“Public Figures” Revisited

The topic of monuments and memorialization of historical figures has been a point of contention in the United States. We recall the removal of confederate statues in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, resulting in retaliation from violent white supremacist groups. In more recent news, the removal of similar statues has swept the nation after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Riah Milton, and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells. As protests against police brutality occur in states across the nation, calls for the removal of statues that stand as symbols of racism and oppression have increased. Some monuments, such as one of Christopher Columbus in Boston and Thomas Jefferson in Portland, have been physically removed by frustrated people demanding a more accurate recognition of American history. Many of…

Human Signs Ensemble includes Wesleyan author and professor Hari Krishnan

HUMAN SIGNS is a series of audiovisual ensembles created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its creator, Yuval Avital, describes its premise: “HUMAN SIGNS unites great protagonists of the contemporary dance and Ballet scene, vocal soloists from all around the globe, including carriers of ancient traditions, contemporary and experimental pioneers, religious representatives from every faith. All united in a participatory art project that from Milan connects the entire world to share – at the times of COVID-19 – the HUMAN SIGNS, presented online through a series of weekly audiovisual creations (every Tuesday at this link)–each one introduced by a different curator–interpreting the viral aesthetic as a multimedia choir of vulnerability, spirituality, inner strength, hopes and fears.” HUMAN SIGNS’ 7th edition ensemble includes Wesleyan author and…

Juneteenth, celebrating freedom

On June 19, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was read by General Gordon to Texas, the last state to free enslaved people. Known as Juneteenth, this day marks the official end of slavery in the United States. President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation almost two years before Juneteenth on January 1, 1863. However, at the time it was issued, the proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control, excluding other areas such as border states and rebel areas under Union control. Two years later, all enslaved people were officially freed. Texas was the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday in 1979. Today, it is recognized by many states and celebrated through parades, barbecues, and other outdoor activities. On this Juneteenth, Wesleyan University Press celebrates…

Congratulations Abigail Chabitnoy, winner of a Colorado Book Award!

Colorado Humanities has awarded Abigail Chabitnoy with the Colorado Book Award in the Poetry Category, for her first collection of poetry, How to Dress a Fish. Winners of the 2020 Colorado Book Awards were announced and read briefly on Saturday, May 30, during a celebratory virtual event held. Please click here, view to the Facebook Live video. (You do not need a Facebook account to watch in your browser.) Finalists filled two Zoom rooms for the traditional picture, and over one thousand viewed the Live program. An after-party for the winners and finalists was held via Zoom. In How to Dress a Fish, poet Abigail Chabitnoy, of Unangan and Sugpiaq descent, addresses the lives disrupted by US Indian boarding school policy. She pays particular attention to the…

Enjoy a slide show from Pablo Delano’s “Hartford Seen”

“With the images in Hartford Seen Pablo Delano captures the delicate balance between architectural permanence and the evanescence of community—a celebration of generations of residents and the structures they’ve shaped.” —Frank Mitchell, Executive Director, The Amistad Center for Art & Culture With more than 150 full-color images, Hartford Seen vitally expands the repertoire of photographic studies of American cities and of their contemporary built environments. Hartford Unseen is a personal meditation on the city’s built environment. Documentary photographer Pablo Delano implements a methodical but intuitive approach, scrutinizing the layers of history embedded in the city’s fabric. He documents commercial establishments, industrial sites, places of worship, and homes with a painter’s eye to color and composition. His vision tends to eschew the city’s better-known landmarks in favor…

Announcing “The Cultural Work: Maroon Performance in Paramaribo, Suriname”

  buy from HFS buy from IndieBound “Based on in-depth ethnography, this book presents a fresh and theoretically provocative view of some of the most prized, but least documented, African-based music and dance traditions of the Americas—as they exist today rather than in some idealized past.” –Kenneth Bilby, author of True-Born Maroons, and Words of Our Mouth, Meditations of Our Heart How do people in an intensely multicultural city live alongside one another while maintaining clear boundaries? This question is at the core of Corinna Campbell’s fascinating study The Cultural Work: Maroon Performance in Paramaribo, Suriname, which illustrates how the Maroons (descendants of escaped slaves) of Suriname, on the northern coast of South America, have used culture-representational performance to sustain and advocate for their communities…

