News and Events

See all News and Events

A Reading by Robert Olen Butler
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author reads from his most recent novel, Perfume River
Monday, March 13, 2017
2:30 pm EDT/GMT-4
Campus Center, Weis Cinema
 [A Reading by Robert Olen Butler] On Monday, March 13, at 2:30 p.m. in Weis Cinema, Robert Olen Butler reads from his new novel, Perfume River, the sequel to his Pulitzer Prize–winning fiction collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. Sponsored by the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series, introduced by Bradford Morrow, and followed by a Q&A, this event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.

Butler is the author of sixteen novels, including Mr. Spaceman and Hell, and six fiction collections, including Tabloid Dreams. His stories have appeared widely in such periodicals as Conjunctions, The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, The Paris Review, VQR, and Granta; as well as in four annual editions of The Best American Short Stories, eight annual editions of New Stories from the South, and elsewhere.
 
PRAISE FOR PERFUME RIVER
 
“What I so like about Perfume River is its plainly-put elegance. Enough time has passed since Viet Nam that its grave human lessons and heartbreaks can be—with a measure of genius—almost simply stated. Butler’s novel is a model for this heartbreaking simplicity and grace.” —Richard Ford

“Butler’s Faulknerian shuttling back and forth across the decades has less to do with literary pyrotechnics than with cutting to the chase. Perfume River hits its marks with a high-stakes intensity. Butler’s prose is fluid, and his handling of his many time-shifts as lucid as it is urgent. His descriptive gifts don’t extend just to his characters’ traits or their Florida and New Orleans settings, but to the history he’s addressing.”—New York Times Book Review

“A deeply meditative reflection on aging and love, as seen through the prism of one family quietly torn asunder by the lingering effects of the Vietnam War. This is thoughtful, introspective fiction of the highest caliber, but it carries a definite edge, thanks to an insistent backbeat that generates suspense with the subtlest of brushstrokes.” —Booklist (starred review)

Any supporter who donates $500 or more to Bard’s literary journal Conjunctions receives a BackPage Pass providing VIP access to any Spring/Fall 2017 or future event in the Innovative Contemporary Fiction Reading Series. Have lunch with a visiting author, attend a seminar on their work, and receive premium seating at their reading. Or you can give your BackPage Pass to a lover of literature on your gift list! To find out more, click here or contact Micaela Morrissette at [email protected] or (845) 758-7054.

Contact: Micaela Morrissette, [email protected], 845-758-7054

Connect

e-mail
Submissions

In Print

Vol. 79
Onword
Fall 2022
Edited by Bradford Morrow

Online

November 23, 2022
I SAW ALL THE STRANGENESS IMMEDIATELY,

I saw it in this very particular slide of swell’s,
the sylphspun silk of the sylph, she sideways,
her garage is paradise in masque, her sweep
is saturn, szturn im sturm & string, install’d
in the area’s traverse. he follows that lucky
old sun, the gesture of her lining and loose
knot, and pulls herself through burns and a
dry wash and some soft lead. in discorporate
minerals, or in the sharing of the black sleek
sharing with the wild man in her soft shoes,
all over the panes of the various sworld and
out into the superhighway of bywater, hard
by marigny. to flow through one to another
indetermination, the posture of their brush
must be immaculate fray, all them, all they.
November 16, 2022
Day Book

One wants to grasp a latch.
The broken star, the cellophane.
One suffers if untethered from
the pain that brought a lock.
Across the way the husband tends his teeth.
The wife redresses, parted from her paper.
To emblemize, to separate the word
grief reaches. Grief reaches, unseduced.
November 9, 2022
He had thought for a while of having his ashes placed on a ship propelled out to sea while being set aflame with burning arrows—in his dotage, my father grew obsessed with Norse myth—but in today’s regulatory environment, bringing him here was the closest feasible compromise. “The best moment is when Fenris the giant wolf appears,” he’d told me on Zoom, his voice trembling only slightly. “It draws everyone’s attention, so nobody will be watching you. Do you remember how you used to cry when we got to the wolf?” This sounds more like something Ulf would do, although Ulf doesn’t remember coming here either. Most likely it was a lost intention of my father’s. He might have spent a day talking to strangers in a bar about planning a trip here, an imagined bout of quality time so vivid it became real for him in retrospect. Towards the end, the winter and the lockdown getting to him, my father was drinking forty ounces of vodka a day. I may not have been his favorite son, but I was the one who agreed to scatter his ashes here once, and if, the park reopened after COVID. Ulf would never violate theme park rules.
advertisement