Our Work and Why We Do It is the Forbes Library’s new Writer in Residence reading series, which debuts on Wednesday October 17. This series is interested in exploring the ways in which the written word may create and sustain social worlds through inquiry, practice, experimentation, story and lyric. The dynamic of the public library, open and variegated in its uses, is the ideal space for these questions, as it can so directly reflect the desires of a community that contributes to it’s thriving, operating as an archive of those needs. Regardless of genre, this series believes in the potential for deliberation that writing may produce, a space within the information saturated world we share where we might consider possibilities and deeper questions just beyond what we know.
The series features writers of prose, poetry, nonfiction, and memoir, and beneath these broad categories, constellations of subgenres and forms. The series is motivated by an interest in understanding how writing relates to work, to a sense of a collective project that seeks to respond to the political and social forms that produce it. Against dithering, the series hopes to affirm the role of creative written work as a measure of response to the exigencies that shape our world.
Art Middleton is a writer, educator, and parent interested in exploring the experience of work, time, care, and community, themes that have shown up in his zines, fiction, prose, performance, and curation. His work has been published and performed in many independent presses and spaces, most recently a collaboration with poet Nicole Trigg in the zine Macaroni Necklace out of Oakland, CA. In 2011, he organized the Magic Child Repository, a gallery exhibit celebrating small press and handmade book culture in Providence, RI. Informed by his experience as a nursing/personal assistant, adjunct professor, and food service employee (a wide but not entirely tangential resume), his fiction draws from the mundane and the everyday to ask questions about how individuals orient themselves in history and place. He currently works as a writing instructor and English lecturer with a focus on utopian longing in politics and literature.
You can read a June 2018 Daily Hampshire Gazette article, “Forbes Library’s new Writer in Residence took a winding path back home,” about Art here.