Coffee Writing Club
May
21
to May 20

Coffee Writing Club

A writers’ get-together with a coffee complement

On alternating Sundays, The Writer’s Block hosts authors for a writing and critique session accompanied by coffee from PublicUs. Each session begins with a brief introduction to the coffee being served, followed by an hour of silent writing time and a thirty-minute period reserved for discussion and critique. No registration is required.

Upcoming dates: Sunday, February 11th; Sunday, February 25th; Sunday, March 11th.

 

 

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NEON LIT
Sep
29
to Apr 27

NEON LIT

UNLV’S MASTERS OF FINE ARTS MONTHLY READING SERIES

Hard working,  happy people read fiction and poetry. The Neon Lit reading series features writers from UNLV’s Masters of Fine Arts program. Kathryn Kruse, a short fiction writer and community organizer began the monthly program in 2009. Since the beginning, it has drawn standing room only crowds to downtown Las Vegas. The readings reflect the diverse student body and offer the opportunity to hear a wide variety of fiction and poetry.

Next date: Friday, February 23rd

www.neonlit.org

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Nighttime Writers’ Group
Jan
24
to Jan 23

Nighttime Writers’ Group

Every other Wednesday, from 5:30–7:00PM

An open write-in on alternating Wednesdays—for adult writers looking for a designated time and space to develop their work and meet with other writers. An hour will be devoted to free writing; the remaining half-hour for open discussion and critique. No registration is required.

Upcoming dates: Wednesday, February 14th; Wednesday, February 28th.

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Claire Hoffman
Mar
6
7:00 PM19:00

Claire Hoffman

A reading and signing with Claire Hoffman, author of the memoir Greetings from Utopia Park.

When Claire Hoffman’s alcoholic father abandons his family, his desperate wife, Liz, tells five-year-old Claire and her seven-year-old brother, Stacey, that they are going to heaven—Iowa—to live in Maharishi’s national headquarters for Heaven on Earth. At first this secluded utopia offers warmth and support, and makes these outsiders feel calm, secure, and connected to the world. But as Claire and Stacey mature, their adolescent skepticism kicks in, drawing them away from the community and into delinquency and drugs. To save herself, Claire moves to California with her father and breaks from Maharishi completely. After a decade of working in journalism and academia, the challenges of adulthood propel her back to Iowa, where she reexamines her spiritual upbringing and tries to reconnect with the magic of her childhood.

Greetings from Utopia Park takes us deep into this complex, unusual world, illuminating its joys and comforts, and its disturbing problems. While there is no utopia on earth, Hoffman reveals, there are noble goals worth striving for: believing in belief, inner peace, and a firm understanding that there is a larger fabric of the universe to which we all belong.

Claire Hoffman writes for national magazines and holds a master’s degree in religion from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. She was a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone. She serves on the board of her family foundation, the Goldhirsh Foundation, as well as ProPublica and the Columbia School of Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Genre Book Club
Mar
8
6:00 PM18:00

Genre Book Club

THIS MONTH: SCI-FI

The Genre Book Club meets on alternating months to discuss a novel from one of a number of literary genres. On March 8th, the Club will discuss Neuromancer by William Gibson—a modern Sci-Fi classic.

Henry Dorsett Case was the sharpest data-thief in the business—until a vengeful ex-employer crippled his nervous system. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction. The winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about our technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.

The discussion will be complemented by light snacks and refreshments. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. Copies of Neuromancer can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration for the Club is not required.

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Shortlist Book Club
Mar
20
6:00 PM18:00

Shortlist Book Club

THIS SEASON: THE 2007 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

Tuesday, March 20th at 6pm: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
May 2018: The Gathering by Anne Enright

At the Shortlist Book Club, attendees read two books nominated for the same literary award: the winner, and one runner-up. Does the judges’ decision stand up to the test of time? And what can the two books tell us about the year that the prize was issued?

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore. But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love. An international bestseller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist catapulted Hamid to literary fame and spawned a film adaptation in 2012 directed by acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair. 

Attendees are expected to have read the novel (or most of it) in advance of the book club discussion. Paperback copies of The Reluctant Fundamentalist are available at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

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Bourbon Book Club
Mar
29
6:00 PM18:00

Bourbon Book Club

A BOOK DISCUSSION PAIRED WITH WHISKEY

In March, Bourbon Book Club attendees will discuss All That Man Is by David Szalay.

