“What I'm doing,” A.M. Homes said in a 2013 interview for The Guardian, “which sometimes makes people uncomfortable, is saying the things we don't want to say out loud.” The author of 13 books, including novels, story collections, and the best-selling memoir The Mistress’s Daughter, Homes finds paths out of ordinary life straight into the deepest woods of secrets, fantasies, and yearnings. Her latest collection, Days of Awe, alludes in its title to the holiest period of the Jewish year but also anchors itself in the ongoing, everyday states of awe that Homes wants to evoke and pay respect to. Join us for a reading and conversation with Homes at theLas Vegas Book Festival, introduced by several short readings by Las Vegas writers who will offer their most indelible encounters with “awe.”
A. M. Homes is the author of the memoir The Mistress’s Daughter and the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the story collections The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know.
Saturday October 19 | 6:30PM - 8:00PM
MORE REAL THAN REAL: HISTORIC AND SPECULATIVE FICTION 400 YEARS INTO THE DIASPORA
A conversation with novelists Marlon James & David Bradley
Four centuries after the first Africans were brought to the shores of North America as captives, Pen/Faulkner Award-winning novelist of The Chaneysville Incident, David Bradley and novelist Marlon James, 2015 Man Booker Prize winner for A Brief History of Seven Killings, meet in conversation to discuss their work and the role of historical and speculative fiction as possible correction, reflection, and refraction of the Black experience.
David Bradleyis the author of the urban-blues novel South Street (1975) and the Chaneysville Incident (1981). Long-appointed by critics as the successor to Ellison’s The Invisible Man, The Chaneysville Incident is described as “unsparing in its portrayal of racial violence,” and features John Washington, a history professor whose return home becomes symbolic of a Black America charged with the task of recovering legacy and truth through a diligent and painful hunt, and through listening to the winds of a historical past that has not quite left us. Born and raised in a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bradley now lives in Southern California. His short story "You Remember the Pinmill,"was awarded a 2014 O. Henry Prize. His most recent work in nonfiction has appeared in the journals Narrative, Brevity and TriQuarterly. He is currently at work on a collection of essays, The Bondage Hypothesis: Meditations on Race, History and America.
Born in Jamaica and describing himself as a “post-post-colonial writer,” Marlon James published his first novel in 2005. John Crow’s Devil, a heady amalgam of Caribbean lore, patois and the age-old battle between good and evil, went on to become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, is told through the eyes of a female protagonist born amidst the cruelty and terror of a Jamaican sugar plantation at the turn of the 19th century. The work was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and earned an NAACP Image Award. His third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is a re-imagined and re-energized account of the 1976 assassination attempt on the life of Bob Marley told in multi-voice. The novel is the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize and was named a New York Times’ Notable Book. James’ latest novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first installment of his Dark Star trilogy.
In this special evening, artist Matt Huynh will debut a cinematic, interactive comic about growing up in a community of Vietnam War refugees resettled in Victoria, Australia. Kristen Radtke, The Believer’s art director, will interview Huynh after his presentation.
Matt Huynh is a Sydney-born, New York-based visual artist and storyteller. His bold brush and ink paintings are informed by calligraphic Eastern sumi-e ink traditions, as well as the mechanical reproduction of popular Western comic books and their limitations. Huynh’s work has been exhibited by the MoMA, The Smithsonian, The Sydney Opera House, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the New York Historical Society.
Kristen Radtkeis the author of the graphic nonfiction book Imagine Wanting Only This. She is the art director and deputy publisher of The Believer magazine. She is at work on a graphic essay collection, Seek You: Essays on American Loneliness, and Terrible Men, a graphic novel, both forthcoming from Pantheon.
The Writer’s Block will be selling books at the door.
A CENTURY OF YALE YOUNGER POETS
Tuesday October 22 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF YALE YOUNGER POETS
A Reading with Eryn Green & Noah Warren
The Yale Younger Poets prize is the oldest annual literary award in the United States. Its winners include some of the most influential voices in American poetry, including Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Margaret Walker, Carolyn Forché, and Robert Hass.
In celebration of the prize’s centennial, this collection presents three selections from each Younger Poets volume. It serves as both a testament to the enduring power and significance of poetic expression and an exploration of the ways poetry has evolved over the past century. In addition to judiciously assembling this wide-ranging anthology, Carl Phillips provides an introduction to the history and impact of the Yale Younger Poets prize and its winners in the wider context of American poetry, including the evolving roles of race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Born in Nova Scotia, Canada, Noah Warren studied at Yale University and received the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 2015 for The Destroyer in the Glass. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University, he is now in a doctoral program in English at the University of California/Berkeley, and is completing a second manuscript of poems, Ark.
Winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize in 2013 for his collection Eruv, Eryn Green grew up in Park City, Utah and studied at the University of Utah and the University of Denver. He teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and is completing his second manuscript of poems.
Saturday October 26 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
A UNIQUE CONCERT SERIES & FUNDRAISER BENEFITING THE YOUNG WRITER'S WORKSHOP
Brother Stone & The Get Down is an American Neo-Soul/Pop R&B group fronted by song-writing team Collin Monahan and Matt Ranaudo. Inspired by an eclectic mix of artists Including Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, John Mayer, and D’angelo their melodic and harmonic styles pull from all of these influences to form songs of the Pop and R&B genre with a hint of classic soul.
Recently named 'The Best Emerging Voice of 2018' by the Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas musician Sonia Barcelona is making waves. Disenfranchised with years of studying accounting, the up-and-coming musician ditched the debits and credits at 19 and picked up her ukulele because she knew making music was her calling. She describes herself at that time as being "shy and quiet."
THE VINYL SAY WITH RASAR AMANI
Friday November 01 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM
RECORDS + RHYMES + REVIEWS EVERY FIRST FRIDAY AT THE WRITER’S BLOCK
Every first Friday of the month, join us for a collision between music, history, and artistry as industry veteran and renowned hip hop chronicler Rasar Amani (front man of Las Vegas’s own The Lique) explores some of the most transformative albums of yesterday and today through reviews, hot takes, Q&A’s, and special performances with notable Las Vegas musicians.
Featuring in November
Records by: DJ Mr. Vibe
Rhymes from: Rasar Amani + musical accompaniment
Reviews with: Jay R Beatbox Featured Album: Illmatic by Nas
This event is free and open to all ages.
PLEASE SEND NOODLES BOOK CLUB
Friday November 08 | 6:00PM - 8:00PM
AN EATING-COOKING-READING-EATING-EATING-TOGETHER COOKBOOK CLUB
Love to cook? Wish you cooked more? Love eating and talking about food and great food writing? Join us as we devour Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Every month, Please Send Noodles will introduce a cookbook, pore over it, discuss the food, cooking techniques, where to buy ingredients, and then, cook from the book for a month and come back together for a potluck we cooked right from the book. All cooks and eaters welcome, from beginner to pro. The mission: to create a beautiful community around cooking and eating together.
We will introduce a new book every month, have cookbook authors and chefs pop in for demos and talks, and will trouble-shoot recipes in an on-going Facebook group, then come back together for food and discussion about the book. This group will get you cooking!
For the first meeting on November 8th, host Kim Foster will make—wait for it...NOODLES. At this meeting, The Writer's Block will be selling the first book for the club, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat. Nosrat’s book is a great primer to learning about what makes a dish delicious. And if you haven't seen Nosrat’s 4-part Netflix series of the same name, take a look before we meet! It will be great fodder for our first meeting over noodles.
The Writer's Block
519 S. 6th Street, Ste. 100 Las Vegas NV 89101 USA