In Between: Belonging, Becoming
Date: Monday, November 18th
Location: VU Multipurpose Room
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Free copies of both authors’ books and free food will be available at the event.
Join dynamic authors Alex Wagner (author of this year’s Western Reads book Futureface) and José Olivarez (prize-winning performance poet and author of Citizen Illegal) on Monday, November 18th for performance poetry, reading, and dialogue at the intersections of their work on the In Between and issues of belonging and becoming.
Futureface is a story of Wagner’s “quest around the world – and into her own DNA– to answer the ultimate questions of who she really is and where she belongs as a Burmese-American woman, ‘Futureface’ weaves together fascinating history, genetic science, and sociology as Wagner ultimately begins to realize she is after something deeper than her own ancestry. In a time of conflict over who we are as a country, she tries to find the story where we all belong.” At the same time, Futureface pushes us to consider the question of who will we become—as a country and as individuals.
About the Author
Alex Wagner is an Emmy-nominated journalist covering American culture and politics in print, online and on television. She is a national correspondent for CBS News and an executive producer and co-host of the political documentary series The Circus on Showtime. She writes regularly as a contributing editor for The Atlantic and co-hosts their weekly podcast, Radio Atlantic. Previously, she hosted the daily politics and current affairs program Now with Alex Wagner on MSNBC.
Citizen Illegal has been described as a “stunning debut” in which “poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.”
About José Olivarez
José Olivarez, is the son of Mexican immigrants and a recent recipient of the prestigious Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and winner of the 2018 Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association. His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Paris Review, Chicago Magazine, & elsewhere.
This campus-wide event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Western Reads, this event, or disability accommodations please call or email Molly.Ware@wwu.edu or 360-650-2068.