All That Man Is traces the arc of life from the spring of youth to the winter of old age by following nine men who range from a working-class ex-grunt to a pompous college student, a middle-aged loser to a Russian oligarch. Ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable, vital, pitiable, and hilarious, these men paint a picture of modern manhood. David Szalay is a master of a new kind of realism that vibrates with detail, intelligence, relevance, and devastating pathos. In All That Man Is, a Man Booker Prize finalist and the winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Plimpton Prize, he brilliantly illuminates the physical and emotional terrain of an increasingly globalized Europe.

The Book Club discussion will be complemented by a bourbon selected and provided by The Whiskey Attic. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. 

Copies of All That Man Is can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Footnotes with Kim Foster
Mar
30
7:00 PM19:00

Footnotes with Kim Foster

A reading and conversation with the author of a recently published work.

Last summer, Kim Foster wrote a feature for Desert Companion magazine titled “The Meth Lunches.” A mixture of evocative food writing and vulnerable introspection, the piece describes Foster’s experience of adjusting to Las Vegas after NYC, and her family’s relationship with the meth-addicted handyman working on their home. A brief reading will be followed by a conversation with Foster about how she wrote the piece, as well as her writing method and influences.

Follow Kim Foster’s work at www.kim-foster.com.

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Textual Orientation
Apr
10
6:00 PM18:00

Textual Orientation

AN LGBTQ BOOK CLUB

Textual Orientation is book club featuring fiction, history, and creative nonfiction titles that focus on LGBTQ people and their lives. Anyone is welcome to participate.

In April, Club attendees will discuss Bill Hayes’s memoir Insomniac City: New York, Oliver Sacks, and Me. Bill Hayes came to New York City in 2009 with a one-way ticket and only the vaguest idea of how he would get by. But, at forty-eight years old, having spent decades in San Francisco, he craved change. Grieving over the death of his partner, he quickly discovered the profound consolations of the city’s incessant rhythms, the sight of the Empire State Building against the night sky, and New Yorkers themselves, kindred souls that Hayes, a lifelong insomniac, encountered on late-night strolls with his camera. 

And he unexpectedly fell in love again, with his friend and neighbor, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks, whose exuberance—“I don’t so much fear death as I do wasting life,” he tells Hayes early on—is captured in funny and touching vignettes throughout. What emerges is a portrait of Sacks at his most personal and endearing, from falling in love for the first time at age seventy-five to facing illness and death (Sacks died of cancer in August 2015). Insomniac City is both a meditation on grief and a celebration of life. Filled with Hayes’s distinctive street photos of everyday New Yorkers, the book is a love song to the city and to all who have felt the particular magic and solace it offers.

Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. Copies of Insomniac City can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Better Half Book Club
Apr
19
6:00 PM18:00

Better Half Book Club

A BOOK CLUB FEATURING LITERATURE BY WOMEN

Join us for the Better Half Book Club, where we’ll discuss Lydia Millet’s novel, Sweet Lamb of Heaven.

Lydia Millet’s chilling novel is the first-person account of a young mother, Anna, escaping her cold and unfaithful husband, a businessman who’s just launched his first campaign for political office. When Ned chases Anna and their six-year-old daughter from Alaska to Maine, the two go into hiding in a run-down motel on the coast. But the longer they stay, the less the guests in the dingy motel look like typical tourists—and the less Ned resembles a typical candidate. As his pursuit of Anna and their child moves from threatening to criminal, Ned begins to alter his wife’s world in ways she never could have imagined.

A double-edged and satisfying story with a strong female protagonist, a thrilling plot, and a creeping sense of the apocalyptic, Sweet Lamb of Heaven builds to a shattering ending with profound implications for its characters—and for all of us.

An hour-long discussion will be accompanied by light snacks and refreshments. Men, women, and those who identify as neither are all welcome at the Better Half Book Club. Copies of Sweet Lamb of Heaven can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

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Amanda Skenandore
Apr
28
5:00 PM17:00

Amanda Skenandore

A reading and book signing celebrating the launch of Amanda Skenandore’s debut novel, Between Earth and Sky

On a quiet Philadelphia morning in 1906, a newspaper headline catapults Alma Mitchell back to her past. A federal agent is dead, and the murder suspect is Alma’s childhood friend, Harry Muskrat. Harry—or Asku, as Alma knew him—was the most promising student at the “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father, where Alma was the only white pupil. Created in the wake of the Indian Wars, the Stover School was intended to assimilate the children of neighboring reservations. Instead, it robbed them of everything they’d known—language, customs, even their names—and left a heartbreaking legacy in its wake.

The bright, courageous boy Alma knew could never have murdered anyone. But she barely recognizes the man Asku has become, cold and embittered at being an outcast in the white world and a ghost in his own. Her lawyer husband, Stewart, reluctantly agrees to help defend Asku for Alma’s sake. To do so, Alma must revisit the painful secrets she has kept hidden from everyone—especially Stewart.

