Monday, April 27, 2009

On Obama's 100th day, black books rule!

If you're in or around NYC this Wednesday the 29th (our new Prez's 100th day in office), don't miss our panel on Black Writing in the Age of Obama at McNally Jackson books. It's a great store and a great line up: Martha Southgate hosting, James Hannaham, Emily Bernard and Stanley Crouch all offering up their thoughts. All have essays in the new anthology Best African-American Essays 2009 . Be there or be square!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Danzy Senna's Tour for Where Did You SLeep Last Night? A Personal History

Los Angeles
Sunday, April 26, 2009 @ 1:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Rolfe Hall 1200
With Jennifer Baszile and Lise Funderburg, moderated by Erin Aubry Kaplan. The panel is titled "Memoir: Bloodlines"

Thursday, June 04, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
Eso Won Books 4331 Degnan Blvd.

San Diego
Wednesday, April 29 @ 4:30 p.m.
UCSD Department of Literature
Vis Arts Performance Space
La Jolla, CA

Monday, May 18, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
Vroman's 695 E. Colorado Blvd.

West Hollywood
Tuesday, May 19, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
Book Soup 8818 Sunset Blvd.

Corte Madera
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 @ 1 p.m.
Book Passage 51 Tamal Vista Blvd.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 @ 6 p.m.
Boston Public Library 700 Boylston Street

New York
Wednesday, May 27, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
In conversation with Rebecca Walker. New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fifth Ave. and 42nd St.
***Tickets for this event can be purchased online:

Thursday, May 28, 2009 @ 7 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Upper West Side 2289 Broadway at 82nd St.
Los Angeles

Please click on the following site for more information about the book and for book tour updates.

Monday, April 20, 2009

And the big prizes keep on comin!

We must take a moment to congratulate playwright Lynn Nottage , author of the superb Ruined at the Manhattan Theatre Club (if you are anywhere near NYC, don't miss it!), and Annette Gordon-Reed (who we just congratulated a couple of days ago for her Guggenheim on their taking home 2009 Pulitzer Prizes! Well done, sisters, well done!

Beyond The Skin Trade

Check out writer Victor LaValle's essay in the latest issue of BookForum. It's a witty, slightly hilarious and oh-so-insightful answer to the probing question: Is black nationalism relevant in the age of Obama?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better late than never?

We'd like to (belatedly) congratulate 2009 Guggenheim Fellows Chris Abani, Jabari Asim, Annette Gordon-Reed and Terrance Hayes. Kudos to all--that's a tough one to get!

Tiphanie Yanique--remember that name

Here at Ringshout, we love to celebrate the successes of young black writers who've got the skills to pay the bills (well, literary fiction doesn't pay that many bills but that's not why we love it). Anyway, we're pleased to announce that Tiphanie Yanique has sold her short story collection How to Escape from A Leper Colony to Graywolf Press for publication in March 2010. That's a long time to wait--if you want to check out Tiphanie's work sooner than that, check out her prizewinning chapboook The Saving Work from Kore Press.

These days Graywolf (located in St. Paul MN) publishes some of the most interesting African-American writers out there, among them Jeffrey Renard Allen and Percival Everett. And they're a non-profit organization. Are non-profits and small presses where non-best selling, non-white literary fiction will be found in the future? We wonder. Your thoughts are welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Good Read

Check out OpeningChapters, a new website launched by writers David Haynes, Tonya Johnson and Rosalyn Story.

Their aim is high: to publish evocative sample chapters and long excerpts by black literary writers past and present. Each month, they'll feature one current, one classic and one "lost gem" of African American fiction. What's nice is that the site not only creates exposure for writers, but builds an impressive archive too. Gotta love that.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Felicia Pride's blog--check it out

Felicia Pride, black book blogger extraordinaire, has just begun a regular blog on The Root. This first piece, "If We Ruled The World" is a witty examination of where book publishing is and where we are in it (I'm quoted, I'll admit, but that's not why it's good) Her blog is gonna be a regular feature. Add it to your feed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

One For The Poets--and the Prosers

I know, I know, Ringshout is all about African-American fiction and nonfiction (see mission statement below). But our guiding light, our role model, an organization we absolutely love is Cave Canem (and executive director Alison Meyers is one of our founding circle and an absolutely amazing nonprofit exec, poet and all-round cool person) So if you're in NYC or know anyone who is, let them know about this event on Thursday. It's gonna be good. And if you're not on Cave Canem's mailing list, think about it. Good poetry is crucial--even to us prose writers.

Odds and Ends

A few new and notable books on the horizon: First up, E.Ethelbert Miller's new memoir The Fifth Inning--one of our finest poets considers his life thus far, using the grand old game a a metaphor. Then in late May, there's Percival Everett's latest I Am Not Sidney Poitier which is a faux memoir of a guy who looks a lot like the famed actor. Percival is one of our most prolific and thoughtful writers--this one is sure to be worth checking out. Also due in late May is James Hannaham's God Says No, which is a hilarious and heartfelt debut novel. Full disclosure: I (Martha Southgate) blurbed this book--but only because it's fabulous! Pre-order and enjoy when it's available. We hope to have James in this space soon.

On another note altogether: We'd like to hear from you MFA students out there--What do you like about your programs and what would you change? What do you say when your mostly white classmates just don't know what to say about your work? How do you (or can you in the future) help each other out? Let us know.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ernest J. Gaines wants to give you money

Hey, African-American novelists with a book published during 2008--the Ernest J. Gaines Foundation has a prize for you. Go here to find out details.