Chabitnoy Shortlisted for International Griffin Poetry Prize

  Abigail Chabitnoy’s debut poetry collection, How to Dress a Fish, was shortlisted for the 2020 International Griffin Poetry Prize. The prestigious award is given by The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry. In addition to the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Griffin Trust initiates and supports projects and ventures consistent with the mandate of the prize to further promote appreciation of Canadian and international poetry. Watch the video to find out who was awarded the International and Canadian Griffin Prizes. In How to Dress a Fish, poet Abigail Chabitnoy, of Aleut descent, addresses the lives disrupted by US Indian boarding school policy. She pays particular attention to the life story of her great grandfather, Michael, who was taken from the Baptist Orphanage, Wood Island, Alaska, and…

#theageofphillis: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers talks latest book of poetry on Twitter

On April 16, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers answered questions, on Twitter, about her new book, The Age of Phillis. Using the hashtag, #theageofphillis, readers tuned in to ask Jeffers about her process, inspiration, and relationship to documentary poetry. Below is a recap of the informative, heartfelt, sometimes humorous Q&A with Honorée. “Jeffers pulls from historical archives to create more than 150 poems for glimpses of untold eighteenth century history from Wheatley a literary foremother, pioneer of ekphrastic poetics who writes through a diasporic life spanning Africa, Europe, and America. In The Age of Phillis Jeffers sheds imaginative light with poems that  bearing witness.” —Katherine Ellington, writer for World House Medicine  Listen to Ellington reading Wheatley’s poem “Imagination”.          

Announcing “Trad Nation”

  buy from HFS use code Q301 at checkout for 30% off buy from Bookshop.org “Thoughtful, provocative, rigorous, and timely: Slominski brings a critical, embodied ethnomusicological lens to this study of Irish music, asking vital questions about the past, present, and future of the ‘Tradition’ while expanding conceptions of identity and belonging.” –Aileen Dillane, Irish World Academy, University of Limerick, Ireland Just how “Irish” is traditional Irish music? In Trad Nation, Tes Slominski combines ethnography, oral history, and archival research to challenge the longstanding practice of using ethnic nationalism as a framework for understanding vernacular music traditions. Drawing on her experience both as longtime fiddler in the Irish vernacular music tradition and as a queer white woman raised in the rural United States South, she…

Order From Your Local Bookstore

Quarantining may be giving you a little extra time to catch up on reading, or maybe you have a child or teenager looking for a new book to read? Looking for something to distract you from the news and day-to-day life? Bookstores across the country are offering online ordering and shipping of books, as well as virtual events and even some discounts. We have compiled a list of bookstores that are continuing operations, via curbside pick up and/or direct shipping. We hope this helps some readers find the perfect book to keep them company during social distancing, while support independent sellers. Many bookstores are also using Bookshop, an online store that partners with independent sellers. There is a map on their website where you can…

Earth Day: Connecticut Walk Book

  Earth Day is an opportunity to explore the rich natural world that we may take for granted in our day-to-day lives. In a time of social distancing, appreciating the outdoors has become more important than ever. The Connecticut Forest & Park Association provides many great ways to get out and enjoy Connecticut. The CFPA maintains over 825 miles of trails that wind through state parks and forests, land trusts, town open space and across private land. Wesleyan University Press published the twentieth edition of The Connecticut Walk Book: The Complete Guide to Connecticut’s Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails. It is a comprehensive guide to blue-blazed trails that includes detailed, full color maps, mileage/destination tables, and a lay flat design for ease of use. The book is…

A Spicing of Birds

A Spicing of Birds is a unique and beautifully illustrated anthology, pairing poems from one of America’s most revered poets with evocative classic ornithological art from sources including Mark Catesby, John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson, Robert Ridgway, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, and Cordelia Stanwood. Emily Dickinson is known for her posthumous collection of unconventional work that played with unusual punctuation and capitalization. Her unique voice is known among many, but lesser-known is her great love of birds—in her collected poems, birds are mentioned 222 times, sometimes as the core inspiration of the poem. This book contains thirty-seven of Dickinson’s poems featuring birds common to New England. Many lesser-known poems are brought to light, renewing our appreciation for Dickinson’s work. Even today, we find Emily Dickinson to…

Announcing “Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflicts”

buy from HFS buy from IndieBound “Meticulously researched and thoughtfully argued, Moving Bodies makes a case for understanding dance as central to ethnic conflict while also describing dance as a vehicle for resistance.” —Nandini Sikand, author of Languid Bodies, Grounded Stances: The Curving Pathway of Neoclassical Odissi Dance  This book provides a fascinating account of a dance form as a mapping tool of the politics of identity that interrogates the limits and possibility of thinking about citizenship.” —Rachmi Diyah Larasati, author of The Dance That Makes You Vanish: Cultural Reconstruction in Post-Genocide Indonesia How can dance be sustained by its practitioners in the unstable political and geographical landscape of war? This question lies at the heart of Moving Bodies, Navigating Conflict: Practicing Bharata Natyam in…