Told in compelling narratives that alternate between Alma’s childhood and her present life, Between Earth and Sky is a haunting and complex story of love and loss, as a quest for justice becomes a journey toward understanding and, ultimately, atonement.

Amanda Skenandore is a historical fiction writer and registered nurse. In writing Between Earth and Sky, she has drawn on the experiences of a close relative, a member of the Ojibwe Tribe, who survived an Indian mission school in the 1950s. Between Earth and Sky is Amanda’s first novel. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Readers can visit her website at www.amandaskenandore.com.

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Rick Quinn
May
11
6:30 PM18:30

Rick Quinn

A presentation and signing with Rick Quinn, author of RoadTrip America Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips 

Enjoy an illustrated talk about how to add fun, history, and jaw-dropping natural wonders to your next southwestern road trip. Discover 25 scenic alternatives to Interstate highways that take only a few extra hours to enjoy.  Stunning photography, detailed maps, and easy-to-follow narrative guide the way through breathtaking landscapes and iconic western towns in Arizona and New Mexico. 

Rick Quinn was born and raised in Arizona, earned a degree in anthropology, then hit the road, indulging an admittedly peculiar whim by hitch-hiking to Tierra del Fuego. In one way or another, he’s been on the road ever since, living in a dozen diverse locales, from Paris to Peru, San Francisco to Washington D.C., working as a photographer, a coffee farmer, a magazine writer, a postman, a novelist, and, until his recent retirement, a financial systems expert with the Postal Service. Rick is a veteran road tripper who has driven both the Alaska Highway and the Pan American. Additional information about Rick, including monthly articles for exploring the southwest is available at https://arizona-newmexico.scenicsidetrips.com/.

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Julia Sonneborn
Feb
20
7:00 PM19:00

Julia Sonneborn

A reading and signing with Julia Sonneborn, author of the novel By the Book

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

An English professor in California, Anne Corey is determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president. Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

Julia Sonneborn is an English professor and a Los Angeles native. After heading east for college and graduate school, she hightailed it back to California, where she now lives with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking about books, she enjoys trying new restaurants, reading online gossip blogs, and throwing dinner parties. She is the author of By the Book.

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After Hours Poetry Hour
Feb
17
7:00 PM19:00

After Hours Poetry Hour

An evening of poetry featuring Noah Cicero, Franki Elliot, and Vi Khi Nao.

Join us for a reading and book signing with a mix of Vegas-based and visiting poets.

Noah Cicero is 37 years old and grew up in a small town near Youngstown, Ohio. He has lived in Oregon, California, Arizona—as well as the Grand Canyon, and oversees in Seoul, South Korea. He currently resides in Las Vegas. A film adaptation of his first book, The Human War, won the 2014 Beloit Film Festival award for Best Screenplay. He has published nine books, including The Collected Works Volume 1, Bipolar Cowboy, Go to work and do your job. Care for your children. Pay your bills. Obey The Law. Buy products., and most recently a poetry collection, Nature Documentary, and a book of philosophy, Blood Soaked Buddha/Hard Earth Pascal. His writing has been translated into Turkish, Kurdish, German and Spanish.

Franki Elliot is the critically-acclaimed author of Piano Rats and Kiss As Many Women As You Can. On February 14, 2018 she releases her third book, Stories for People Who Hate Love, a collection of poetry and short stories about not finding love. Her work has been nationally recognized by Paper Magazine, The Paris Review, Chicago Tribune, LA Weekly, Time Out, and more. Elliot’s books feature stunning artwork by Shawn Stucky, a red/green color-blind artist. Additionally, Elliot is a practicing street artist who typewrites poems onto stickers and secrets them around various cities. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Vi Khi Nao was born in Long Khanh, Vietnam. She is the author, most recently, of Umbilical Hospital, the short story collection A Brief Alphabet of Torture, which won FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016, the novel Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016), and the poetry collection The Old Philosopher, which won the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University, where she received the John Hawkes and Feldman Prizes in fiction and the Kim Ann Arstark Memorial Award in poetry.

Maegan Poland is a Black Mountain Institute PhD Fellow at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She received a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize XL anthology for her story, “Spores,” and she was recently a Tin House Scholar at the 2018 Winter Workshop. Her stories have been published or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Juked, Notre Dame Review, and Day One. She has served as Fiction Editor for Witness magazine, which is primarily run by UNLV students and alumni.

