Author Events

Christi Furnas - Crazy Like a Fox

Left Bank Books presents Christi Furnas, queer cartoonist, illustrator, oil painter, and disability rights advocate. Join us as we celebrate her debut graphic memoir Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia. Amy Kurzweil, author of Artificial: A Love Story calls it "A work of blunt brilliance."

Furnas will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on May 6th.

Furnas will be in conversation with celebrated St. Louis memoirist Gabe Montesanti.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP as space is limited

 

 

About the Speakers

Christi Furnas is a queer cartoonist, illustrator, oil painter, and disability rights advocate. She has exhibited in galleries across Minnesota and in New York City. Christi's career includes over ten years of arts administration, teaching art workshops, and numerous speaking engagements. With a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant Christi created the mini-comic, Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia, which she has since developed into a full-length graphic novel. The comic's protagonist, Fox Foxerson currently has an advice column in Dispatch, a Twin Cities publication covering arts and culture. Christi lives with her partner in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is her debut graphic novel.

Gabe Montesanti is the author of Brace for Impact: A Memoir (Penguin Random House, 2022), which chronicles her time skating for Arch Rival Roller Derby. Gabe earned her Bachelors in mathematics and studio art at Kalamazoo College and her MFA at Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been published in places like Huff Post, LA Times, Lit Hub, Creative Nonfiction Magazine, Electric Literature, and Brevity. She has been granted artist residencies from Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City and Storyknife in Homer, Alaska. In 2023, she captured the inaugural title of Mx Pride St. Louis and is at work on a second memoir about her time performing drag. 

 

About Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia

This autobiographically-inspired graphic novel explores mental health and schizophrenia in a surprising and emotionally honest story with a fantastical cast of animal characters.

Fox Foxerson's got a new roommate. Fox Foxerson's got a new job. Fox Foxerson's got a date. The roommate is only a little strange, sometimes. The job seems to involve . . . filing? It's not very clear. The date seems to be more interested in someone else. Fox would rather be making art.

As the oppressive weight of the everyday routine beats down on Fox, nothing is going right. And it doesn't seem like anyone can help -- not Fox's roommate, not Fox's friends, and definitely not the nurses and doctors at the hospital, who don't seem to take notice of anything Fox tries to tell them. Fox needs some time and space to figure things out. This quirky, humorous graphic novel tinged with pathos, immerses readers in the constant question: are you okay? Fox is not okay, but Fox is working on it.

 

"A work of blunt brilliance. With disarming humor and irresistible charm, Fox Foxerson calls everything exactly what it is. I highly recommend this funny and loving book." -- Amy Kurzweil, author of Artificial: A Love Story

"Energetic, surprising, and often funny, the simple line drawings belie the complexity of one person's fascinating quest for healing. An important addition to the field of graphic medicine." --Elizabeth Trembley, author of Look Again: A Memoir

"A cast of creatively chosen animal avatars carries us through this story while effectively critiquing the sometimes arbitrary and confusing mental health treatment establishment." --MK Czerwiec, author of Taking Turns

Monday, May 6, 2024 - 7:00pm

Jess Bowers and Travis Mossotti - Horse Show & Apocryphal Genesis

Left Bank Books presents Jess Bowers and Travis Mossotti to celebrate both of their new books!

Jess Bowers is an award-winning and highly-acclaimed short fiction author and Associate Professor of English at Maryville University. Join us as we celebrate her debut collection Horse Show!

Travis Mossotti is an award winning poet and serves as a Biodiversity Fellow in the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University. Join us to celebrate the release of his collection Apocryphal Genesis!

Bowers and Mossotti will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on May 2nd.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP as space is limited

 

 

About the Authors

Jess Bowers lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she works as an Associate Professor of English at Maryville University. But she’s originally from York, Pennsylvania, which was the first capital of the United States (so they claim) and hometown of the 90s rock band Live (that one’s true).

Her short fiction has appeared in The Portland Reviewcream city review, RedividerStoryQuarterlyThe Indiana ReviewZone 3Oyez Review, and other journals. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net Award, and other honors. She won Laurel Review‘s Midwest Short Fiction Prize and the Winter Anthology Prize.

She’s also a co-editor for Cartridge Lit, an online journal publishing literature about video games, which she’s loved since she first played Fishing Derby on her Atari 2600.

Bowers holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Goucher College, an M.A. in the same from Hollins University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri, where she studied fiction writing, film, and 19th-century literature and visual culture.

In her free time, she thinks about the hungry ghosts of silent Hollywood while riding her little yellow pony through the woods. She also watches far too much T.V.

 

Travis Mossotti's previous collections are About the Dead, Field Study, Narcissus Americana, and Racecar Jesus. He's been the recipient of the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, the May Swenson Book Award, the Christopher Smart - Joan Alice Poetry Prize, the Alma Book Award, and others. Mossotti currently serves as a Biodiversity Fellow in the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University. He lives and works in St. Louis.

 

About Horse Show

From the tale of Lady, the mare who read a Duke University psychologist's mind, to television palomino Mr. Ed's hypnotic hold over Wilbur Post, the thirteen tales in Horse Show explore how humans have used, abused, and spectacularized their equine companions throughout American history. Wrestling with themes of obsolescence, grief, and nostalgia, Bowers guides us through her museum of equine esoterica with arresting imagery, unflinching intensity, and dark humor.

