The Messenger is the Message: Voicecraft and the Personal Essay with Gregory Pardlo
Date(s): Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30 p.m
Location: Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
Type(s): Craft Talk, Q&A, Talk
Genre and Form(s): Creative Nonfiction, Essays, Fiction, Memoir, Mixed Genre, Poetry
About this Event
One of the tragic consequences of being confined to a single body is that we will never know what other people experience when they meet us for the first time. We can’t know how someone will register the slight change in the atmosphere that our presence causes when we enter a room. We will never know what another person feels while keeping us company. Memoirist choose to make themselves, someone they can never objectively grasp or fully represent on the page, the primary subject of most of their writing. But there are ways to cultivate a kind of out-of-body-relationship to the self that does get on the page. Voice is the messenger we send to greet the reader. We can craft voice the way one might craft a social media presence. Voice can conjure an entire world in a few phrases, images or references. The question is how do we want to be represented on the page?
Join Pulitzer prize-winning author Gregory Pardlo for his talk, "The Messenger is the Message: Voicecraft and the Personal Essay" on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the Tempe Center for the Arts (700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281) at 6:30 p.m.
While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.
About the Book
The long-awaited extraordinary memoir and a blistering meditation on fatherhood, class, education, race, addiction, and ambition from beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo.
Gregory Sr. is a charismatic air traffic controller at Newark International Airport, leading labor organizer and a father to two sons, bookish Greg Jr. and musical-talent Robbie. But, when “Big Greg” loses his job after the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Strike of 1981, he becomes a disillusioned presence in the household and a disconcerting model for young Greg’s ambitions. As Big Greg succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family's money on ostentatious whims, Greg Jr. rebels. He hustles off to boot camp at Parris Island, falls in love with a woman he follows to Denmark, drops in and out of college, and takes a job as a bar manager-cum-barfly at the family’s jazz club.
Rich and lyrical, Air Traffic follows Gregory Pardlo as he learns to be a poet, father, and teacher, as he enters recovery and hosts an intervention for his brother on national television. Throughout, Pardlo grapples with the irresistible yet ruinous legacy of masculinity he inherited from his father. This is his deeply-felt ode to Greg Sr., to fatherhood, and to the frustrating-yet-redemptive ties of family, as well as a scrupulous, searing examination of how manhood is shaped in contemporary American life. (Knopf)