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Better Half Book Club
Feb
15
6:00 PM18:00

Better Half Book Club

A BOOK CLUB FEATURING LITERATURE BY WOMEN

Join us for the Better Half Book Club, where we’ll discuss Rachel Ingalls’s recently reissued 1982 novel, Mrs. Caliban.

In the quiet suburbs, while Dorothy is doing chores and waiting for her husband to come home from work, not in the least anticipating romance, she hears a strange radio announcement about a monster who has just escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research. Reviewers have compared Rachel Ingalls’s Mrs. Caliban to King Kong, Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, the films of David Lynch, “Beauty and the Beast,” The Wizard of OzE.T., Richard Yates’s domestic realism, B-horror movies, and the fairy tales of Angela Carter—how such a short novel could contain all of these disparate elements is a testament to its startling and singular charm.

An hour-long discussion will be accompanied by light snacks and refreshments. Men, women, and those who identify as neither are all welcome at the Better Half Book Club.

Copies of Mrs. Caliban can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

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Daria Peoples-Riley
Feb
10
10:30 AM10:30

Daria Peoples-Riley

A book launch and signing with children’s book author-illustrator Daria Peoples-Riley.

(PLEASE NOTE: This event will occur at Eclipse Theaters—814 S 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101.)

The future is in your footsteps. / Freedom is in your feet. / Put one in front of the other, / and greet your destiny.

When a young dancer is nervous about her upcoming audition at a dance studio, her shadow comes to life and encourages her to “Listen to the hum of your heart’s song. / It will never lead you wrong.” As the pair dances through the city, the young girl gains confidence in her body, her skills, and her ability to shine. She returns to her audition with her head held high, ready to show the world what she’s made of.

With a lyrical text that reads like a spoken-word poem and exquisite mixed-media watercolor art, author-illustrator Daria Peoples-Riley’s debut is a love story to dance, self-confidence, and the joy of movement.

Daria Peoples-Riley grew up in Paso Robles, California, and is the daughter of a children’s librarian. She has a degree in English from UC Santa Barbara and earned her masters in education from Regis University, then worked for ten years as a middle school teacher. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her basketball-coach husband, twelve-year-old ballerina daughter, and a nine-year-old basketball-player son. This Is It is her first book.

Preorders are suggested and are available here.

 

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Textual Orientation
Feb
6
6:00 PM18:00

Textual Orientation

AN LGBTQ BOOK CLUB

Textual Orientation is book club featuring fiction, history, and creative nonfiction titles that focus on LGBTQ people and their lives. Anyone is welcome to participate.

In February, Club attendees will discuss Jeanette Winterson’s memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? An acclaimed novelist, Winterson turns to her own life for this book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in a north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the universe as a cosmic dustbin. It is the story of how a painful past, which Winterson thought she had written over and repainted, rose to haunt her later in life, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also a book about other people’s literature, one that shows how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.

Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. Copies of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Footnotes with Amanda Fortini
Feb
2
7:00 PM19:00

Footnotes with Amanda Fortini

A reading and conversation with the author of a recently published work.

In October, Amanda Fortini documented the Route 91 shooting for the The New Yorker magazine News Desk. Featuring interviews with survivors, the resulting articles are carefully written, unsentimental, and vivid. A brief reading will be followed by a conversation with Fortini about how she conducted the interviews, as well as her writing method and influences.

Follow Amanda Fortini on Twitter at @amandafortini.

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Bourbon Book Club
Jan
25
6:00 PM18:00

Bourbon Book Club

A BOOK DISCUSSION PAIRED WITH WHISKEY

In January, Bourbon Book Club attendees will discuss the Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. A satirical commentary on modern man and his madness, Cat’s Cradle is an apocalyptic tale of this planet’s ultimate fate—a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny.

The Book Club discussion will be complemented by a bourbon selected and provided by The Whiskey Attic. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. 

Copies of Cat’s Cradle can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Shortlist Book Club
Jan
16
6:00 PM18:00

Shortlist Book Club

THIS SEASON: THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE

Tuesday, January 16th at 6pm: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
(Previously: Tuesday, November 14th at 6pm: The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan)

At the Shortlist Book Club, attendees read two books nominated for the same literary award: the winner, and one runner-up. Does the judges’ decision stand up to the test of time? And what can the two books tell us about the year that the prize was issued?

When the Pulitzer committee selected Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, they described it as “a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

Attendees are expected to have read the novel (or most of it) in advance of the book club discussion. Paperback copies of The Underground Railroad are available at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

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Angela Ball
Jan
5
7:00 PM19:00

Angela Ball

A reading and signing with poet Angela Ball, author of the Pitt Poetry collection Talking Pillow.

