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Past Event November 10, 2023 – November 11, 2023
The Letters Festival 2023
Presented by lostintheletters
The Letters Festival believes in the power of independent literature and is committed to increasing its role in Atlanta’s rich artistic culture. The Letters Festival is a program of Lostintheletters, an Atlanta-based literary organization which also hosts an award-winning reading series. The festival offers workshops, conversations, and live performance featuring some of the country’s most riveting independent authors.
The Letters Festival will happen over the course of two days at Atlanta Contemporary. The full schedule is as follows:
Thursday, November 9 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Whitespace
Reading & Conversation with Anya Lifting
- Film Screening—7:30 - 7:45 pm
- Live Reading—7:45 - 8:00 pm
- Conversation with Stephanie Dowda DeMer—8:00 - 8:30 pm
Friday, November 10 | 7:00 - 9:00 pm
- Monic Ductan—7:30 - 7:45 pm
- Felicia Zamora—7:45 - 8:00 pm
- E. Hughes—8:00 - 8:15 pm
- Justin Torres—8:15 - 8:30pm
Saturday, November 11 | 11:00am - 8:00pm
Workshops—11:00 am - 3:30 pm
- Finding the Heartbeat: A Workshop in Voice with Anya Liftig — 11:00am-1:00pm
- In this generative memoir workshop, we will play with concepts of voice. Through close reading of short passages, we will examine how “voice” is developed in memoir. We will also look at voice in non-human forms, exploring the inner emotional state of objects and places.
- This workshop is for writers, artists and makers of any type who are looking to approach their work from new perspectives. Whether you are working on a long project, starting something new, or just thinking about starting, you will find something to help your creative journey.
- Overheard: Methods of Sound with Courtney Faye Taylor —1:30 - 3:30 pm
- Sound is a vital unit of storytelling. Writers mold sonic textures, rhyme, tone, and even silence to convey truth and open universes of understanding. In this workshop, we will examine how sound appears in our everyday world and study artists who use sound to shape narrative. With these examples as a guide, we will generate new writing that asks us to manipulate, complicate, and reinvent our use of sound in writing.
Live Readings—6:00 - 8:00 pm
- Babak Lakghomi—6:30 - 6:45 pm
- Claire Donato—6:45 - 7:00 pm
- Courtney Faye Taylor—7:15 - 7:30 pm
- Marium Khalid—7:45 - 8:00 pm
The Letters Festival will also feature a merch table, bartender, and food. The beverages and are paid by card-only.
Parking is always free at Atlanta Contemporary! Please park in the Carriage Works lot at the intersection of Bankhead Ave and Means St.
Lostintheletters is an Atlanta-based creative writing organization. Founded in 2012, they host a reading series, craft workshops, and the annual Letters Festival.
Justin Torres’s debut novel We the Animals won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, was translated into fifteen languages, and was adapted into a feature film. He was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Tin House, and The Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles and is an associate professor of English at UCLA. His new novel is Blackouts (FSG, October).
Felicia Zamora is the author of six poetry collections including I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2022 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry. She’s received fellowships and residencies from CantoMundo, Ragdale Foundation, and Tin House. She won the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review and the 2020 C.P. Cavafy Prize from Poetry International. Her poems appear in Best American Poetry 2022, Boston Review, Guernica, Orion, The Nation, Poetry Magazine, and others. She is an associate professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and associate poetry editor for Colorado Review.
Anya Liftig is a performance artist and writer. Her works have been exhibited at TATE Modern, MOMA, Queens Museum, Movement Research, Performer Stammtisch Berlin, Performance Space London, and many other venues around the world. As a dancer and actress. Liftig’s work has been published and written about in the New York Times Magazine, BOMB, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Italia, PAJ, New York, Theater Magazine and others. Her experimental film and video work has been screened in festivals globally. She is a graduate of Yale University and Georgia State University, where she earned her MFA in studio art. She is a Connecticut Council for the Arts Emerging Arts Fellow, a Franklin Furnace Awardee, and a MacDowell and Yaddo fellow. Her first book, a memoir entitled, Holler Rat, was released by Abrams this August.
