We have two reading series!
The House Party Reading Series
a salon-style reading
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.
Bull City Press Presents
Located at Mettlesome’s Okay Alright Theater (401 West Geer Street,
Durham, NC, 27701), Bull City Press’s newest reading series brings you poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from established and emerging writers. Join us on the second Saturday of each month at 7 pm for some hot lit. And if you’re lucky, you can stick around and see one of our readers in a comedy show at 9 PM.
Join the mailing list to receive an invitation: https://bullcitypress.com/reading-series/join-the-mailing-list/
September 14, 2019 (7 PM) at Okay Alright: Belle Boggs & Gabrielle Calvocoressi with Taylor Brunson
Belle Boggs is the author of The Gulf: A Novel; The Art of Waiting; and Mattaponi Queen: Stories. The Art of Waiting was a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and was named a best book of the year by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, the Globe and Mail, Buzzfeed, and O, the Oprah Magazine. Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories set along Virginia’s Mattaponi River, won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences. Her stories and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Orion, the Paris Review, Harper’s, Ecotone, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor of English at North Carolina State University, where she also directs the MFA program in creative writing.
Born in central Connecticut, Gabrielle Calvocoressi grew up in a family that owned movie theaters in several small towns across the state. They studied at Sarah Lawrence College and earned her MFA from Columbia University. Calvocoressi’s first book, The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart (Persea Books, 2005), was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and won the 2006 Connecticut Book Award in Poetry. Their second collection, Apocalyptic Swing (Persea Books, 2009), was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. They are also the author of Rocket Fantastic (Persea Books, 2017).
Taylor Brunson is a poet from nowhere who claims eastern Kansas as home. She now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and serves as an assistant poetry editor for Four Way Review and an assistant nonfiction editor for Nashville Review.
October 12, 2019 (7 PM) at Okay Alright : Tariq Luthun, Eric Tran & Daniel Wallace with Alexandra Tribo
Tariq Luthun is a community organizer, data analyst, and Emmy Award-winning poet from Detroit, MI. He earned his MFA in Poetry from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and currently serves as Editor of the Micro Department at The Offing. A Muslim and diasporic Palestinian, Luthun’s work has earned a number of recognitions, and has appeared in Vinyl Poetry, Lit Hub, Mizna, Winter Tangerine Review, and Button Poetry, among other credits.
Eric Tran is a resident physician in psychiatry in Asheville, NC and received his MFA from UNC Wilmington. He won the 2019 Autumn House Press Emerging Writer’s contest and is the author of The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer (Autumn House Press, 2020) and Revisions (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018). His work appears in Pleiades, 32 Poems, The Missouri Review, and elsewhere.
Daniel Wallace is author of six novels, including Big Fish (1998), Ray in Reverse (2000), The Watermelon King (2003), Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician (2007), The Kings and Queens of Roam (2013), and most recently Extraordinary Adventures (May 2017). His children’s book, published in 2014, and for which he did both the words and the pictures, is called The Cat’s Pajamas, and it is adorable. In 2003 Big Fish was adapted and released as a movie and then in 2013 the book and the movie were mish-mashed together and became a Broadway musical. His novels have been translated into over three-dozen languages.
Alex R. Tribo is a recent graduate from UNC Chapel Hill who double majored in biology and psychology and minored in environmental science. She grew up in a suburb outside of Charlotte, spending as much of her childhood in the woods as possible. She has published two biographical articles in Carolina Scientific as well as coauthored four scientific papers which appear in Nature, Cell, and Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. She is currently attempting to hike North Carolina’s Mountain to Sea Trail before pursuing a research assistantship.
October 19, 2019 (8 PM) in Hillsborough: Jenny Johnson, Randall Kenan, Megan Pinto & Katie Bowler Young
Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet (Sarabande Books, 2017). Her honors include a Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and a NEA Fellowship. She has also received awards and scholarships from the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times, New England Review, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. After earning a BA/MT in English Education from the University of Virginia, she taught public school for several years in San Francisco, and she spent ten summers on the staff of the UVA Young Writer’s Workshop. She earned an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at West Virginia University, and she is on the faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.
Randall Kenan’s first novel, A Visitation of Spirits, was published by Grove Press in 1989; and a collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, was published in 1992 by Harcourt, Brace. That collection was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was among The New York TimesNotable Books of 1992. He is also the author of a young adult biography of James Baldwin (1993), and wrote the text for Norman Mauskoff ’ s book of photographs, A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta (1997). Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1999, and was nominated for the Southern Book Award. The Fire this Time, a work of nonfiction, was published in July 2007. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Award, and was the 1997 Rome Prize winner from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2005. He is currently Chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
Megan Pinto’s poetry can be found in Four Way Review, Passages North, and Indiana Review, and is forthcoming in Ploughshares and The Minnesota Review. She has received scholarships from the Port Townsend Writer’s Conference and Bread Loaf, and holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson.