Talking Pillow celebrates love as amazement, sustenance, and the progenitor of scarce-believable loss. The book centers around the sudden death of the author’s long-time partner and travels outward to events in the world at large. Imagining themselves into multiple times, places, and lives, the poems comically explore the possibilities of attachment between people and the absurdity of death’s sudden intrusion. Antic and often funny, these poems converse with all that we care about, fear, and fail to understand.

Angela Ball is professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she directs the Center for Writers. She is the author of five previous poetry collections: Kneeling Between Parked CarsThe Museum of the Revolution: 58 ExhibitsPossessionQuartet, and Night Clerk at the Hotel of Both Worlds. She is the recipient of an NEA grant and has twice won the Poetry Prize from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Her work has been featured in Best American Poetry, on the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and has been frequently anthologized.

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Genre Book Club
Jan
4
6:00 PM18:00

Genre Book Club

This month: fantasy

The Genre Book Club meets on alternating months to discuss a novel from one of a number of literary genres. On January 4th, the Club will discuss N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning novel, The Fifth Season.

Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The discussion will be complemented by light snacks and refreshments. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. Copies of The Fifth Season can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration for the Club is not required.

 

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THE LAS VEGAS WRITES PROJECT
Dec
21
7:00 PM19:00

THE LAS VEGAS WRITES PROJECT

READING AND CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHORS

Join us for an evening of short readings from Back to Where You Once Belonged: Las Vegas Writers Weigh the Power of the Past, the 2017 volume in the Las Vegas Writes series.

Backgrounded by a city with a famously complicated relationship to the idea of history, the writers gathering in this book each tangle with the influence of the past. Whether it’s contemplating the psychology of men who hire a fetish model to recreate moments from their pasts, or assessing the damage caused by loss and trauma, or just visiting a museum, these essays remind us that the past is never far behind.

Participating writers include Dan Hernandez, Sarah Jane Woodall, Noah Cicero and T.R. Witcher.

This evening’s reading will be moderated by Scott Dickensheets, Deputy Editor of Desert Companion, and Geoff Schumacher, Senior Director of Content for The Mob Museum.

Las Vegas Writes Project is supported by public funding for the literary arts through the Las Vegas Book Festival, the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, Nevada Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, the city of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs, and Huntington Press.    

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Sarah Lacy
Dec
14
7:00 PM19:00

Sarah Lacy

A moderated discussion and book signing with Sarah Lacy, author of A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman's Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy

In A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug, Sarah Lacy argues that working mothers aren’t a liability, but an asset. Assets that you—and every manager and executive—want in your company, in your investment portfolio, and in your corner. 

There is copious academic research showing the benefits of working mothers on families and the benefits to companies who give women longer and more flexible parental leave. Yet despite this concrete proof that working mothers are a lucrative asset, they still face the “Maternal Wall”—widespread unconscious bias about their abilities, contributions, and commitment. Nearly eighty percent of women are less likely to be hired if they have children—and are half as likely to be promoted. Mothers earn an average $11,000 less in salary and are held to higher punctuality and performance standards. 

Fortunately, this prejudice is slowly giving way to new attitudes, thanks to more women starting their own businesses and companies like Netflix, Facebook, Apple, and Google implementing more parent-friendly policies. But the most important barrier to change isn’t about men. Women must rethink the way they see themselves after giving birth. As entrepreneur Sarah Lacy makes clear in this cogent, persuasive analysis and clarion cry, the strongest, most lucrative, and most ambitious time of a woman’s career may easily be after she sees a plus sign on a pregnancy test.

Sarah Lacy is the founder, CEO, and editor-in-chief of the investigative tech news site Pando.com. She has been covering technology news and entrepreneurship for over fifteen years, with stints at BusinessWeek and TechCrunch before founding her own company while on maternity leave in 2011. She lives in San Francisco. Most importantly of all, she is a mother of two young children.

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Local Author Showcase
Dec
9
5:00 PM17:00

Local Author Showcase

AN OPEN-HOUSE EVENT WITH VEGAS-BASED AUTHORS

Each season, The Writer’s Block Book Shop showcases a selection of books from local self-published and indie authors. On a final Saturday, these authors gather at the store for a book signing and meet-and-greet. 

This season’s authors are Bonnie Apple (representing work by Tad Corbet), Vicki-Ann Bush, Crystal Clary, Mathias B. Freese, Alan Geik, Lisa Medford, and Shane W. Walley.

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EXPO
Dec
8
7:00 PM19:00

EXPO

A READING SERIES FEATURING VEGAS AUTHORS

EXPO is a monthly reading series of original fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction from Las Vegas writers. A venue for both established and emerging authors, each installment features five authors for five minutes each.

