Upcoming Readings

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/

Upcoming Readings

February 8, 2020 (7 PM) at Okay Alright: Joanna Penn Cooper & M. Randal O’Wain with Rowan Chand

Poet and essayist Joanna Penn Cooper is the author of The Itinerant Girl’s Guide to Self-Hypnosis (Brooklyn Arts Press), What Is a Domicile (Noctuary Press), and Crown, winner of the Cathlemet Prize from Ravenna Press. Her recent chapbooks are When We Were Fearsome (Ethel Zine Press) and Mud Woman, a collaboration with Rebecca Bratten Weiss (dancing girl press). She is co-founder and editor-at-large of the literary zine Ethel; and teaches online workshops in flash memoir and lyric essay for the journal Creative Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day feature, as well as South Dakota Review, Zócalo Public Square, Vinyl, Poetry International, the tiny, and other journals. She lives in Durham, North Carolina.  (photo credit: Lis Tyroler Photography)

Randal O’Wain holds an MFA from Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. He is the author of Meander Belt: family, loss, and coming of age in the working class south (American Lives Series, 2019) and Hallelujah Station and other stories (Autumn House Press, 2020) His essays and short stories have appeared in Oxford American, Guernica, The Pinch, Booth, Hotel Amerika, storySouth, among others.

Rowan Chand is a Biology graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA candidate in nonfiction. Their work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, among other places. Currently they are at work on an essay collection exploring the intersections of non-binary transmasculinity, second-generation immigrant identity, and animal facts.

February 22, 2020 (8 PM) in Hillsborough:  Cassandra J. Bruner, Sophie Klahr, Dorianne Laux & Joseph Millar

Cassandra J. Bruner’s first chapbook, The Wishbone Dress, won the 2019 Frost Place Chapbook Competition and was published by Bull City Press. She earned her MFA in poetry from Eastern Washington University where she served as Managing Editor of Willow Springs Books. Finalist for Black Warrior Review‘s 2018 Nonfiction Contest, their poems and essays have appeared, or are upcoming in The Adroit JournalBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorseMuzzleNew England ReviewNinth Letter, and Pleiades among others.

Sophie Klahr is the author of Meet Me Here At Dawn (yesyes books) and the chapbook  _____ Versus Recovery (pilot books). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and other publications. The 2019 Philip Roth Resident at The Stadler Center For Poetry and Literary Arts, she is the 2019/20 Kenan Visiting Writer at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

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 AwakeWhat 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 DoubleTakeTriQuarterlyThe Southern ReviewAPR, and Ploughshares. Millar teaches in Pacific University’s low-residency MFA Program and in North Carolina State’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

March 14, 2020 (7 PM) at Okay Alright: Jason Gray & Erin L. Miller with Caroline Orth

Jason Gray is the author of Radiation King, winner of the 2018 Idaho Prize for Poetry, and Photographing Eden, winner of the 2008 Hollis Summers Prize. He has also published two chapbooks, How to Paint the Savior Dead and Adam & Eve Go to the Zoo. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, Poetry Ireland Review, and many other places. He has also reviewed poetry, nonfiction, and fiction for The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, The Journal, and elsewhere. By day, he works as an editor for Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Erin L. Miller is a copywriter and poet based in Durham, North Carolina. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Bowling Green State University. Her poetry and reviews have appeared in Best New Poets, Whiskey Island, Bluestem, Black Warrior Review, and others. She was a finalist for Sonora Review’s 2015 Poetry Prize and the recipient of a Devine Fellowship.

Caroline Orth is a poet from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her BFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she studied comics poetry as feminist praxis. Her visual poetry has appeared in Diode Poetry Journal, the Happy Monks Press pamphlet series, and at the Center for Visual Artists in Greensboro. Caroline manages communications for the NC AHEC Program, an organization dedicated to developing a diverse health care workforce in rural parts of the state, and studies digital and health humanities at UNC-Chapel Hill. She lives in Carrboro.

