column to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. She teaches at Smith College with a focus on science and nature writing, and holds a doctorate in geology. She is the Writer in Residence at Forbes Library.
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