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Yxta Murray and Gregory Fraser – “Art Is Everything” and “Little Armageddon”
February 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Photo credit for Yxta Murray’s author photo: Andrew Brown
Yxta Murray and Gregory Fraser will discuss Art Is Everything and Little Armageddon.
Presented in partnership with the University of Chicago International House
Virtual event, link TBD
About Art Is Everything: In her funny, idiosyncratic, and propulsive new novel, Art Is Everything, Yxta Maya Murray offers us a portrait of a Chicana artist as a woman on the margins. L.A. native Amanda Ruiz is a successful performance artist who is madly in love with her girlfriend, a wealthy and pragmatic actuary named Xochitl. Everything seems under control. But then everything starts to fall apart when Xochitl’s biological clock begins beeping, Amanda’s father dies, and she endures a sexual assault. What happens to an artist when her emotional support vanishes along with her feelings of safety and her finances? Written as a series of web posts, Instagram essays, Snapchat freakouts, rejected Yelp reviews, Facebook screeds, and SmugMug streams-of-consciousness that merge volcanic confession with eagle-eyed art criticism, Art Is Everything shows us the painful but joyous development of a mid-career artist whose world implodes just as she has a breakthrough.
About Yxta Murray: Yxta Maya Murray is a novelist, art critic, playwright, and law professor. The author of nine books, her most recent are the story collection, The World Doesn’t Work That Way, but It Could (University of Nevada Press, 2020), and the novel, Art Is Everything (TriQuarterly Press, 2021). She has won a Whiting Award, an Art Writer’s Grant, and has been named a fellow at the Huntington Library for her work on radionuclide contamination in Simi Valley, California.
About Little Armageddon: It is our everyday explorations—the small explosions within life, family, and “ordinary” survival—that make up Gregory Fraser’s fourth collection of poetry, Little Armageddon. Fraser writes at eye level, detailing the experiences of fatherhood, love, and the quiet of daily life, poised at the brink of abrupt upheaval. These poems are an exercise in precision and reflection. Free verse and prose show readers the life within the landscape. These poems balance imagination and truth telling with rich verse that brings the reader’s ear closer to the quiet—and how intense it truly is.
About Gregory Fraser: Gregory Fraser is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Little Armageddon (Northwestern University Press). His poems have appeared in journals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Ploughshares. The recipient of grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, Fraser teaches at the University of West Georgia.