This installment of EXPO will include readings from Esmerelda Contreras, Tamara N. Dolson, Matt Farwell, Daniel Gumbiner, and Emily Hoover. 

This is a free event. No RSVP is necessary. 

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Wayne Avrashow
Dec
7
7:00 PM19:00

Wayne Avrashow

A reading and signing with Wayne Avrashow, in support of his political thriller, Roll the Dice.

The ultimate celebrity candidate, Tyler Sloan is no stranger to politics—his estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost a Presidential campaign. He runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists. But Sloan is caught in a political campaign fraught with sexual scandal, corruption and conflicting loyalties. Will he be able to navigate through political turbulence and his own past to win the race?

Wayne Avrashow is an attorney, former campaign manager, government commissioner, and author of numerous op-ed articles on political and legal issues. He is also the author of Success at Mediation: 10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys. Find him online at www.wayneavrashow.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter, @WayneAvrashow.

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Public Reception: Dave Hickey
Dec
6
7:00 PM19:00

Public Reception: Dave Hickey

A public reception with Dave Hickey, celebrating his lectures at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art

The UNLV College of Fine Arts and the Black Mountain Institute welcome Dave Hickey, MacArthur “Genius” and former UNLV faculty. The reception will be held between his upcoming lectures at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art—Dave Hickey: Lectures on Art & Writing (Dec. 5th and 12th). 

This open-house reception is free and open to the public. It does not include a formal presentation from Hickey.

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Better Half Book Club
Nov
30
6:00 PM18:00

Better Half Book Club

A BOOK CLUB FEATURING LITERATURE BY WOMEN

Join us for the Better Half Book Club, where we’ll discuss Sarah Hepola’s memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget.

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was “the gasoline of all adventure.” She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman. But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn’t remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.

An hour-long discussion will be accompanied by light snacks and refreshments. Men, women, and those who identify as neither are all welcome at the Better Half Book Club.

Copies of Blackout can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

Note: author Sarah Hepola will be appearing at the Las Vegas Book Festival on Saturday, October 21st. Admission is free and open to the public.

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Textual Orientation
Nov
21
6:00 PM18:00

Textual Orientation

An LGBTQ Book Club

Textual Orientation is book club featuring fiction, history, and creative nonfiction titles that focus on LGBTQ people and their lives. Anyone is welcome to participate.

At its inaugural meeting, Club attendees will discuss Robert Beachy’s historical study, Gay Berlin. Long known for the friendly company of its “warm brothers” (German slang for men who love other men), before the turn of the twentieth-century, Berlin was a place where educators, activists, and medical professionals could explore and begin to educate both themselves and Europe about new and emerging sexual identities. It was a city of firsts—the first sex reassignment surgeries, (arguably) the first openly gay man—that molded our modern understanding of sexual orientation and gay identity. Robert Beachy deftly guides readers through past events and developments that continue to shape and influence the way we think about sexuality to this day.

Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. Copies of Gay Berlin can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Bourbon Book Club
Nov
16
6:00 PM18:00

Bourbon Book Club

A BOOK DISCUSSION PAIRED WITH WHISKEY

In November, Bourbon Book Club attendees will discuss the The Girls by Emma Cline. Published to significant hype and acclaim in 2016, Cline’s debut novel is inspired by the real-life Manson Family commune—and the young, female devotees drawn to the cult’s charismatic leader. 

The Book Club discussion will be complemented by a bourbon selected and provided by The Whiskey Attic. Attendees are expected to have read the book in advance. 

Copies of The Girls can be purchased in paperback at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. No registration for the Club is required. 

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Chris Kraus
Nov
15
7:00 PM19:00

Chris Kraus

A reading and discussion with Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and After Kathy Acker

Join the Black Mountain Institute at UNLV for a discussion with novelist, critic, and editor Chris Kraus. Her newest book, After Kathy Acker, is the first official biography of punk poet and postmodern novelist Kathy Acker—who, twenty years after her death, is remembered for her intoxicating and transgressive literary experiments. A reading with Kraus will be followed by a conversation with Black Mountain Institute executive director Joshua Wolf Shenk. 

Seating for this event will be limited. Admission is free, but we ask that you RSVP at the following link.

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels and two books of art and cultural criticism.  Her first novel, I Love Dick, has been adapted for television. Kraus’ most recent book is After Kathy Acker, a literary biography.  Her writing has been published in The Believer, Granta, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications.  She is a co-editor of the independent press Semiotext(e) and lives in LA.

