Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Join Greensboro Bound and The Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts in a pre-performance book talk with JOSEPH CRESPINO (Atticus Finch: The Biography—Harper Lee, Her Father, and the Making of an American Icon).

Thursday, May 16, 2024

6:00 PM
Elliott University Center (UNCG) Auditorium
This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

McBride’s landmark memoir, The Color of Water, published in 1996, has sold millions of copies and spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list. Considered an American classic, it is read in schools and universities across the United States. His latest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, takes readers back to 1972 Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where workers discover a skeleton at the bottom of a well when digging the foundations for a new development. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. As the characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.

Friday, May 17, 2024

AYESHA RASCOE's voice is immediately recognizable to thousands of NPR listeners as host of Weekend Edition Sunday. The Durham native and Howard University alumna joins us to discuss a new collection of essays celebrating the HBCU experience titled HBCU Made: A Celebration of the Black College Experience. What makes an HBCU great? The drumlines? The exuberant expression of Black joy? That in-your-bones feeling of belonging? Essays from Oprah Winfrey, Branford Marsalis, Stacey Abrams, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, and others explore the American landscape of historically black colleges and reveal how they shaped the lives and careers of these essential figures. Rascoe joins us in conversation to talk about both the value of an HBCU education and the highlights and challenges of editing an anthology of this nature.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

10:00 AM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

Henry the Boy (ages 4 to 8) shows us that no matter how different we feel, we are all more similar than we at first appear. This is the story of an ordinary boy with daily struggles, triumphs, and an extraordinary imagination. Henry uses forearm crutches; he sometimes feels out of place at school, especially when he gets made fun of, but through his own rich imagination and special friendship, Henry learns to define himself on his own terms.

VIEW ALL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

Now in its 21st year, the Poet Laureate Program brings together Guilford County’s best and brightest budding student poets with an established, published poet who gives them mentorship and feedback on their poetry. This year’s poet advisor has been Greensboro’s own inaugural Poet Laureate, Josephus Thompson, III. Students from Guilford County high schools competed to bear the title of Poet Laureate for their respective school. This culminating event features winning laureates and finalists.

11:00 AM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

Benita and the Night Creatures (ages 4 to 9) is a story where creatures from Peruvian lore, like the whistling Tunche and a scary Supay, come off the page to try to scare a child who’s so absorbed in her bedtime reading that she refuses to be frightened by them; and Run, Little Chaski!, is the tale of a royal messenger who stops to help several creatures along the Inka Trail and is rewarded in unexpected ways for his kindness.

Special thanks to Casa Azul for their support of this program.

VIEW ALL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH was raised in Spring Valley, New York, and now lives in the Bronx. A multi-award-winning author, his first novel Chain-Gang All-Stars was a finalist for the 2023 National Book Award for Fiction. In this dystopian novel, CAPE, or Criminal Action Penal Entertainment, is a highly-popular, highly-controversial, profit-raising program in America’s increasingly dominant private prison industry. Prisoners travel as Links in Chain-Gangs, competing in death-matches for packed arenas with righteous protesters at the gates. It’s the return of the gladiators, and prisoners are competing for the ultimate prize: their freedom. Chain-Gang All-Stars lays bare the American prison system’s unholy alliance of systemic racism, unchecked capitalism, and mass incarceration, and a clear-eyed reckoning with what freedom in this country really means. LEARN MORE

11:00 AM
Greensboro Public Library Nussbaum Room
This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT

After a dramatic reading of his YA novel Pritty, participants will explore techniques for creating fictional worlds and characters that re-imagine home, radical acceptance, and healing from trauma. Workshop attendees will not only reflect on their own conceptualization of “home” but how to use lived experience to create characters and worlds that restore hope, transform trauma, and unlock healing for us all.

In our world of rapidly changing landscapes, temperatures, and ecosystems, where do we turn for solace? Three authors discuss eco-distress and how we express our grief for our planet through art and activism. Join poet KATE PARTRIDGE (Thine), co-founder of the Good Grief Network, LAURA SCHMIDT (How to Live in a Chaotic Climate), and young adult novelist LAUREN YERO (Under This Forgetful Sky) as they discuss meaning and connection in these trying times of climate change.