 

"If Steven Millhauser wrote a book about horses, he might have written something a little bit like Jess Bowers' fascinating short story collection Horse Show. It's meticulous, lovely, strange, and both utterly engrossing and also completely not what I'd expected when I opened up a book of horse stories." -Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You (Stories and Other Revenges)

"In Horse Show, Jess Bowers trains her curious and compassionate eyes on the complicated relationships between human and horse, moving from devotion to brutality and back again with grace and assurance. Merging wit, empathy, and vibrant language, Bowers brings her equine and human characters to life, all the while exploring the historical intersections of show business, film and photography, modernization, and the myths of the American West. These stories are precise and surprising, carrying the power of both tragedy and wonder." - Joanna Luloff, author of Remind Me Again What Happened and The Beach At Galle Road

"If Flannery O'Connor had written about horses, one might imagine it would read like Horse Show...a learning experience in both equine involvement in show business--from the early days of circus performance to modern Hollywood movies--and in the tragic realities that lay beneath the seemingly benign label of 'show horse'" -Sharon Emmerichs, author of Shield Maiden

 

About Apocryphal Genesis

Apocryphal Genesis comes as a reminder of how deeply personal an impersonal world can often feel. The failed promises of the previous centuries are mere preamble to the predicaments of the current one. Humanity's contentment to entertain the illusion of control over the world around us is also the source of our collective discontent. In Mossotti's poems, dark humor underpins every turn. His wit cuts through the bang and blab of what passes for polite discourse, and his visions are jarring and delightful in equal measure. His poems cinematically zoom from the exceedingly distant vantages of " telescopes scraping deeper into the womb / of the universe" to the microscopic " space between the whirl of electrons." While the ghost of Apollinaire guides the reader through these haunting poems, it's the poet himself who's on display more often than not (like a moth pinned inside a glass case), naked and unadorned. Apocryphal Genesis is a book that's mature enough to be unimpressed with the trappings of maturity. It's the first glance the poet's after, subtle movement of stirrings under the leaf litter, and page after page, Mossotti transforms the cosmically divine into something indelible.

Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 7:00pm

Julia Gordon-Bramer - The Occult Sylvia Plath

Left Bank Books presents Julia Gordon-Bramer, a Sylvia Plath scholar, professional Tarot card reader, award-winning writer and poet, and former professor for the Graduate Writing Program at Lindenwood University. Join us as we celebrate the release of The Occult Sylvia Plath: The Hidden Spiritual Life of the Visionary Poet. Based on more than 15 years of research, including analysis of Plath's unpublished personal writings, we are going to explore the world of the supernatural and the occult through Plath's words.

Gordon-Bramer will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on May 7th.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP as space is limited

 

 

About the Speaker

Julia Gordon-Bramer is a professional Tarot card reader, award-winning writer and poet, Sylvia Plath scholar, and former professor for the Graduate Writing Program at Lindenwood University. She has appeared on MTV, Nickelodeon, and many television and radio shows to share her Tarot talents and scholarship. Recognized as one of St. Louis' Top Ten Psychics (Psychic St. Louis) and St. Louis' Best Fortune-Teller (CBS Radio), she is the author of several books, including Fixed Stars Govern a Life: Decoding Sylvia Plath. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

About The Occult Sylvia Plath: The Hidden Spiritual Life of the Visionary Poet

Explores Sylvia Plath's enduring interest and active practice in mysticism and the occult from childhood until her tragic death in 1963

- Decodes the alchemical, Qabalistic, hermetic, spiritual, and Tarot-related references in many of Plath's poems

- Based on more than 15 years of research, including analysis of Plath's unpublished personal writings from the Plath archives at Indiana University

- Examines the influences of Plath's parents, her early interests in Hermeticism, and her and husband Ted Hughes's explorations in the supernatural and the occult

Sharing her more than 15 years of compelling research--including analysis of Sylvia Plath's unpublished calendars, notebooks, scrapbooks, book annotations, and underlinings, as well as published memoirs, biographies, letters, journals, and interviews with Plath and her husband, friends, and family--Plath scholar Julia Gordon-Bramer reveals Sylvia Plath's enduring interest and active practice in mysticism and the occult from childhood until her tragic death in 1963. She examines Plath's early years growing up in a transcendentalist Unitarian church under a brilliant, if stern, Freemason father and a mother who wrote her master's dissertation on the famous alchemist Paracelsus. She reveals Plath's early knowledge of Hermeticism, how she devoured books on the occult throughout her life, and how, since adolescence, Plath regularly wrote of premonitory dreams. Examining Plath's tumultuous marriage with poet Ted Hughes, she looks at their explorations in the supernatural and Hughes's mentoring of Plath in meditation, crystal-gazing, astrology, Qabalah, Tarot, automatic writing, magical workings, and use of the Ouija board. She also reveals how, at the end of her marriage, Plath used her husband's hair and fingernails in rituals.

Looking at Plath's writing and her evolution as a person through mystical, political, personal, and historical lenses, Gordon-Bramer shows how her poems take on radically new, surprising, and universal meanings--explaining why Hughes perpetually denied that Plath was "a confessional poet." Contrasting the versions in Letters Home with those held in the Plath archives at Indiana University, the author also shows how all occult influences have been rigorously excised from the letters approved for publication by the Plath and Hughes Estate.

Revealing significant, previously undiscovered meanings in Sylvia Plath's works, much broader than the narrow lens of her tragic autobiography, the author shows how Plath's writings are deeply rooted in her mystical and occult endeavors.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 6:00pm

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