Here at Charlotte Lit, we’re excited about our ongoing Beautiful Truth initiative, with community writing workshops every weekend in January, a February 1 & 2 visit from poet Terrance Hayes, AND a community public reading event in March. But we’re not the only ones lining up excellent literary events for this new year.
Up this week, Queens University’s MFA faculty holds two readings that are free and open to the public. Local favorites Judy Goldman and Tommy Tomlinson each have new memoirs coming out in the next two months. Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts holds a reading coordinated by Park Road Books. As part of their Community Read, the library hosts Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. All of this and we haven’t even mentioned the UNCC Center City Literary Festival and the Sensoria Festival at CPCC. Take a look at this event listing and invite your friends to join you in celebrating the literary arts in Charlotte.
Tuesday, January 8 at 5 pm – Queens University MFA Faculty Readings: Morri Creech and Jenny Offill, Ketner Auditorium, Sykes Building
Writer in Residence Morri Creech is author of four collections of poetry, including his latest, Blue Rooms, and The Sleep of Reason, a 2014 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Fiction Writer Jenny Offill is author of the novels Dept. of Speculation and Last Things, which was chosen as a notable or best book of the year by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The L.A. Times, and The Guardian (U.K). Sponsored by The Arts at Queens.
Friday, January 11 at 8:30 pm – Queens University MFA Faculty Readings: David Christensen and Marcus Jackson, Ketner Auditorium, Sykes Building
David Christensen is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada. Poet Marcus Jackson is author of the recently released collection Pardon My Heart. A Cave Canem fellow, he is also author of the collection Neighborhood Register, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harvard Review and The Cincinnati Review. Sponsored by The Arts at Queens.
Tuesday, January 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm – Davidson College Abbott Scholars Event: Chris Hudgins “From Davidson to Stockholm,” Lilly Family Gallery
Chris Hudgins will discuss Tony Abbott as a mentor, a “Scholar Adventurer” who led Hudgins to his life’s work, to a love of the plays of Harold Pinter and many other dramatists. Hudgins will focus on his scholarly and personal experiences with Harold Pinter (Nobel Laureate, 2005) and on three of the unpublished film scripts Pinter provided Hudgins during their twenty-four-year friendship: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Remains of the Day, and Lolita.
Thursday, January 24 at 7:30 pm – Queen University: Novelist Jeff Jackson, Ketner Auditorium, Sykes Building
The English Department Reading Series presents local author Jeff Jackson, who will read from his mesmerizing novel Destroy All Monsters, a book that’s been called a “taut, atmospheric rock and roll thriller.” His previous novel Mira Corpora was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Admission is free and open to the public. Sponsored by The Arts at Queens. Info
Thursday, January 31 at 7 pm – Main Street Books, Davidson: Tommy Tomlinson
Tommy Tomlinson is a household name in the Charlotte area due to his profoundly enjoyable podcast “Southbound,” which he records in partnership with WFAE. Between recording sessions, Tomlinson has written for Esquire, ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Garden & Gun, and other publications. Written with the same insight and mesmerizing tone that have catapulted “Southbound” to the top of many podcast playlists, Tommy Tomlinson’s memoir The Elephant in the Room is a searing, honest, and candid exploration of what it’s like to live as an overweight man in a growing America. Info
Friday February 1 & 2, Beautiful Truth at Charlotte Lit
Charlotte Lit is thrilled to bring Terrance Hayes to our city as part of our Beautiful Truth Initiative. Hayes is the author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry; Lighthead, which won the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; and other works. He is artist-in-residence at New York University, and is a MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipient.
- Friday, February 1 from 7-8:30 pm: Terrance Hayes Reading and Talk, Midwood International and Cultural Center Auditorium.
Hayes will discuss using personal narratives to share our stories; and we’ll also celebrate the release of the quarterly 4X4CLT poetry+art posters, featuring poetry by Terrance Hayes and art by Susan Brenner and J. Stacy Utley. Tickets
- Saturday, February 2 from 10 am to Noon: Writing Workshop
Led by Terrance Hayes for writers and educators, in the Charlotte Lit studio. Limited to 24 participants. SOLD OUT.