11:00 AM
Greensboro Cultural Center Van Dyke Performance Space

Join us in conversation with cider maker, historian, and author DIANE FLYNT (Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South) as she discusses the shift in Southern farming that led to the disappearance of hundreds of uniquely Southern apples and the documentation of today’s revival of Southern varieties in preservation orchards, modern cideries, and multi-generation orchards. Diane’s own trajectory as an apple farmer includes her journey as a pioneering farmer in the southern Appalachians who planted cider apples never grown in the region and founded the first modern cidery in the South.

12:00 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

Garden In My Hands (ages 4-8) is a touching picture book celebrating the custom of applying henna for special occasions, as told by a mother and daughter who share family memories and stories; and The Spice Box (ages 3-7) is a tender picture book that features a father and son sharing family stories through a spice box handed down from generation to generation.

VIEW ALL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

An aquarium in Miami, a Georgia island near an unexploded atomic bomb, and an abandoned field in the rural South. No, this is not the beginning of a joke but some of the places integral to the novels of JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET (Say Hello to My Little Friend), MARJORIE HUDSON (Indigo Field), and STEPHEN HUNDLEY (Bomb Island), The places we write about can influence characters–or even become their own characters. Moreover, what happens against the backdrop of a place can be both historically and culturally important. Join these three authors as they discuss their unique places and how they figure into the larger narratives at play.

Family forms so much of who we are, but that doesn’t always make those bonds easy to bear. In their YA novels, this trio of authors write about the love and heartbreak that come along with being part of a family. KAREN HOLMBERG (The Collagist) introduces us to Romilly, whose dad is keeping secrets and whose beloved uncle mysteriously disappears from his boat and sets in motion an adventure to uncover the truth beyond what anyone could have imagined; AMALIE JAHN (A Walk Between Raindrops) explores the connection between seventeen-year-old Elise and her younger sister, Wylla, with whom she is desperate to reconnect after the tragic events of the previous fall; and TRANG THANH TRAN (She Is a Haunting) writes about Jade Nguyen, who arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father only to find that the house has other plans.

12:30 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center Van Dyke Performance Space

If art is resistance, nothing exemplifies that better than the infusion of drag and the written word. Poet WO CHAN Togetherness) writes of their immigrant childhood, a deportation battle against the State, and drag as formalism in their campy, tender, and queer collection. In his debut novel, DAN CLAY (Becoming A Queen) introduces us to Mark Davis, a young boy fresh on the heels of heartbreak who finds solace and connection in dresses. And in a magical novel by SIRIUS (Blackjack + Moonshine), a young man named Jessie Livingston makes a deal with a crossroads devil to become the man he always wanted to be—but at great cost.

How we keep our family stories and honor our ancestors is paramount in the works of these three writers—a biographer, a novelist, and a poet—who tell the stories of their families across generations in the South. TYREE DAYE’s poems in a little bump in the earth, are set in Youngsville, North Carolina, where Daye’s family has lived for the last 200 years and where the land, family artifacts, and memories combine to explore the love of people and places of his history. ZELDA LOCKHART’s Trinity is the story of a daughter-spirit sent by her ancestors to unearth the atrocities endured by her family line and to bring love back into a lineage broken by violence. In his carefully researched biography, DAVID NICHOLSON tells the story of his great-grandparents, The Garrets of Columbia: A Black South Carolina Family from Slavery to the Dawn of Integration, a family history that also brings American history to life.

1:00 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

The Fantastic Freewheeler graphic novel series (ages 8 -12). Just like author Molly Felder, 12-year-old Drew Daniels uses a wheelchair to get around. In this four-book graphic novel series Drew fights for justice and saves the day! (The Fantastic Freewheeler, Sixth-Grade Superhero!, The Fantastic Freewheeler vs. the Mall of Doom, The Fantastic Freewheeler and the Mega Bot Attack, and The Fantastic Freewheeler and the School Dance Disaster.)

VIEW ALL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

1:00 PM
Greensboro Public Library Nussbaum Room
This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.
2:00 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

Not An Easy Win (ages 10 and up.) Twelve-year-old Lawrence is new to chess. Can he find a way to get on the board, even though the odds are stacked against him? A powerful middle grade novel about family, forgiveness, and figuring out who you are when you don’t make the rules.

VIEW ALL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

In works that critique toxic traditions, navigate the violence of perception, and explore cultural confusion, AMINA GUATIER (The Best that You Can Do), MYRIAM GURBA (Creep: Accusations and Confessions), and KB BROOKINS (Freedom House & Pretty: A Memoir) weave personal histories and identities into the larger fabric of culture, arguing for a rethinking of who controls how we think about place, gender, race, and societal norms. Each of these writers claims physical, intellectual, and emotional space that has been misappropriated, ill-defined, or abused by culture at large.

