Thursday, September 21, 2017

Oct. 10: Joe Polacco

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Orr Street Studios for a reading and slideshow presentation with memoirist Joe Polacco.


Joe Polacco is a native of the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. He holds a PhD from Duke University, with emphases in biochemistry, chemistry and genetics.  After two years as an assistant professor at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and eight months as a postdoctoral at Brookhaven National Laboratories, he entered the field of plant science, spending five years as a staff geneticist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station—the oldest in the U.S.  In 1979 he joined the Biochemistry Department of the University of Missouri, where he is professor emeritus.

Polacco was twice a senior Fulbright fellow. He has extensive international research and teaching experience in science, in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain.  He has published 68 peer-reviewed research articles as well as many reviews, opinion pieces and book chapters and has edited two major monographs.  In addition, he published bilingual poetry (Spanish and English) while at MU, where he is known as the “poet laureate of biochemistry,” producing both serious and humorous pieces.


Vina, A Brooklyn Memoir centers on author Joe Polacco's mother. Vina was brought up in a depression-era home, one of four children raised by an immigrant, hearing-impaired single mother in Brooklyn. Vina was a driven but extremely giving person. Though she spread light, she sought no recognition. She was a font of good humor and good deeds. She was a beacon to many, who lovingly remember her and who showed that love by contributing mightily to this memoir. The stories that emerge are both poignant and entertaining. Readers will be induced to smile, even laugh, during the re-telling of Vina’s stories.

Orr Street Studios is located at 106 Orr St. in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Join us the third Tuesday evening of each month during the academic year for literary readings and visual-arts presentations.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sept. 12: Gabe Fried Launch Party

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at Orr Street Studios for the first event of the 2017-18 Hearing Voices/Seeing Visions series. We'll celebrate the launch of Gabe Fried's new poetry collection, The Children Are Reading.

Gabriel Fried is the author of The Children Are Reading (Four Way Books, 2017) and Making the New Lamb Take (Sarabande, 2007), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize and named a top poetry collection of 2007 by Foreword Reviews and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is also the editor of an anthology, Heart of the Order: Baseball Poems, and longtime poetry editor of Persea Books. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri.


Gabriel Fried opens his most recent collection, The Children Are Reading, with these lines: “Where have the children gone this time? / There they are, behind the house, / standing in a cautious arc / around the flowers we warned them about.” The Children Are Reading inhabits childhood spaces, physical and imaginative, on either side of the emergence of adult awareness, desires, and anxieties—which isn’t to say desires and anxieties don’t exist on the childhood end of the spectrum. In many ways, those are more emphatic, less mitigated in the poems, unconstrained by the delusions and rationalizations of adulthood.

The poems are at once bounding toward, admiring of, and anxious about those childhood spaces, sliding back and forth along the continuum of childhood/adulthood on which fears of imaginative spaces crystallize and fluctuate. It would be inaccurate to think of adulthood as the place where wisdom pools in these poems, though it’s in adulthood that some of the fears are reconceived and articulated. Fried shows us that there are powers and wisdoms held in childhood that are lost in adulthood, even with its increased autonomy of one sort or another. 

School-Night out in a Venn Diagram  
from The Children Are Reading

We stand in the sliver
of shadows the circles
from streetlights make.
We are almost out
too far, in a space
barely safe and daring;
ensphered in night,
its creature comforts,
a darker shade of night
around it.

Orr Street Studios is located at 106 Orr St. in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Join us the third Tuesday evening of each month during the academic year for literary readings and visual-arts presentations.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 18: Jordi Alonso | Madeleine Le Mieux

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, for art with Madeleine LeMieux.


Madeleine Marie LeMieux is an artist and arts administrator. She earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and an MA in visual arts administration from New York University in 2011. In Chicago LeMieux owned and managed the OAO Galleria, cataloged a collection of 18th and 19th century works for a private athletics club, designed youth arts programs from scratch, and developed fundraising strategies for a Chicago community center. In New York she worked with No Longer Empty (NLE)Momenta ArtGroundswell, and Brooklyn Metal Works (BKMW) and served on New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs Non-Performing Arts Selection Panel. 

LeMieux founded and runs Resident Arts in Columbia’s North Village Arts District. She received the 2016 20 Under 40 award for outstanding young business people and was an Office of Cultural Affairs Traffic Box artist. She will pursue a second master’s degree in the the University of Missouri's MFA program in 2017. She has been exhibiting her artwork nationally since 2004.

Founded by Madeleine LeMieux in 2014, Resident Arts pilots and runs programming to help young, emerging, and professional artists build careers in Mid-Missouri. Programs provide mentoring and art-making opportunities for teens; an emerging artist residency that aids artists in the creation of a large-scale work or body of small works; and a professional development workshop series to help artists solve practical business problems

Orr Street Studios is located at 106 Orr St. in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Join us the third Tuesday evening of each month during the academic year for literary readings and visual-arts presentations.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Feb. 21: Anand Prahlad and the Cornelius Eady Trio

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, for a special edition of Hearing Voices/Seeing Visions at Orr Street Studios. Writer and musician Anand Prahlad will read from his memoir. Writer and musician Cornelius Eady will perform with his trio.