- Saturday, February 2 from 2-4 pm: Community Conversation about sharing stories for social change, facilitated by Terrance Hayes in The Light Factory. Free, but limited to 40 participants. To request an invitation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, February 6 at 4:30 pm, Davidson College: Chelsea Hodson, Hance Auditorium/Chambers Building
Chelsea Hodson is the author of the book of essays, Tonight I’m Someone Else, and the chapbook, Pity the Animal. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Bennington College and has been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony and PEN Center USA Emerging Voices. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Frieze Magazine, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Catapult in New York and at Mors Tua Vita Mea in Sezze Romano, Italy.
Thursday, February 7 at 7 pm: Leonard Pitts, Jr., “Last Thing You Surrender,” Park Road Books (check event listing, venue may change)
In a career spanning more than 35 years, Leonard Pitts, Jr. has been a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer and a lecturer. He is the author of one of the most popular newspaper columns in the country for which he was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary; and of a series of critically-acclaimed books, including his latest, a novel called Freeman.
Thursday, February 7 at 6 pm: An Evening with Tommy Tomlinson, ImaginOn
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and WFAE are pleased to celebrate the release of Tommy Tomlinson’s inspirational memoir The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America. Tommy will speak and take questions about his experience and his writing.
The evening will begin with wine and light bites, and Park Road Books will be on-site with books for sale before and after the program. This event is free, but seating is limited, RSVP required.
This year’s featured authors are Marie Benedict whose book The Only Woman in the Room is a powerful novel based on the incredible true story of Hedy Lamarr, and Tim Johnston whose thriller debut novel Descent was a New York Times bestseller.
Sunday, March 3 from 2-4 pm, Charlotte Lit’s Third Birthday Celebration, Mint Museum on Randolph Road, featuring Judy Goldman, author of the memoir Together (Nan A. Talese). (More details to come.)
Friday, March 15 from 7-9 pm, Charlotte Lit’s Beautiful Truth Community Public Reading Event, Midwood International and Cultural Center Auditorium. Beautiful Truth participants from all over Charlotte will read short narratives written and shared during library workshops. Free, registration required.
Tuesday, March 19: Angie Thomas, ImaginOn
As part of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s community-wide book club known as Community Read, Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, speaks at ImaginOn. Each year, the library chooses book titles for adults, teens, preteens and children, and invites everyone in the community to engage in Community Read.
Saturday, March 30: UNCC’s Center City Literary Festival
The evening author lineup includes Tony Earley, Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, Patrice Gopo, and Allison Hutchcraft. The day events and authors will be finalized soon. Sponsored by the UNC Charlotte Department of English and UNC Charlotte Center City, the two-part festival includes daytime and nighttime events. The day events include children’s authors along with fun kids’ activities such as creation stations (coloring, crafting, and character-building) and scavenger hunts. In the evening, the festival welcomes award-winning authors for a reception, readings, book signings, and socializing. All events are held at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus, 320 E. 9th Street. The event is free and open to the public. Info
Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 pm: Jason Ockert, Davidson College, 900 Room
Jason Ockert is the author of Wasp Box, a novel, and two collections of short stories: Neighbors of Nothing and Rabbit Punches. Winner of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Contest, the Atlantic Monthly Fiction Contest, and the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, he was also a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Million Writers Award. His work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Best American Mystery Stories, Cover Stories, Ecotone, The Iowa Review, Oxford American, One Story, and McSweeney’s. He received his MFA from Syracuse University, and he teaches at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, and in the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program.
April 5 – 14: Sensoria Festival at CPCC
Monday April 8 at 6 pm: The Irene Blair Honeycutt Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts, awarded to poet, novelist, and memoirist Judy Goldman. Dannye Romine Powell will interview Goldman, who will also read excerpts from her new memoir, Together (Nan A. Talese, Feb. 2019).
Tuesday April 9 at 8 pm, and Wednesday April 10, 11:30 am: Carolyn Forche, 2019 Irene Blair Honeycutt Distinguished Lecturer, Halton Theatre, Central Campus
What You Have Heard is True (March 2019) is a devastating, lyrical, and visionary memoir about a young woman’s brave choice to engage with horror in order to help others. Written by one of the most gifted poets of her generation, this is the story of a woman’s radical act of empathy, and her fateful encounter with an intriguing man who changes the course of her life. (from Random House)
Thursday April 11 at 11 am, Tate Hall, CPCC Central Campus and Thursday April 11 at 7:30 pm, Goodyear Arts: Poet Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif Abdurraqib presents poetry and prose, including work from his new chronicle Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest which received a starred review in Kirkus.
Sunday April 28, Main Street Books Davidson: Charles Frazier, author of Varina and Cold Mountain, in conversation with D.G. Martin (location TBD).