Worker Writers School 10th Anniversary Celebration & Book Release
Saturday May 01, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join Kenning Editions, Pen America, and Pilsen Community Books as we launch Coronavirus Haiku with the Worker Writers School and Mark Nowak. Sign up to attend here!
The Worker Writers School supports writers from one of New York City’s most ubiquitous yet least-heard populations: low-wage workers. Mark Nowak, a writer and founding director of the school, presents a selection of haiku written by “frontline workers” during the Covid 19 crisis. The poets included here had already been studying examples of the form and its connection to political resistance from seventeenth-century Japan to the Black Arts Movement of the twentieth century, as well as its capacity to amplify voices of everyday life. These “coronavirus haiku” convey moments of protest, solace, wonder, certainty, love, and strife. The writers in this anthology hail from the school’s worker center partners in New York City including Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Street Vendor Project, and Retail Action Project: Thomas Barzey, Kerl Brooks, Estabon Chimilio, Nimfa Despabiladeras, Lorraine Garnett, Davidson Garrett, Seth Goldman, Christine Lewis, Doreen McGill, Alando McIntyre, Kelebohile Nkhereanye, Alfreda Small, and Paloma Zapata.
The Education Trap: Cristina Groeger and Jon Shelton
Tuesday May 18, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us as we welcome Cristina Groeger and Jon Shelton for a discussion about Cristina's new book The Education Trap: Schools and the Remaking of Inequality in Boston.
For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.
The Education Trap returns to the first decades of the twentieth century, when Americans were grappling with the unprecedented inequities of the Gilded Age. Groeger’s test case is the city of Boston, which spent heavily on public schools. She examines how workplaces came to depend on an army of white-collar staff, largely women and second-generation immigrants, trained in secondary schools. But Groeger finds that the shift to more educated labor had negative consequences―both intended and unintended―for many workers. Employers supported training in schools in order to undermine the influence of craft unions, and so shift workplace power toward management. And advanced educational credentials became a means of controlling access to high-paying professional and business jobs, concentrating power and wealth. Formal education thus became a central force in maintaining inequality.
The idea that more education should be the primary means of reducing inequality may be appealing to politicians and voters, but Groeger warns that it may be a dangerous policy trap. If we want a more equitable society, we should not just prescribe more time in the classroom, but fight for justice in the workplace.
Cristina Viviana Groeger is Assistant Professor of History at Lake Forest College. Her research has been funded by the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation.
Jon Shelton teaches and does research on the past and present of working people, unions, jobs, and education in the United States. He is the author of Teacher Strike! Public Education and the Making of a New American Political Order (2017) and the forthcoming book The Rise and Fall of the Human Capital Myth.
Alex McElroy and Alex Higley celebrate THE ATMOSPHERIANS
Thursday May 20, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Join us as we welcome Alex McElroy and Alex Higley for a conversation about McElroy's THE ATMOSPHERIANS.
This event will be streamed via YouTube Live. Register for free for a link to view to be emailed to you the day of the event.
A “dazzling” (Bryan Washington, author of Lot) and brilliantly satirical debut novel for fans of Women Talking and Red Clocks about two best friends—a disgraced influencer and a struggling actor—who form The Atmosphere, a cult designed to reform problematic men.
Sasha Marcus was once the epitome of contemporary success: an internet sensation, social media darling, and a creator of a high profile wellness brand for women. But a confrontation with an abusive troll has taken a horrifying turn, and now she’s at rock bottom: canceled and doxxed online, fired from her waitress job and fortressed in her apartment while men’s rights protestors rage outside. All that once glittered now condemns.
Sasha confides in her oldest childhood friend, Dyson—a failed actor with a history of body issues—who hatches a plan for Sasha to restore her reputation by becoming the face of his new business venture, The Atmosphere: a rehabilitation community for men. Based in an abandoned summer camp and billed as a workshop for job training, it is actually a rigorous program designed to rid men of their toxic masculinity and heal them physically, emotionally, and socially. Sasha has little choice but to accept. But what horrors await her as the resident female leader of a crew of washed up, desperate men? And what exactly does Dyson want?
Explosive and wickedly funny, this “Fight Club for the millennial generation” (Mat Johnson, author of Pym) peers straight into the dark heart of wellness and woke-ness, self-mythology and self-awareness, by asking what happens when we become addicted to the performance of ourselves.
Alex McElroy (they/them) grew up as an only child in rural New Jersey, moved across the country to Oregon at nineteen years old, and now lives in Brooklyn. They received their MFA from Arizona State University and their PhD from the University of Houston. Their writing has been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. THE ATMOSPHERIANS is their first novel.
Alex Higley is the author of Cardinal (longlisted for the PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction) and Old Open. He lives in Illinois.
Club de lectura #4
Thursday May 27, 2021 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
El Club de Lectura se centra en literatura latinoamericana contemporánea. Cada dos meses, leeremos ficción de distintos países hispanoparlantes del continente. La charla será en español también. ¡Los esperamos!
En mayo, leeremos La perra, de Pilar Quintana. Charlaremos del libro por Zoom el día 27 de mayo a las 7PM. ¡Quedan todos invitados! Para suscribirte, envía un correo a email@example.com para pedir el link.
La perra es una novela sobre el amor de las madres, la traición, la lealtad, la culpa y la soledad de las relaciones humanas. En un pequeño pueblo del Pacífico donde confluyen la belleza y la violencia de la región y conviven, separados, la riqueza y la pobreza, los blancos y los negros, tiene lugar la historia de Damaris. Damaris, una negra del Pacífico ya en la madurez, lleva muchos años viviendo con Rogelio. Su turbulenta relación ha estado marcada por la búsqueda infructuosa de un hijo: prueban de todo, y aun así Damaris no consigue quedarse embarazada. Perdida toda esperanza, Damaris encuentra una nueva ilusión cuando se le presenta la oportunidad de adoptar una perra. Esta nueva e intensa relación con el animal será para Damaris la experiencia que la obligará a reflexionar sobre el instinto y la maternidad.