Katie Bowler Young is the author of Through Water with Ease (Louisiana Literature Press, 2019), State Street (Bull City Press, 2009), and Enrique Alférez: Sculptor (forthcoming from The Historic New Orleans Collection). Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Southern Review, Soundings East, Folio, Carolina Quarterly, Louisiana Literature, The Arkansas Review, and other journals. She is the director of global relations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is senior editor of Carolina Passport, a magazine produced through an internship program designed to mentor undergraduates about publishing and communicating about diverse world regions and cultures.
November 9, 2019 (7 PM) at Okay Alright : Michael Keenan Gutierrez & John Hoppenthaler with Niyanta Kunal Patel
Michael Keenan Gutierrez is the author of The Trench Angel (Leapfrog) and earned degrees from UCLA, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of New Hampshire. His work has been published in The Guardian, The Delmarva Review, The Collagist, Scarab, The Pisgah Review, Pacifica, Untoward, The Boiler, and Crossborder. His screenplay, The Granite State, was a finalist at the Austin Film Festival and he has received fellowships from The University of Houston and the New York Public Library. He lives with his wife and child in Chapel Hill where he teaches writing at the University of North Carolina. His website is michaelkeenangutierrez.com
John Hoppenthaler’s books of poetry are Lives of Water (2003), Anticipate the Coming Reservoir (2008), and Domestic Garden (2015, winner of the Brockman-Campbell Award for the best volume of poetry published by a NC writer in 2015, chosen by Barbara Hamby), all with Carnegie Mellon University Press. With Kazim Ali, he has co-edited a volume of essays and interviews on the poetry of Jean Valentine, This-World Company (U Michigan P, 2012). His poetry appears in Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, Southern Review, Barrow Street, and numerous other journals and anthologies. He received his MFA in Poetry Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. For the cultural journal Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, he edits “A Poetry Congeries,” and he is on the advisory board for Backbone Press, a small publisher dedicated to marginalized voices. For nine years he served as Personal Assistant to Toni Morrison. He is a Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at East Carolina University.
Niyanta Kunal Patel is an emerging Indian-American poet and artist from Nashville, Tennessee. Niyanta is the inaugural UNC-Frost Place Publishing Fellow, and serves as an artist and designer for Bull City Press in Durham, North Carolina. They currently study neuroscience, chemistry, and creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Find them on Twitter @temporalsplendr.
December 14, 2019 (7 PM) at Okay Alright : Joanna Pearson & Emily W. Pease
Joanna Pearson’s first collection of short stories, Every Human Love, was published in 2019 by Acre Books. Her fiction has appeared in Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Copper Nickel, Ecotone, Kenyon Review online, Mississippi Review, as well as other journals. She is also the author of a book of poetry, Oldest Mortal Myth (Story Line Press, 2012), winner of the 2012 Donald Justice Prize and the 2014 Towson University Prize for Literature, and a young adult novel, The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011).
Emily W. Pease’s collection of short stories, Let Me Out Here, winner of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Award, was released in March. A Ploughshares blog review describes the stories as “dizzying and ark with a hint of dread…rich with texture, voice and wild beauty.” Pease has published in the Missouri Review, the Georgia Review, Narrative, the Alaska Quarterly Review, Witness, Crazyhorse, Shenandoah, and Kenyon Review online. She lives in Williamsburg, where she taught for many years at William & Mary. Currently she teaches writing to veterans with the Armed Services Arts Partnership.
February 22, 2020 (8 PM) in Hillsborough: Dorianne Laux & Joseph Millar
Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection, The Book of Men, was awarded The Paterson Prize. Her fourth book of poems, Facts About the Moon, won The Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Laux is also the author of Awake; What We Carry, a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Smoke; as well as a fine small press edition, The Book of Women. She is the co-author of the celebrated text The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. Laux teaches poetry in the Program in Creative Writing at North Carolina State University and is a founding faculty member of Pacific University’s Low Residency MFA Program. Only As the Day is Long: New and Selected, was released by W.W. Norton in early 2019.
Joseph Millar’s first collection, Overtime, was a finalist for the 2001 Oregon Book Award. His second collection, Fortune, appeared in 2007, followed by a third, Blue Rust, in 2012. His latest collection, Kingdom, was released in early 2017. He has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such magazines as DoubleTake, TriQuarterly, The Southern Review, APR, and Ploughshares. Millar teaches in Pacific University’s low-residency MFA Program and in North Carolina State’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.
April 4, 2020 (8 PM) in Hillsborough: Justin Gardiner & Rose McLarney