9/27 Arkansas Ghoulash Launch @ Faulkner County Library + Bridge Series @ Brillobox

7PM WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27…

CONWAY, AR— UCA Visiting Lecturer, Scotty Lewis, the first graduate of the MFA program in creative writing to defend his thesis at UCA, will read from his debut book at 7:00 p.m. on September 27th at the Conway Public Library. Arkansas Ghoulash, recently published by Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, evolved from his thesis, a highly complex and lyrical epic poem written in the form of investigative verse.

Described by Drew Cook as “at once oppressively intimate and as wide as the American South,” Arkansas Ghoulash examines the poet’s violent domestic past. Marck Beggs, author of Blind Verse, says that Lewis “displays a dazzling ability to shove poetic style and grace to the outer edges,” in a book that Lea Graham, author of Hough & Helix & Where & Here & You, You, You,” describes as “a stew of ghosts” in a “mercurial slipstream.”

The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase with a signing to follow. The Faulkner County Library is located at 1900 Tyler St. in Conway. For more information please contact Nancy Allen at nancy@fcl.org or call (501) 327-7482.

8PM WEDNESDAY…

The Bridge Series unites the Pittsburgh literary and activist communities to raise awareness and funds for local organizations fighting the good fight in these troubling times.

The series convenes the last Wednesday of each month at The Brillobox. Each installment will feature Pittsburgh’s finest writers and a special guest organization (with proceeds from the evening going directly to that organization).

$5 cover.

Tonight will feature readings from:

Lisa Alexander’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals including Tupelo Quarterly, 2 Bridges Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, The Burnside Review, BLOOM, and 5 AM among others. She holds an MFA in poetry from Drew University, and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops. Alexander has led poetry workshops at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, California University of Pennsylvania, Drew University in Madison, NJ and the Isles YouthBuild Community Program in Trenton, NJ. She has been a sound engineer for Prosody, NPR-affiliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers for eight years and counting.

A lifelong writer, Justin Vicari is a widely published poet, critic and translator. His first collection, The Professional Weepers (Pavement Saw, 2011), won the Transcontinental Award. His work has appeared in Barrow Street, Spoon River Poetry Review, 32 Poems, Hotel Amerika, The Ledge, Oranges & Sardines, American Poetry Review, Southern Poetry Review, Third Coast, and other journals. He is also the author of six books of film and literary theory, including Male Bisexuality in Current Cinema: Images of Growth, Rebellion and Survival (McFarland, 2011) and Mad Muses and the Early Surrealists (McFarland, 2001). He lives in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

Jeff Oaks is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Mistakes with Strangers (Seven Kitchens Press, 2014), Shift (Seven Kitchens Press, 2010), The Moon of Books (Ultima Obscura Press, 2000), and The Unknown Country (State Street Press, 1992). The recipient of three Pennsylvania Council of the Arts fellowships, he has published poems most recently in Field, Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Superstition Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Tupelo Quarterly. His essays have appeared in At Length, Creative Nonfiction, Kenyon Review Online, and in the anthologies My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them, and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. He teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh.

Our guest organization for the evening is Persad Center.

PERSAD CENTER is a human service organization whose mission is to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) communities, and the HIV/AIDS communities. We serve our target populations and their loved ones, cradle to grave, across western Pennsylvania, with service centers in Pittsburgh and Washington, PA.

PERSAD fulfills its missions through outreach, prevention counseling, training and advocacy services.

OUTREACH. In collaboration with allies and friends, PERSAD works to build stronger, safer, healthier communities and steer the public dialogue about LGBTQ people and issues. Our target populations have experienced stigma and discrimination and because of that they do not enjoy the same access to quality care. PERSAD reaches out to our target populations and welcomes them to receive services they need.

PREVENTION. Recognizing that LGBTQ people are at higher risk for suicide, depression, substance abuse, HIV and other STDs, homelessness, and for being the victims of violence, PERSAD has special programs to help the community be aware of their risks and to develop protective behaviors to reduce their risks.

ADVOCACY. PERSAD offers an array of Training & Advocacy consultation services that are designed to help organizations work successfully with LGBTQ consumers and employees. We are dedicated to ending discrimination and creating welcoming environments for LGBTQ people. Our Training & Advocacy services are available to health and human service professionals, schools, corporations, HR professionals, law enforcement and public safety officials.

COUNSELING. Founded in 1972, PERSAD is the nation’s second oldest licensed counseling center serving the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV. PERSAD was created as an affirming counseling center to help LGBTQ people cope with the social discrimination they experienced and to receive professional counseling services without prejudice about their identity.

In the early 1980’s PERSAD added serving the HIV/AIDS communities to our mission because of the devastating impact that HIV had on the gay population of that time. PERSAD continues to serve the HIV+ individual regardless of their sexual or gender orientation.

For more on PERSAD, go to: www.persadcenter.org

Here’s a Littsburgh interview w/ Joan Bauer, who put this one together.

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