Wednesday, 10 April @ 2pm ET | Craft Talks webinar on "Using research to explore, expand, and revise your work."

While we often think of research as something you complete before we start the “real” writing, or a damaging distraction (rabbit holes, anyone?) research is a powerful tool at every stage of the writing process–from idea to final draft. During this seminar, discover how to deepen something already drafted, develop a few facts into a strong narrative, and what it means to revise at the sentence level with tweezer-like word choice “with intention.” 

For more than 20 years, journalist and author Maggie Messitt has been asking of her favorite books and stories: How is this made? Where did they get that? How could I get that? Her early approach to studying the art and craft of narrative nonfiction led her to understand how writers across genres can harness the power of research as a tool of exploration, expansion, and revision. 

Tuesday, May 21 @ 7pm ET | The Inner Loop (520 Florida Ave, NW, Washington DC)

An amazing monthly reading in the District. One of the best reading series I've experienced in years. May's reading includes fiction by Rabih Alameddine, Joel Goldberg; poetry by Brandon Blue, Amanda Shaw, and rumi ryan; and nonfiction by Maggie Messitt and Ashlen Renner. 

Wednesday, 26 June @ 7pm ET | Politics and Prose (610 Water Street SW, Washington DC) | Launch event with the Black Press Archive's Bandon Nightingale

Messitt will be in conversation with Brandon Nightingale, the Black Press Archive’s Senior Project Manager at Howard University where a team of students and staff are working to digitize and preserve a collection of more than 2,000 newspaper titles (currently in print and microfilm) from the U.S., Africa, and the African Diaspora — from the legendary Chicago Defender and Amsterdam News to the Los Angeles Sentinel and Washington Afro-American, as well as critical records of Black publishers, editors and journalists. Nightingale was previously assistant archivist at Bethune-Cookman University and a public history contractor with the National Parks Service and the University of South Carolina.

Friday, 9 September 2024 @ 12pm ET | Brown Bag Lit in conversation with Robert Lunday, author of Disequilibria: Meditations on Missingness.

Disequilibria: Meditations on Missingness is a hybrid memoir that recounts the 1982 disappearance of the author’s stepfather, James Edward Lewis, a pilot and Vietnam veteran. Recounting his family’s experiences in searching for answers, Lunday interrogates the broader cultural and conceptual responses to the phenomenon of missingness by connecting his stepfather’s case to other true-life disappearances as well as those portrayed in fiction, poetry, and film. In doing so Disequilibria explores the transience in modern life, considering the military-dependent experience, the corrosive effects of war, and the struggle to find closure and comfort as time goes by without answers.

Robert Lunday received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1980, and later completed graduate degrees at the University of Houston (MA 1985, Ph.D. 2002). He has been a two-time fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center (1986-87, 1988-89), a St. Albans School Writer in Residence in Washington, D.C. (1987-88), and a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University (1989-91). In 2002 he was awarded a Brazos Bookstore/Academy of American Poets Prize and a Barthelme/Inprint Award for Nonfiction Writing. His first book, Mad Flights, a finalist for the Texas Institute of Letters First-Book Award, was published in 2002 by Ashland Poetry Press. His second book, Gnome, was the first volume published by Black Sun Lit in 2017, and was named one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2017” by Entropy magazine. While has taught English at Houston Community College for 22 years, and owned a horse farm with his wife, Yukiko Lunday.

Wednesday, 16 October, 2024 @ 12pm ET | The Chicago Center on Democracy Luncheon Lecture with Block Club Chicago's Manny Ramos

Messitt will be in conversation with Manny Ramos, a West Side native and reporter on Block Club Chicago's investigative team, The Watch. Manny was most recently a Solutions and Accountability reporter at the Illinois Answers Project. Before that, he spent four years at the Sun-Times, covering the South and West Sides and transportation. He’s also a former City Bureau fellow. While working at the Sun-Times, Manny revealed Englewood was relentlessly targeted for demolitions a decade after the foreclosure crisis, dismantling the neighborhood’s fabric; investigated the failures of Lightfoot’s Grounds For Peace program; and blew the lid off of Chicago’s secretive street racing culture.