In 1954 a black boy is born on a plantation in rural Virginia. He inhabits a liminal inner world where sensory experiences blur together and memory is fluid. For the first four years of his life, he doesn't speak. Then he finds his voice. Slowly entering the outside world, he evolves into an artist and educator whose extraordinary literary and musical gifts emerge through unspoken neurological challenges. Anand Prahlad’s distinctly American journey takes readers from school desegregation in the South, to New Age enclaves in the West, to higher education in the Midwest, deepening our understanding of autism, race and gender along the way.

The Secret Life of a Black Aspie is the winner of the 2016 Permafrost Prize for Nonfiction.


Poet, folklorist and musician Anand Prahlad is professor of English and director of creative writing at the University of Missouri. He is the author of the books poetry As Good as Mango and Hear My Story and Other Poems and the academic books African American Proverbs in Context and Reggae Wisdom: Proverbs in Jamaican Music as well as editor of the 2005 three-volume and the 2016 one-volume editions of the Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Folklore.

Prahlad's teaching awards including the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the University of Missouri Faculty-Alumni Award.


National Book Award winner and Pulitzer prize nominated poet Cornelius Eady has set his poetry to song with the Cornelius Eady Trio. Eady's songs tell the story of passing time, the black American experience and the blues in the style of Folk & Americana music. Guitarists Charlie Rauh & Lisa Liu join Eady to create layered and graceful arrangements to bolster Eady's adept craftsmanship as a songwriter, lyricist and poet. The Cornelius Eady Trio's debut album, "Field Recordings," was released by Kattywompus Press on vinyl in February 2017.


Poet Cornelius Eady was born in 1954 and raised in Rochester, New York. He is the author of Hardheaded Weather (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008); Brutal Imagination (2001), which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award in Poetry; the autobiography of a jukebox (1997); You Don’t Miss Your Water (1995); The Gathering of My Name (1991), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; BOOM BOOM BOOM (1988); Victims of the Latest Dance Craze (1985), which was chosen for the 1985 Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets; and Kartunes (1980).

In 1996, Eady and the poet Toi Derricote founded Cave Canem, a nonprofit organization serving black poets and acting as a safe space for intellectual engagement and critical debate. In 2016, they accepted the National Book Foundation’s Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. Eady has collaborated with jazz composer Deidre Murray in the production of several works of musical theater, including You Don’t Miss Your Water; Running Man, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1999; Fangs, and Brutal Imagination, which received Newsday‘s Oppenheimer Award in 2002. Eady's honors include the Prairie Schooner Strousse Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He currently holds the Miller Chair in Poetry at the University of Missouri.

Orr Street Studios is located at 106 Orr St. in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Join us the third Tuesday evening of each month during the academic year for literary readings and visual-arts presentations.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jan. 17: Simon Tatum and Josh Crow

Join us at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, for art talks with Simon Tatum and Josh Crow.

"In Sacred Memory" by Simon Tatum
Simon Tatum was born in 1995 in George Town, Grand Cayman. Tatum currently lives and studies in Columbia, Missouri, and was the 2014 recipient of the Cayman Islands Visual Arts and Design Scholarship from Deutsche Bank and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. He has shown a solo exhibition within the University of Missouri titled Discover and Rediscover. He has also been a part of numerous group exhibitions that include, Open Air Prisons: Las Antillias Para Los Antillianos at the LACE Gallery in Los Angeles, California, and the Caribbean Linked IV Exhibition in Oranjestad, Aruba.
"Looking Glass" by Simon Tatum

Tatum was honored in 2016 with an international artist grant from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) and with the Richard M Henessy Scholarship Award. He also has works in permanent collections throughout the U.S. and Caribbean region that include the Atelier 89 Gallery and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. Tatum is currently working on a new series of charcoal prints and mixed media sculptures for his next solo exhibition, Looking Back and Thinking Ahead. This exhibition will be held at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands in May 2017.


"Devon After Rain" by Josh Crow

"Ascension" by Josh Crow
A native of central Missouri, Josh Crow works mostly in oil and watercolor, painting people, places and things that resonate with him. A large part of the significance of the paintings is how they are painted. The subject matter can vary greatly, but the accuracy and energy of the brushwork and drawing are a major part of the content or the reason to do the paintings. Much of the work Crow shows is oil on canvas and panels.

The content usually involves a mundane view of life seen in a odd perspective or a slightly odd happening in a normal place. Once such theme is deer wandering into buildings or other such places they should not be. Within these ideas Crow plays with his love of color and light. Crow's work is currently on exhibit in the gallery space at Orr Street Studios.