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Shortlist Book Club
Nov
14
6:00 PM18:00

Shortlist Book Club

This Season: The 2017 Pulitzer Prize

Tuesday, November 14th at 6pm: The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan
Tuesday, January 16th at 6pm: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

At the Shortlist Book Club, attendees read two books nominated for the same literary award: the winner, and one runner-up. Does the judges’ decision stand up to the test of time? And what can the two books tell us about the year that the prize was issued?

In the words of the Pulitzer committee, C.E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings is a “a daring novel that explores race, the burden of history and other themes of American life on a vast and imaginative canvas.” Hellsmouth, an indomitable Thoroughbred with the blood of Triple Crown winners in her veins, runs for the glory of the Forge family, one of Kentucky’s oldest and most powerful dynasties. Henry Forge has partnered with his daughter, Henrietta, in an endeavor of raw obsession: to breed the next superhorse, the next Secretariat. But when Allmon Shaughnessy, an ambitious young black man, comes to work on their farm, the violence of the Forges’ history is brought starkly into view. Entangled in a web of fear, prejudice, and greed, each tethers their personal dreams of glory to the speed and grace of Hellsmouth.

Attendees are expected to have read the novel (or most of it) in advance of the book club discussion. Paperback copies of The Sport of Kings are available at The Writer’s Block Book Shop. Registration is not required.

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EXPO
Nov
10
7:00 PM19:00

EXPO

A READING SERIES FEATURING VEGAS AUTHORS

EXPO is a monthly reading series of original fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction from Las Vegas writers. A venue for both established and emerging authors, each installment features five authors for five minutes each.

This installment of EXPO will include readings from Jennifer Croft, Karen Laing, Jen Nails, and Brian Rouff. 

This is a free event. No RSVP is necessary. 

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Megan Edwards
Nov
7
5:30 PM17:30

Megan Edwards

A READING & SIGNING CELEBRATING THE LAUNCH OF THE 2ND NOVEL IN THE COPPER BLACK MYSTERY SERIES, FULL SERVICE BLONDE

 A working girl is found dead in the desert. Can a calendar girl uncover the truth?

In this prequel to Getting off on Frank Sinatra, it’s Christmastime in Sin City. Aspiring journalist Copper Black meets Victoria McKimber, an outspoken prostitute at one of Nevada’s legal brothels. She’s offered Copper the exclusive right to tell her story. Not only will the Las Vegas Light’s “calendar girl” get a byline, but she can also impress her boyfriend and parents when they arrive for the holidays.  Copper is busy with work, Christmas shopping, and fantasizing about a whole week with her long-distance boyfriend. She’s also helping her brother, a civic-minded pastor who is spearheading plans for a new center to serve the homeless. Things are hectic but under control when shocking news breaks. Victoria McKimber has turned up dead.  As she investigates the violent death, Copper evades enemies, juggles boyfriend, work, and family, and races against time to save her brother from a sinister plot. Unless she can expose the truth about Victoria McKimber, somebody just might get away with murder.

Megan Edwards is the author of the travel memoir Roads from the Ashes, the humor book Caution: Funny Signs Ahead, a Copper Black mystery Getting off on Frank Sinatra and a romantic novel Strings: A Love Story.  She has lived and traveled extensively in Europe and spent nearly seven years “on the road” all over North America. Now at home in Las Vegas, Nevada, she is working on her next novel.

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THE ROAD TRIP REPORT
Nov
2
7:00 PM19:00

THE ROAD TRIP REPORT

A Presentation by Bryan McCormick

Bryan McCormick will be presenting a report summing-up his road trip experiences over the last two years. His journey began here in Las Vegas in late 2015. Back then he had promised he would return after two years to talk about his experiences. This is it—for one night only. His presentation will cover both the great and not-so-great moments from the road, with a notable focus on the election year. As he has said of his experience, “the trouble with going out to discover America is that you will find it.” Topics will include becoming a nomad, the sharing culture, bigotry, inequality, surfing, photography, and leaving it all behind.

Bryan McCormick is a lifelong experimentalist who was educated as an art historian, worked as a programmer, and became something of a financial nerd in later life. He has been writing and making images in various media since his teens. While in Las Vegas, he was best known for his contributions to the Vegas Vernacular Project and as one of the partners in the Las Vegas Camera Club. Some of his writings covering the earliest portions of the road trip can be found on the Desert Companion blog.

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Robin Holabird
Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Robin Holabird

A READING AND SIGNING WITH ROBIN HOLABIRD, AUTHOR OF ELVIS, MARILYN, AND THE SPACE ALIENS: ICONS OF THE SCREEN IN NEVADA

Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and space aliens like the Transformers share a surprising connection along with James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Rocky Balboa. These beloved icons played active roles in movie and television projects featuring the State of Nevada. Holabird explores the blending of icons and Nevada, along with her personal experiences of watching movies, talking with famous people, and showing off a diverse range of stunning and iconic locations like Las Vegas, Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Area 51.  The book is a fun mixture of research, personal experiences, and analysis about how Nevada became the location of choice for a broad spectrum of well-known films and characters.