April 4, 2020 (8 PM) in Hillsborough:  Justin Gardiner, Rose McLarney & Leslie Sainz

Justin Gardiner holds an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College, where he was awarded the Larry Levis Stipend in 2012.  He has also served as the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Fellow—a one-of-a-kind, twelve-month backcountry residency sponsored by PEN Northwest.  His first book manuscript of poems has been chosen as a finalist for both the Brittingham/Pollak Prize and the Four Way First Book Prize, among others; and his poems have appeared in journals that include The Missouri ReviewQuarterly WestThe Southern Humanities ReviewNew South, and ZYZZYVA, among others.  Currently he is working on a book of creative nonfiction, consisting of twelve linked nature essays, each set in a different park or wilderness area.

Rose McLarney’s collections of poems are Forage and Its Day Being Gone, both from Penguin Poets, as well as The Always Broken Plates of Mountains, published by Four Way Books. She is co-editor of A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, from University of Georgia Press, and the journal Southern Humanities Review.  Rose has been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences; served as Dartmouth Poet in Residence at the Frost Place; and is winner of the National Poetry Series, the Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ New Writing Award for Poetry, among other prizes. Her work has appeared in publications including The Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Missouri Review, and The Oxford American. Rose earned her MFA from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Auburn University.

Leslie Sainz is a first generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. A 2019 National Poetry Series Finalist, she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of Devil’s Lake. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from jubilat, NarrativeBlack Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Journal, The Florida Review, and others. She’s received scholarships, fellowships, and residencies from CantoMundo, The Miami Writers Institute, The Adroit Journal, and the Hub City Writers Project. She was a 2018-2019 Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University, and now works as the Outreach Manager of the Hub City Writers Project.

April 11, 2020 (7 PM) at Okay Alright: Lesley Wheeler with Emilie Menzel

Lesley Wheeler’s latest book is The State She’s In, her fifth poetry collection. Her debut novel, Unbecoming, is forthcoming in May 2020, and her essay collection, Poetry’s Possible Worlds, in 2021. Recent work appears in The Common, Massachusetts Review, Ecotone and other journals, and she has held fellowships from Fulbright and the NEH. Poetry Editor of Shenandoah, she lives in Virginia.

Emilie Menzel is a poet, writer, and curator of the gently haunted. Her work has appeared with Black Warrior Review, The Spectacle, Seventh Wave, Yalobusha Review, in Factory Hollow Press’ The Animal Club, and on the sides of Boston’s T-cars, amongst other locations. She is the recipient of the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award in Poetry (selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen) and Cara Parravani Memorial Award in Fiction (selected by Leigh Newman), and she earned her MFA in poetry at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the found content editor for jubilat. Raised amongst the doldrums of Georgia summers, Emilie currently lives in wooded North Carolina.

May 9, 2020 (7 PM) at Okay Alright: Xhenet Aliu, Timothy O’Keefe & Junious Ward

Xhenet Aliu’s novel, Brass, was awarded the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize, is a finalist for biennial Townsend Prize, was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, was long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize, and was named a best book of the year by numerous outlets, including Entertainment WeeklyThe San Francisco ChronicleReal Simple, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Aliu’s writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe Boston GlobeGlimmer TrainHobart,American Short FictionLennyLitHubBuzzfeed, and elsewhere, and she has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, and a fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, among other awards, including a special mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and has previously worked as an academic librarian, private investigator, waitress, and secretary.

Timothy O’Keefe is the author of You Are the Phenomenology, winner of the 2017 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and The Goodbye Town, winner of the 2010 FIELD Poetry Prize. His poems and lyric essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Best American Essays, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Massachusetts Review, Seneca Review, VOLT, and elsewhere. He teaches writing and literature at High Point University.

Junious Ward is a poet living in Charlotte, North Carolina who has benefited greatly from attending Breadloaf Writers Conference, Callaloo, The Watering Hole and Tin House Winter Workshop. He is also a National Poetry Slam champion and Individual World Poetry Slam champion who has toured nationally. You can find Junious’ poems in Crab Fat MagazineLackadaisy Lit Mag and The Poeming Pigeon.

Bull City Press

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