Author’s Showcase 2018-11-16T19:53:51+00:00

Author’s Showcase

Friday, November 2, 2018

5:30pm Public Lecture


Rolf Quam

Department of Anthropology
Binghamton University

Dr. Rolf Quam is a paleoanthropologist who studies the fossil remains of our closest evolutionary cousins the Neandertals. He has participated in field excavations at the Pleistocene archaeological sites of Atapuerca in northern Spain for the past 23 years and has authored numerous scientific publications. He teaches courses on human evolution at Binghamton University.

Public Lecture: New Perspectives on Ice Age Art
The earliest appearance of visual imagery or graphic representations in the archaeological record are found during the Upper Pleistocene time period on the African and European continents. Whether the capacity to produce art is limited to our own species, Homo sapiens, or was also present in some of our evolutionary relatives, like the Neandertals, is an open question. This public lecture considers some of the latest discoveries of Ice Age art and discusses the current thinking surrounding the origins of symbolism and its possible link with language and culture in our evolutionary past.

Venus of Laussel (France, 25,000 years ago, Gravettian Culture)

Horse Figurine from Vogelherd (Germany, 30,000 years ago, Aurignacian Culture)

Bison Figurine from Vogelherd (Germany, 30,000 years ago, Aurignacian Culture)

*This Lecture Has Been Postponed Until Further Notice*

Saturday, November 17, 2018

1:00pm Public Lecture

Motherhood as Muse, two poets from the North Country on mothering, mentoring and muses

Elizabeth Cohen

Associate Professor of English
Plattsburgh State University

Elizabeth Cohen is a professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh and the editor of Saranac Review. She is the author of eight books including the Family on Beartown Road, The Hypothetical Girl and 5 books of poetry.

How to prepare for the end of the world except by trying to feed the world? In The Patron Saint of Cauliflower, Elizabeth Cohen gives us poems that nourish the starving soul, recipes and spells and odes in praise of what sustains us, even against the gravest odds: food and love and the imagination, itself. She turns her passion for the physical world –– plant, animal and human –– into magic, metaphor and music here. The children of Aleppo are eating grass, but they have also trained themselves, in her reckoning, “to hear the sound of sunshine/on broken glass.”––Cecilia Woloch, author of Earth andTzigan

Elizabeth Cohen just became one of my favorite contemporary poets. These poems are fusions of poetic craft and canny wisdom. I’d say “cunning,” but there is nothing elusive about the poems: they come straight at you. The speaker is so real that you sense how language can reckon with the present. These poems won’t leave you lonely. On the contrary, you’ll feel sustained and inspired long after the poet has thrown down the mic. I don’t think we’ve had a poet since Roethke who can draw so effortlessly on her poetic palette, or one since Rilke whose ink feels so alive on the page. I am grateful to be able to hold in my hands a work of unsinkable wisdom, spirit, humor and love. In Whitman’s words, “All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.”––Jerry Mirskin, author of Crepuscular Non-Drivewayand,Picture a Gate Hanging Open and Let that Gate be the Sun

Before there was LITERATURE, lyric poems were charms, spells to make love happen, curse, alter weather, protect children, heal, provide safe passage into other worlds. The poems in this collection are potions conveying an old magic, spells that Elizabeth Cohen casts that conjure beauty in its detail and oddness, in its tragic and joyful embodiments.What are the secret ingredients these poems contain? Something beyond technical skill, but including it. Something the reader discovers inside.––Stuart Bartow, author of Questions for the Sphinxand Einstein’s Lawn

Fair warning, dear reader, dear reader with food cravings, with recipes and no one to cook them or cook for but your own flawed self, with heartbreakingly busy appetites, with a love for the grains and strains of this world so fierce you’re ready to eat these poems. Fair warning. Elizabeth Cohen’s cabbages and figs, cauliflower and cakes, starvation and salt, will fill your mouth and stir your soul. These poems will trip on your tongue as you eat them out loud. They’ll stick to your heart like love, like the tremendous love that went into crafting them, like the love that concocted us all.––Janet Kaplan, author of Dreamlife of a Philanthropistand Ecotones, forthcoming in 2019 from Eyewear Ltd!

In elegant, candid, raffish poems (about food but also about everything) Elizabeth Cohen again shows us how poems can be loci for ardent life. Her unmistakable voice is confiding and intimate–and her extraordinary charm is to seem offhand and yet, with invisible art, to have made every line true.––April Bernard, author of Blackbird, Bye Bye

The Patron Saint of Cauliflower (Book Jacket)

Chelsey Van Der Munnik

Published Poet

Chelsey lives and works on the Canadian/New York border with her daughter. While attending SUNY Plattsburgh, she worked as an intern and reader for Saranac Review. Her poetry has been published in BROAD!, Poetry Super Highway, Right Hand Pointing, & The Write Launch. Her chapbook, Balloon Animal, was published by Finishing Line Press in July 2018.

Praise for Balloon Animal:
“Here is the razor sharp voice of the terrified pregnant teenager in America.
A voice nobody wants to acknowledge. A voice that is not supposed to be. These are poems that have snuck out from the dark side of the moon belly of a young girl to find the enormous love of motherhood. A poetry from a silenced corner, a hidden world. The courageous and unbridled words that do not shy away from terror, alienation, & guilt. Read these poems at your own risk. They will change the way you look at pregnancy forever.”