Announcing “New and Concise History of Rock and R&B”

“This is an immensely useable book, smartly concise. It offers a bird’s eye view that also reveals the divergences, gray areas, and overlaps so critical to understanding the history of rock. ” —Benjamin Harbert, associate professor of music, Georgetown University Ethnomusicologist Eric Charry’s innovative and road-tested textbook is an introduction to Rock and R&B suitable for general education courses in music and also accessible for general readers interested in a novel approach to understanding of these genres. The book is organized around a series of timelines, tables, and figures created by the author, and provides fresh perspectives that bring readers into the heart of the social and cultural import of the music. Charry lays out key theoretical issues, covers the technical foundations of the music…

Announcing “BodyStories,” “Body and Earth,” and “The Place of Dance”

“Olsen finds her fresh edge with a holistic vision with which to dance, make dances and move through life.” —Desirée Dunbar, Dance International Magazine Wesleyan University Press is excited about keeping her trilogy of practical work books in print, for dancers, choreographers, and other movement artists. Or for anybody who wishes to explore movement in a creative way. For an introduction to Andrea Olsen’s work, visit her Body and Earth website, where you will find seven movement explorations  developed with her colleague Caryn McHose. Originally published by the University Press of New England in 1998, BodyStories: A Guide to Experiential Anatomy is a book that engages our interest in human anatomy. Thirty-one days of learning sessions heighten awareness about each bone and body system and provide…

Aldon Nielsen reads Lorenzo Thomas for Distāntia Reading Series

  In a time of social distancing, virtual connection has become more important than ever. Off Topic Poetics, a non-profit Youtube channel, has taken full advantage of the moment by starting the Distāntia Reading Series. The online video project is described as “an experimentation with intimate social distancing through remote access to poetry.” The channel accepts recordings from poets reading their work in quarantine and posts them to a playlist titled “Distāntia.” The original work, coupled with a video of the poet reading, creates an intimate viewing experience that can help people who feel isolated from human interaction during COVID-19 distancing.             “Sprucing Spring up on Larkin Street,” a poem from The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas, was recited by editor Aldon…

Get outside in CT…Walk, fish, bird, and fly!

Walk, fish, bird, or fly? Connecticut has it all. The weather is warming, we’ve been cooped up by social distancing, and Governor Ned Lamont has opened inland trout fishing season early to ease the crowding typical on normal opening day. As stated on Connecticut’s DEEP website, “Governor Lamont is urging all Connecticut residents to ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’ to help minimize community spread of COVID-19. The trails and grounds of Connecticut State Parks and Forests are open for solitary outdoor enjoyment. If you plan on visiting a park, it should be for solitary recreation, not group activities. Please plan ahead as many amenities and indoor facilities are closed, and visitors are encouraged to follow these guidelines to enhance social distancing.” Read about steps to enhance “social distancing” when enjoying…

Supporting authors during CV-19 shutdowns

Now is a good time to support authors! Especially those with new books, whose events have been cancelled or postponed. We hope that you are able to support your local bookstores by ordering through stores that are operating or ordering ebooks, as available, through your favorite bookstore. IndieBound has some instructions on ordering eBooks through independent bookstores.  In addition, we are happy to extend our discount code QAWP20 through June 30th, so you can receive 40% off any Wesleyan book ordered through our distributor HFS Books. We thank the good people at Hopkins Fulfillment Services who have been able to keep our books available. We will keep you posted on developments at Wesleyan University Press. New Poetry The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers…

Brenda Hillman receives Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for Lifetime Achievement

Congratulations to Brenda Hillman! Brenda Hillman was chosen by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to receive the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for lifetime achievement. This biennial award, which rotates between poetry, criticism, and fiction, recognizes writers of “progressive, original, and experimental tendencies.” Read the full release about 2020 Literature Award Winners here. Brenda Hillman is the author of numerous titles published by Wesleyan, including: Extra Hidden Life, among the Days (2018), Seasonal Works With Letters on Fire (2013, winner of the 2014 Griffin Prize for Poetry), Practical Water (2009, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry), Pieces of Air in the Epic (2005, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award), Cascadia (2001), Loose Sugar (1997), Bright Existence (1993), Death Tractates…