Robin Holabird is former deputy director of the Nevada Film Office and a regular film reviewer on KUNR 88.7 FM, Reno Public Radio. She has traveled the state extensively scouting locations for films. A former board member of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI), she is former editor of the organization’s magazine Locations. This is her first book.

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Caleb S. Cage
Oct
25
7:00 PM19:00

Caleb S. Cage

A READING AND SIGNING WITH CALEB S. CAGE, AUTHOR OF DESERT MEMENTOS: STORIES OF IRAQ AND NEVADA

Desert Mementos is a collection of loosely connected short stories. They are bound together by the soldier’s searing experiences in the desert, and book-ended by his leaving and returning home to Nevada—a place which, in many ways, can be just as disorienting as the Iraq desert. 

Caleb S. Cage is a native of Reno, Nevada and a veteran of the United States Army. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, he served as a field artillery officer from 2002 to 2007, including time as a platoon leader in Baqubah, Iraq, in 2004, and as an information operations battle captain in Baghdad in 2006. He is co-author of The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq (2008) with Gregory M. Tomlin.

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Scott Stabile
Oct
22
4:00 PM16:00

Scott Stabile

A READING AND SIGNING WITH SCOTT STABILE, AUTHOR OF BIG LOVE

Scott Stabile’s parents were murdered when he was fourteen. Nine years later, his brother died of a heroin overdose, and Scott was drawn into a cult that dominated his life for over a decade. Through it all, he remained committed to living his life from love. In his new book, Big Love, Scott describes how he was able to bring himself to a place of peace despite these immense challenges, and encourages us to be “love-spreaders” in our own lives.

Scott Stabile is the author of Big Love. His inspirational posts and videos have attracted a huge and devoted social media following, including over 350K Facebook fans and counting. A regular contributor to the Huffington Post, he lives in Michigan and conducts personal empowerment workshops around the world.

www.scottstabile.com

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Las Vegas Book Festival
Oct
21
10:00 AM10:00

Las Vegas Book Festival

  • The Historic Fifth Street School (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

THE 16TH ANNUAL LAS VEGAS BOOK FESTIVAL, FEATURING DANIEL HANDLER (LEMONY SNICKET), SHARON DRAPER, BRIT BENNETT, BENJAMIN ALIRE SAENZ, KEVIN YOUNG & MANY MORE

The Vegas Valley Book Festival, now in its sixteenth year, is a celebration of the written, spoken, and illustrated word. The festival has networked together a community-wide consortium of cultural organizations and sponsors to offer “a one-stop shopping experience for literature” through a wide range of programs built around sharing resources, developing audiences, advancing the craft of writing, and sharing the joys of reading. This annual festival is the largest literary event in Nevada, drawing more than 10,000 attendees during the season. Since its founding in 2002, the festival has presented over 800 authors and speakers and has produced or sponsored over 500 events, sessions, readings, workshops, and book signings. The festival is free and open to the public.

For more information and a current lineup of festival speakers, please visit www.vegasvalleybookfestival.org

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THE LAS VEGAS WRITES PROJECT
Oct
19
7:00 PM19:00

THE LAS VEGAS WRITES PROJECT

BOOK LAUNCH AND CONVERSATION WITH THE AUTHORS

(Please note: this event will not occur at The Writer’s Block. It will be held at the Clark County Library Theater.)

Back to Where You Once Belonged: Las Vegas Writers Weigh the Power of the Past. Ten Las Vegas essayists examine the weight of the past on the present—and, perhaps, on the future. Set in and around a city with its own peculiar and complicated relationship to the very idea of history, these eclectic narratives examine the topic from a variety of surprising directions. 

This evening’s conversation will be moderated by Scott Dickensheets, Deputy Editor of Desert Companion, and Geoff Schumacher, Senior Director of Content for The Mob Museum.

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EXPO
Oct
13
7:00 PM19:00

EXPO

A READING SERIES FEATURING VEGAS AUTHORS

EXPO is a monthly reading series of original fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction from Las Vegas writers. A venue for both established and emerging authors, each installment features five authors for five minutes each.

This installment of EXPO will include readings from Chris Cippolini, Nora Hanon, J.C. Hemphill, Susan Joslyn, and Chase McCurdy.

This is a free event. No RSVP is necessary. 

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