Healing happens in mysterious ways, often through faith, finding belonging, and navigating the perils of one’s upbringing to fully realize—and take care—oneself. Join two North Carolina memoirists, ANNA GAZMARIAN (Devout: A Memoir of Doubt) and J. DANA TRENT (Between Two Trailers) as they discuss their sometimes-bumpy paths toward healing. For Gazmarian, the stigma of mental health struggles in the evangelical community led her on a decade-long journey toward acceptance and well-being. Trent’s story begins with drug-dealer parents who both struggle with mental illnesses and follows her into adulthood, where she realizes that home is where the healing begins.

What binds us together? What sets us apart? Three poets explore these questions through very different lenses but with equal urgency and timeliness. JANUARY GILL O’NEIL (Glitter Road) writes joy as an act of resistance against the backdrop of her time in Oxford, Mississippi. JOSÉ OLIVAREZ (Promises of Gold, longlisted for the 2023 National Book Award) explores love in its many forms alongside the complexities of the American Dream. KATE PARTRIDGE (Thine) couples climate change and queer parenthood, observing the ways in which our changing landscape affects our most intimate relationships.

3:00 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center GreenHill Center for NC Art

Young love is a beautiful thing, but no two couples are ever alike. We’re bringing together four writers, each of whom examines the joys and dangers of being head-over-heels in their own ways. BRITNEY S. LEWIS (The Dark Place) brings us a horror-romance between two Black, time-traveling teens who attempt to solve a mystery that could change both their lives; KEITH F. MILLER, JR. (Pritty) introduces us to characters who find themselves torn between romance and safety after the murder of a Black journalist; JONNY GARZA VILLA (Canto Contigo) explores the ways grief changes their main character, Rafie, and how that affects the relationship he wishes he could have with his mariachi rival, Rey; and LAUREN YERO (Under This Forgetful Sky) writes a star-crossed love story following Rumi Sabzwari and her companion, Paz, in a starkly unequal world struggling to find their place.

3:00 PM
Greensboro Public Library Nussbaum Room
This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED
PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT

What does it take to lead a creative life every day? This workshop will share ideas and perspectives for putting your own creativity first: How can writers best serve their own creative processes? Where do you go for inspiration? How important is community to our writing lives? And how can you create a life in this business of art? Workshop will include a talk, and a writing prompt with a group write-along. Jami will also explain the development of the worldwide literary movement #1000wordsofsummer.

Join us in conversation with psychiatrist-anthropologist DR. HELENA HANSON (Whiteout: How Racial Capitalism Changed the Color of Opioids in America) as she discusses how Whiteness drove the opioid crisis. Through the research and analysis of colleagues and co-authors Jules Netherland and David Herzberg (a policy advocate and a drug historian), Whiteout makes the counterintuitive case that the opioid crisis was the product of white racial privilege as well as despair. Hanson joins us in a candid conversation about how a century of structural racism in drug policy and profit-oriented medical industries led to mass overdose deaths.

The short story: the distillation of an experience, a feeling, a look, a memory—written in less than 8,000 words. This collection of authors, HALLE HILL (Good Women), JODY HOBBS HESLER (What Makes You Think You’re Supposed to Feel Better), and JULIA RIDLEY SMITH (Sex Romp Gone Wrong), captures the stories of the every-person just trying to make it through the day and live with the decisions they’ve made. Though written in their own unique styles and voices, these four authors all draw from a similar well: an exploration of the human condition with all its nuanced intricacy. A young woman who works for a scam for-profit college navigates the lies she sells for a living; a man wrestles with regrets from a 30-year-old affair while his wife hovers toward death in the ICU; a woman plots to conceive a second child while at a convention hotel with her husband and teenage daughter, both of whom have other plans.

Three writers explore belonging, displacement, and the experiences that transform us. In The American Queen, a novel based on the true history of The Kingdom of the Happy Land (1865-1889) VANESSA MILLER shares the story of Luella, queen of the kingdom, and the community built by formerly enslaved people as a refuge. Writer’s Postcards is a collection of essays in which DIPIKA MUKHERJEE explores the world through the lens of geography, comments on culture and imagination, and discovers new notions of home and identity. And in the memoir Owner of a Lonely Heart, BETH NGUYEN writes about leaving Saigon for America as a baby after the Vietnam War and a mother-daughter relationship fractured by separation, war, and resettlement. All three works explore “home” and its sometimes complicated meanings.

