Tulsa Litfest, occurring April 20-23, will feature several events with authors from Tulsa indie publisher The Calliope Group.
On Saturday, April 22nd, Nuova Wright will read from her new release, little wife: the story of gold at Fulton Street Books, 210 W. Latimer Street. The event begins at 1pm.
little wife is an autobiography in poems. Employing several narrative voices, Wright explores birth, early life, and the black smoke where no memories will come. Wright chases the smoke and discovers answers, ancestors, and selves.
“little wife: the story of gold is memoir as memoir ought to be—it’s structured the way memory works, in flashes that boom and bloom. Nuova Wright wields lightning here, drawing grief and bravery out of the past, building a fire-bridge toward survival and bold joy,” notes Cathy Wagner, Professor of Creative Writing at Miami University.
Nuova Wright is a Tulsa, Oklahoma native who earned their MFA in Poetry from Boise State University. Their poems have appeared in Santa Clara Review, Spill Words, Elephants Never, Please See Me, Q/A Poetry, The Girl God, Word Riot, This Land, as well as on countless restaurant napkins. Wright is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was a 2004 Grolier Prize finalist as well as the author of three poetry chapbooks. Wright has taught at Houston Community College, Tulsa Community College, University of Tulsa, and Street School Tulsa. They are the proud mother of one phenomenal child.
On Sunday, April 23rd, several Calliope authors, including Wright, Terence Hawkins, and Quraysh Ali Lansana, will attend the indie book fair hosted by Whitty Books, 2306 E. Admiral Blvd, from Noon-5pm. The authors will discuss their work with patrons and sign copies of their books.
LitFest will conclude on Sunday April 23rd with a special performance of The Weary Blues, a 1958 collaboration between Charles Mingus and Langston Hughes, at Fassler Hall, 304 S. Elgin Avenue, beginning at 7.30pm.
Hughes’ poetry will be performed by Calliope author Quraysh Ali Lansana, backed by some of Oklahoma’s best jazz musicians.
Quraysh Ali Lansana is the author of twenty books in poetry, nonfiction and children’s literature. His Calliope titles include Opal’s Greenwood Oasis, an INDIE Book Award finalist, and the skin of dreams: new and collected poems 1995-2018, a Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Medalist. Lansana is currently a Tulsa Artist Fellow, a Lecturer in English at the University of Tulsa, and a Lecturer in Africana Studies at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Lansana is Executive Producer of KOSU/NPR’s Focus: Black Oklahoma, monthly radio program which is the recipient of a 2022 duPont-Columbia Award, a 2022 NAACP Image Award, a 2022 Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists Award and was a Peabody Award nominee. Lansana is also the recipient of a 2022 Emmy Award, a 2022 Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Award and a 2022 National Educational Telecommunications Association Public Media Award for his roles as host and consultant for the OETA (PBS) documentary film “Tulsa Race Massacre: 100 Years Later.”
In addition to LitFest programming, Calliope Group author Terence Hawkins will be at two satellite events to celebrate the paperback release of his book, The Rage of Achilles.
On Thursday, April 20th, Hawkins will read and sign books at the Tulsa Press Club, 415 S. Boston, from 3pm-5pm; on Saturday, April 22nd, Hawkins will be at the Southroads Barnes and Noble, 5231 E. 41st Street, from Noon-4pm to sign copies of the book.
In The Rage of Achilles, Terence Hawkins re-imagines the Iliad as a novel and a Trojan War that really happened. Though he adopts Homer’s characters, those fabled warriors are no more noble than the scared, tired grunts they command, exhausted and bitter after ten years of brutal Bronze Age warfare.
This realism extends to the gods themselves. Informed by Julian Jaynes’ groundbreaking theory of the bicameral mind—the basis of HBO’s “Westworld”—The Rage of Achilles takes place in a world in which the modern human consciousness struggles painfully to be born. The gods are only the hallucinations of men and women desperate to be told what to do in a terrifying and confusing world.
“The ancient world feels new again in Terence Hawkins’ The Rage of Achilles, which . . . combines a raw, idiomatic retelling of the Iliad with a searching assay of human consciousness. Unique and invigorating,” writes Louis Bayard, author of The Pale Blue Eye, recently adapted as a Netflix movie starring Christian Bale.
Terence Hawkins was born and raised in Uniontown, PA, a former coal-mining hub and seat of Fayette County, scene of the original Night of the Living Dead and the setting for Philipp Meyer’s American Rust. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where he served as Publisher of the Yale Daily News, and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School. The founding Director of the Yale Writers’ Conference, Hawkins now manages the Company of Writers and lives in Connecticut. His other books include American Neolithic and Turing’s Graveyard, both Kirkus Year’s Best Books.
The Calliope Group is an award-winning indie publishing house in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their titles include children’s books, poetry, historical fiction, arts history, and more.