Ballon Animal (Book Jacket)

Saturday, January 26, 2019

1:00pm Public Lecture

Unity of Heaven and Humanity: The Philosophy of Ancient Chinese Arts

Joey Tsai

School of Management
Binghamton University

Dr. Joey Tsai is an Assistant Professor of Management at Binghamton University’s School of Management. He has a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Management. Before his academic career, he worked for a consulting firm in Asia for three years when he traveled extensively for work and visited many historical and culturally rich cities in Asia including Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Myanmar), Tibet, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo. Tsai’s interest in ancient Asian arts grew from these trips, and he began to collect arts and artifacts that resonate with him. Tsai’s professional training in leadership and human cognition, as well as his passion in history and arts, allow him to appreciate ancient Asian aesthetics, understand the Chinese philosophies embodied in these artworks and apply the wisdom (such as Feng Shui) to everyday life.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

1:00pm Book talk/Reading/Signing

Dr. Elizabeth Tucker

“Legend Tripping: A Contemporary Legend Casebook”
U of Colorado/Utah State University Press, 2018

Legend Tripping: A Contemporary Legend Casebook explores the practice of legend tripping, wherein individuals or groups travel to a site where a legend is thought to have taken place. Legend tripping is a common informal practice depicted in epics, stories, novels, and film throughout both contemporary and historical vernacular culture. In this collection, contributors show how legend trips can express humanity’s interest in the frontier between life and death and the fascination with the possibility of personal contact with the supernatural or spiritual.

The volume presents both insightful research and useful pedagogy, making this an invaluable resource in the classroom. Selected major articles on legend tripping, with introductory sections written by the editors, are followed by discussion questions and projects designed to inspire readers to engage critically with legend traditions and customs of legend tripping and to explore possible meanings and symbolics at work. Suggested projects incorporate digital technology as it appears both in legends and in modes of legend tripping.

Legend Tripping is appropriate for students, general readers, and folklorists alike. It is the first volume in the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research series, a set of casebooks providing thorough and up-to-date studies that showcase a variety of scholarly approaches to contemporary legends, along with variants of legend texts, discussion questions, and projects for students.

Contributors: S. Elizabeth Bird, Bill Ellis, Carl Lindahl, Patricia M. Meley, Tim Prizer

*Free and open to the public

February 21, 2019

5:00pm – 8:00pm Film Showing

Everett De Morier

Binghamton born humorist, author, and novelist

Everett De Morier became a professional writer in 1994, when he sold a copy of his son’s ultrasound picture along with an article entitled “My Wife Is Having the Reincarnation of Elvis” to the Weekly World News. For this, he received fifty dollars and a Bat Boy T-shirt.

De Morier has appeared on CNN, Fox News Network, NPR, and ABC, as well as in The New York Times and the London Times. He has also written for In-Fisherman, Florida Keys, Bride, and Parenting.

De Morier is the author of Crib Notes for the First Year of Marriage: A Survival Guide for Newlyweds and Crib Notes for the First Year of Fatherhood: A Survival Guide for New Fathers, both from Fairview Press.
For more information about Everett check out his website.

When his latest book, The Invention of Everything
Insights on Life, Food, and One Good Thermos, was complete, the publisher scheduled a pre-release tour in Binghamton due to the strong ties of the book to the area.

In wanting to connect Binghamton with these events, interviews were set up with local artists as background for the videographer traveling with them. But it was soon discovered that by using these book events as a framing device, you could capture great material about the lives of those who live and create in the area. People embraced the concept and the scope expanded.

And what started out needing only a single camera, migrated to full film and sound crews and the project took on an identity of its own. A documentary about the art scene in Binghamton.

On February 21st, Everett De Morier will read and sign his new book The Invention of Everything: Insights on Life, Food, and One Good Thermos. Then the documentary Binghamton: The Valley of Creativity, will premiere and be seen for the very first time.

Immediately after, the film will go live online and will be made free to the public.

March 11th, 2019


Chris Mackowski

Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Emerging Civil War. He is the series editor of the award-winning Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie, and the “Engaging the Civil War” Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press. Chris is a writing professor in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, where he also serves as associate dean for undergraduate programs. Chris is also historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died. Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Chris serves on the board of directors for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust and the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Grant’s Last Battle
The Story Behind The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant Facing financial ruin and struggling against terminal throat cancer, Ulysses S. Grant fought his last battle to preserve the meaning of the American Civil War. His war of words, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant, would cement his place as not only one of America’s greatest heroes but also as one of its most sublime literary voices.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

1:00pm Public Lecture

Take Another Deep Breath: image, word, sound, and response

Carol Mikoda

Professor of Secondary Education SUNY Oneonta
teaches writing and new teachers in upstate New York

Because “so much depends/upon/a red wheel/barrow,” or a yellow leaf, or a flotilla of clouds, it is important that we meet sometimes to look at striking natural images, listen to spoken word, and share our thoughts. At this interactive event on March 23, 2019, starting at 1 pm, Carol Mikoda will bring images and poems and ask you to share your thoughts about poetic and digital imagery. No particular skill level is required; the results may be therapeutic.