The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Home / Events / 2018 / Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel Read at Valley Bar
Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel Read at Valley Bar
Monday, April 30, 2018 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Valley Bar, 130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Poets Diana Arterian and Douglas Manuel read from their latest works--Playing Monster :: Seiche and Testify--on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Valley Bar (130 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) at 6:30 p.m.

This event is open to the public and free. Seating is first-come, first-serve (with room to stand). While RSVPs are encouraged, registrations are purely for the purpose of monitoring attendance; you do not need to register to attend this event.

Please note this event is 21+. Valley Bar is located on the South side of Monroe St. in the alley between 1st Ave and Central Ave. As parking in Downtown Phoenix can be difficult, we recommend taking the light-rail. More information regarding the venue and directions will be sent through the event portal and posted on facebook closer to the event.

About the Book: 

Playing Monster :: Seiche was the Editrix's Pick for the 1913 Press Prize for First Books in 2016. This is a book-length poem weaving many threads, but predominantly childhood experiences with an abusive father and, as an adult, increasingly aggressive acts made toward the speaker's mother by strange men. Playing Monster :: Seiche is a piece of noir poetics. It is memoir. It is documentary.

A book of elegiac ambivalence, Testify’s speaker often finds himself trapped between received binaries: black and white, ghetto and suburban, atheism and Catholicism. In many ways, this work is a Bildungsroman detailing the maturation of a black man raised in the crack-laden 1980s, with hip-hop, jazz, and blues as its soundtrack. Rendered with keen attention to the economic decline of the Midwest due to the departure of the automotive industry, this book portrays the speaker wrestling with his city’s demise, family relationships, interracial love, and notions of black masculinity. Never letting anyone, including the speaker, off the hook, Testify refuses sentimentality and didacticism and dwells in a space of uncertainty, where meaning and identity are messy, complicated, and multivalent.