Courtney Faye Taylor is a writer, visual artist, and the author of Concentrate (Graywolf Press, 2022), selected by Rachel Eliza Griffiths as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Concentrate is also the winner of the T.S. Eliot Four Quartets Prize from the Poetry Society of America and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Awards, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and the Heartland Booksellers Award. The collection has been featured in Essence Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and named among the “Best Poetry of the Last Year” by Ms. Magazine. Courtney lives in Decatur, Georgia where she is working on her second book.
Babak Lakghomi is the author of South (Dundurn Press, 2023) and Floating Notes (Tyrant Books, 2018). His writing has appeared or forthcoming in American Short Fiction, Electric Literature, NOON, Fence, and The Adroit Journal, among other places, and has been translated into Italian and Farsi. Babak was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and writes in Toronto.
Marium Khalid is a Kashmiri-Pakistani writer and director. Founder and Artistic Director of Sky Creature Production and Saiah Arts Int, Marium has been developing film, performance installations, site specific sensory and immersive experiences in Atlanta, for over a decade. Her work has led her companies to receive over 20 major awards. Some of those include “Best Director and Best Show” Rua Wulf (2012), Moby Dick (2013) and Terminus (2014).” Her short film Mazloom (2021) received multiple awards including BEST DIRECTOR and BEST SHORT DRAMA. Most recently Marium directed STRAIGHT OUT THE MUD - Ruby Velle, which was featured by Rolling Stone Magazine. Marium aims to create work that explores each experience through sense memory, ultimately igniting empathy and momentum.
E. Hughes is the author of the poetry collection Ankle-Deep in Pacific Water forthcoming from Haymarket Books. They received their MFA in poetry and MA in English Literature from the Litowitz Creative Writing Program at Northwestern University. Their poems have been published or are forthcoming in Guernica Magazine, Poet Lore, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast Magazine, and The Rumpus—among others. They are a Cave Canem fellow and have been a finalist for the 2021 Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize, longlisted for the 2021 Granum Fellowship Prize, and a semifinalist of the 2022 and 2023 92Y Discovery Contest. Currently, Hughes is a second-year PhD student in Philosophy at Emory University.
Claire Donato is the author of three books, most recently Kind Mirrors, Ugly Ghosts (Archway Editions, 2023). Her work has been included in numerous anthologies, and recent writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Fence, The Chicago Review, Forever, BOMB, The Elephants, DIAGRAM, and GoldFlakePaint. She also contributed an introduction to The One on Earth: Selected Works of Mark Baumer (Fence Books). Currently, she works as Acting Chairperson of Writing at Pratt Institute, where she received the 2020-2021 Distinguished Teacher Award. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Woebegone.
Monic Ductan is a Georgia native and a graduate of Georgia State University. She teaches at Tennessee Tech University. Monic’s book, a collection of stories called Daughters of Muscadine, focuses on working-class Black women, estrangement, and family life in rural Georgia. Monic’s writing has appeared in Shenandoah, Oxford American, Southeast Review, South Carolina Review, Appalachian Review, storySouth and several other journals. Her essay “Fantasy Worlds” was listed as notable in Best American Essays (2019). She is at work on a novel about a Gullah girl uncovering police corruption in a small, Southern town.
LocationGallery 4, Lobby
December 14 / 6:30pm
Sam Gilliam Collector Panel
Join us for a conversation on Sam Gilliam and collecting with the collectors featured in the Sam Gilliam exhibition.
December 16 / 12:00pm
3rd Annual Holiday Market
Atlanta Contemporary presents 27 local artists and craftspeople who create temporary storefronts in our museum galleries.
December 17 / 12:00pm
A free and interactive family-friendly program, Contemporary Kids introduces children to contemporary art and artists through approachable media and hands-on activities.