From the mixtape musings of PAUL CRENSHAW (Melt with Me: Coming of Age and Other ‘80’s Perils) and TOM MAXWELL (front man for the Squirrel Nut Zippers and author of A Really Strange and Wonderful Time), we take a journey from the pop culture of the 1980s—video games, pro wrestling, and Satanic panic—to the North Carolina-based indie rock boom of the 1990s. Each author explores how the shifting cultural phenomena of the times—from Bugs Bunny cartoons and Reagan-era politics to the witty, post-grunge appeal of bands like Ben Folds Five and Squirrel Nut Zippers—shaped their lives, and ours.

Get in, loser. We’re going back to 2004. It’s been 20 years since Mean Girls hit theaters, winning over critics and audiences alike with its razor-sharp wit, star-making turns for its then unknown cast, and obsessively quotable screenplay by Tina Fey. Fast forward two decades and Mean Girls remains as relevant as ever. Arguably, no other movie from the 2000s has had as big of an impact on pop culture. In So Fetch, JENNIFER KEISHIN ARMSTRONG offers the first ever authoritative book about this beloved classic that shaped an entire generation.

Here we bring together a trio of memoirists exploring the strengths and limitations of the physical body alongside the tenacity and determination of the spirit. GREG MARSHALL'S (Leg: The Story of a Limb and the Boy Who Grew from It) is a hilarious and poignant memoir grappling with family, disability, and coming of age in two closets—as a gay man and as a man living with cerebral palsy. MADDIE NORRIS'S (The Wet Wound: An Elegy in Essays) is a multilayered examination of grief after the death of her father through a lens that likens mourning to wound care. KELLEY SHINN (The Wounds That Bind), a double amputee at the age of sixteen, becomes an avid off-road racer and, as a single mother, attempts to drive around the globe in a Land Rover with her three-year-old daughter in tow to bring light to the plight of landmine survivors.

Three novelists explore how lives can become intertwined, connected, and disconnected by catastrophe, betrayal, and secrets. In MARIA HUMMEL’s Goldenseal, once-best friends who haven’t spoken in forty years reunite in downtown Los Angeles where, in one sweeping conversation, they unravel the betrayal, secrets, mysteries, and regrets that tore them apart. DAVID JOY’s Those We Thought We Knew asks what happens when the people you’ve always known turn out to be monsters, and the dark underbelly of a community is revealed as a young Black artist returns to her ancestral home to trace her family history—and finds much more. In CHIN-SUN LEE’s Upcountry, three women with very different life stories are thrust together in a psychological thriller set in a small Catskills town.

From the stereotypical vision of adolescent teenage boys playing video games in darkened bedrooms to the colorfully-lit gender-inclusive arenas of esports competitions, gaming and gaming culture have become increasingly more mainstream. From the earliest computers to the smartphones in our pockets, video games have been on our screens and part of our lives for over fifty years. Here we bring together four writers who game to discuss their contributions to Critical Hits: Writer Playing Video Games: the book’s editors J. ROBERT LENNON and CARMEN MARIA MACHADO with contributors NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH and ANDERS MONSON in a discussion and celebration of this ubiquitous medium to consider its lasting impact on our culture and ourselves.

6:30 PM
Greensboro Cultural Center Van Dyke Performance Space

Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA is the author of a number of critically acclaimed novels, including her latest Silver Nitrate. She has edited several anthologies and is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Silvia has an MA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of British Columbia. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

PRE-PURCHASED TICKET REQUIRED - $30
Join us for a pre-event brunch at the Historic Magnolia House. Tickets include: the Magnolia Sampler Breakfast (fish and grits; chicken and waffles, and Magnolia Breakfast: bacon, eggs, breakfast potatoes.) Adult brunch beverages will be available for purchase.

For our closing festival event, in partnership with the Greensboro Public Library, we have invited The Carolina Table contributors, poet GABRIELLE CALVOCORESSI (Rocket Fantastic, Apocalyptic Swing), North Carolina Poet Laureate JAKI SHELTON GREEN (I Want to Undie You, Feeding the Light, singing a tree into dance), and DANIEL WALLACE (Big Fish, This Isn’t Going to End Well) along with MARIANNE GINGHER (Jabberwocky Puppet Show) to join in a celebration of the life and work of Randall Kenan, food, and Carolina culture at The Historic Magnolia House.