The House Party Reading Series
a salon-style reading series
Hosted in Hillsborough and Durham, NC, the House Party Reading Series is a chance for writers and readers to hear some of the most exciting voices in contemporary letters… and then have a party. Head chef Ashley Nissler prepares the spread and the Bull City Press gang brings authors from all over the country to read new work. To commemorate the evening, Gabrielle Bates creates original artwork for our broadside series.
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May 3, 2019: Sandra Beasley, Nickole Brown, Jessica Jacobs, Valencia Robin & Nomi Stone
Sandra Beasley is author of three poetry collections: Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA Literature Fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, and three DCCAH Artist Fellowships. She is also the author of the memoir Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, which engages living with disability. She lives in Washington, D.C., and is on the faculty of the low-residency MFA program at the University of Tampa.
Nickole Brown received her MFA from the Vermont College, studied literature at Oxford University, and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She worked at Sarabande Books for ten years. Her first collection, Sister, a novel-in-poems, was first published in 2007 by Red Hen Press and a new edition will be reissued by Sibling Rivalry Press in October 2018. Her second book, a biography-in-poems called Fanny Says, came out from BOA Editions in 2015, and the audio book of that collection became available in 2017. She was an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for four years until she gave up her beloved time in the classroom in hope of writing full time. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and teaches periodically at a number of places, including the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program, the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNCA, and the Hindman Settlement School. She lives with her wife, poet Jessica Jacobs, in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at a four different animal sanctuaries. Currently, she’s at work on a bestiary of sorts about these animals, but it won’t consist of the kind of pastorals that always made her (and most of the working-class folks she knows) feel shut out of nature and the writing about it—these poems speak in a queer, Southern-trash-talking kind of way about nature beautiful, but damaged and dangerous. A clutch of these new poems recently won Rattle‘s 2018 Chapbook Contest—To Those Who Were Our First Gods will be published in December.
Jessica Jacobs is the author of Pelvis with Distance, winner of the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry, an Over the Rainbow selection by the American Library Association, and a finalist for the Lambda Literary and Julie Suk Awards. Her chapbook In Whatever Light Left to Us was published by Sibling Rivalry Press and her second full-length collection Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2019. Jacobs holds an M.F.A. from Purdue University, where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of Sycamore Review, and a B.A. from Smith College. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in publications including Orion, New England Review, The Missouri Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and the Oxford American. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock climbing instructor, bartender, editor, and professor, and is now the Associate Editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown.
Valencia Robin is the winner of Persea Books’ 2018 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry; her collection, Ridiculous Light, will be published in April 2019. A visual artist as well as a poet, her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, The St. Petersburg Review, Foundry, Black Renaissance Noire, Kweli, The Cortland Review and elsewhere. She is a Cave Canem Fellow and the 2014 winner of the Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry Competition. She holds an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia.
Nomi Stone is a poet and an anthropologist. Her second collection of poems, Kill Class is forthcoming from Tupelo Press in 2019. Winner of a 2018 Pushcart Prize, Stone’s poems appear recently or will soon in POETRY, American Poetry Review, The New Republic, The Academy of American Poets’ “Poem-a-Day” series, Bettering American Poetry 2017, The Best American Poetry 2016, Tin House, New England Review, and elsewhere. Kill Class is based on two years of fieldwork she conducted within war trainings in mock Middle Eastern villages erected by the US military across America. She has a PhD in anthropology from Columbia, an MPhil in Middle East Studies from Oxford, an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson and teaches at Princeton University.