THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20TH *AT BESTSLOPE COFFEE*
Open Reading | 7pm
Join us for an open reading at Bestslope Coffee Company!
Bring something to read… a couple poems, a short story, a monologue, the newspaper, etc!
Don’t be shy, no one will be listening anyway!
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5TH
Lithic Book Club Discussion: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde| 2pm
ABOUT SISTER OUTSIDER — Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essays and speeches by Audre Lorde, poet and feminist writer. The book is considered a classic volume of Lorde’s most influential works of non-fiction prose and has been groundbreaking and formative in the development of contemporary feminist theories. In fifteen essays and speeches dating from 1976 to 1984, Lorde explores the complexities of intersectional identity, drawing from her personal experiences with oppression, including sexism, heterosexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and ageism. The book examines a broad range of topics, including love, war, imperialism, police brutality, coalition building, violence against women, Black feminism, and movements towards equality. Lorde’s distrust for and internalization of the widespread system of dominant values within the United States is apparent throughout the collection. The work is considered controversial as Lorde expresses unapologetic anger at the injustices of society. The essays in this collection are extensively taught and have become a popular subject of academic analysis. Lorde’s theorizing of oppressions as complex and interlocking within the collection are considered a significant contribution to critical social theory.
ABOUT AUDRE LORDE — Audre Lorde was an American writer, intersectional feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. As a poet, she is best known for technical mastery and emotional expression, as well as her poems that express anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observed throughout her life. Her poems and prose largely deal with issues related to civil rights, feminism, and the exploration of black female identity.
In relation to non-intersectional feminism in the United States, Lorde famously said, “those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference – those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18TH
Quinten Collier & Kyle Harvey (poetry) | 7pm
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH
Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country | 7pm
ABOUT DEEP CREEK: FINDING HOPE IN THE HIGH COUNTRY — In its chapters, Houston spends her days walking along the fences on her property, watching leaves on the aspens ignite into an eruption of fall colors, and caring for the animals on her ranch: the horses, sheep, chickens, Irish wolfhounds, and a pair of miniature donkeys with outsized attitudes. Houston’s audacity and generosity are on full display as she cares for an elk calf abandoned by its herd and sleeps outside to comfort her old hound. Deep Creek raises concern about the many ways we endanger the natural world’s delicate balance, and nature’s enigmatic powers to survive and to save. It’s also a chronicle of recovery.
Houston’s childhood was marked by her parents’ alcoholism and abuse—harrowing experiences, which with Houston’s deft hand are imparted in a way that’s both straightforward and deeply affecting. More shocking than her surviving multiple car wrecks at the hands of her intoxicated parents are her strength of spirit and openness of heart, qualities that illuminate every page. It’s no wonder that despite the seclusion of her ranch, Houston is never without friends, from writers like Antonya Nelson and Robert Boswell, to practical strangers who have her back in every situation. There are the locals who come to her aid when she’s snowed in, the woman who shelters her as a child from her volatile parents, a surgeon who performs an astonishing operation on her pulverized arm, a wise neighbor who tactfully keeps the ranch from being bought out from under her, and firefighters who risk their lives to try and keep a massive wildfire from destroying her ranch.
The “Diary of a Fire” section is a gripping account of the West Fork Complex wildfire and the efforts to try and contain its growing intensity. The burning traveled all the way to Houston’s backyard, which, by nothing short of a miracle, was saved by a valiant stand of aspen trees that kept it at bay. The fire scorched the mountains around her home, transforming her landscape, though not destroying it. Taking stock of the damage, Houston notices fireweed, baby aspen, woodpeckers, and the exquisite green of new grass shoots coming up through all the char.
Encompassing Houston’s childhood, her adventures, and her details of everyday life at the ranch, Deep Creek is, above all, a testament. In holding on to her ranch, Houston carved a life to support her spirit and her talents, and discovered that she could be the cowboy of her own story. “I know,” she explains, “that when I claimed these 120 acres they also claimed me. We are each other’s mutual saviors.”
ABOUT PAM HOUSTON — Pam Houston is the author of the novels Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, the short story collections Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and A Little More About Me, a collection of essays. Her stories have been selected for volumes such as The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The 2013 Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Literary Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and multiple teaching awards. She cofounded the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, is a professor of English at UC–Davis, and teaches in the Institute of American Indian Arts’ low-residency MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world.
Lithic Bookstore & Gallery
138 S. Park Square #202
Fruita, CO 81521