Paisley Rekdal & Matthew Salesses Live Reading and ConversationMonday, February 22, 2021 @ 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
Streamed on City of Asylum’s Virtual Channel. (Run-time 90 min)
Appropriate, A Provocation — Utah’s poet laureate Paisley Rekdal’s newest book is a timely, nuanced work dissecting the thorny debate around cultural appropriation and the literary imagination. Paisley Rekdal will be joined in conversation by bestselling author Matthew Salesses for a live discussion and audience Q&A.
How do we properly define cultural appropriation, and is it always wrong? If we can write in the voice of another, should we? And if so, what questions do we need to consider first? In Appropriate, creative writing professor Paisley Rekdal addresses a young writer to delineate how the idea of cultural appropriation has evolved—and perhaps calcified—in our political climate. What follows is a penetrating exploration of fluctuating literary power and authorial privilege, about whiteness and what we really mean by the term empathy, that examines writers from William Styron to Peter Ho Davies to Jeanine Cummins. Lucid, reflective, and astute, Appropriate presents a generous new framework for one of the most controversial subjects in contemporary literature.
“Anyone who wishes to understand appropriation, and not just react to it, should read this book. Paisley Rekdal brings years of teaching, writing, and critical thinking to this subject, with literary analyses, historical and theoretical frameworks, and practical advice. Appropriate is a book of immense wisdom and clarity, sure to become required reading for writers everywhere.” –Beth Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
Paisley Rekdal is the author of ten books of poetry and nonfiction. A former recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, she is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Utah and is the state’s poet laureate. She lives in Salt Lake City.
Matthew Salesses is an Assistant Professor of English at Coe College, where he teaches fiction writing and Asian American literature and studies. He earned a Ph. D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Emerson College. Salesses is the bestselling author of The Hundred-Year Flood, and 2021’s craft book, Craft in the Real World, which explores alternative models of craft and the writing workshop, especially for marginalized writers.