zen event

Zen and The Art of Writing in America

Story by: The Betsy - South Beach

An online arts series hosted by Miami Writer Pablo Cartaya featuring contemporary writers creating in a multicultural world. Presented with FIU Miami Beach Urban Studios

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Presenting: Pablo Cartaya

June 1, 2020

Pablo Cartaya is an award-winning author whose books have been reviewed by The New York Times, featured in The Washington Post, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal, and featured on many Best Books of the Year and state award lists. He is the author of the critically acclaimed middle-grade novels The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora (a 2018 Pura Belpre Honor Book) and Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish (currently in development as a feature film adaptation). His most recent novel, Each Tiny Spark, was honored with the 2020 Schneider Family Book Award for its portrayal of the disability experience and published by the Kokila Penguin Random House Imprint, which focuses on publishing diverse books for children and young adults. Pablo is proudly bilingual en español y ingles. 

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Presenting: Dr. Heather Russell

June 8, 2020

Heather Russell is Professor of Literature and Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE) at Florida International University, where she has taught since 2003. Her book, Legba’s Crossing: Narratology in The African Atlantic (2009) is part of a general body of scholarship on black modernity.  She is co-editor of a second book, a collection of essays on Barbadian singer Rihanna and has published in numerous journals on a wide array of subjects related to African American and Afro-Caribbean scholarly concerns. For the past twelve years she has worked with various state-based affiliates of the NEH, and with the National Humanities Center. She is currently working on a book titled Black and White TV: Independence, Popular Culture and Globalization in the Anglophone Caribbean (1962-1982), which examines the role of national broadcasting corporations in the nation-building projects of newly independent West Indian democracies.

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Presenting: Lilliam Rivera

June 15, 2020

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of children’s books. Her middle grade novel Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit (Little, Brown) and young adult novels Dealing in Dreams and The Education of Margot Sanchez (both by Simon & Schuster) are available now in bookstores everywhere. Lillliam's forthcoming young adult novel Never Look Book publishes September 1, 2020 by Bloomsbury. Her  work has also appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam lives in Los Angeles.

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Presenting: Celia Pérez

June 22, 2020

Celia C. Pérez’s debut novel, The First Rule of Punk, was a 2018 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book, a 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, and was named NPR's Best Books of 2017 among others. Her second book for young readers, Strange Birds, is an Association of Library Services to Children Notable Children's Book and was named to several best of the year lists including Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Books of 2019, and the Washington Post's Best Children's Books of 2019. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. She lives in Chicago with her family where she works as a community college librarian. She is originally from Miami, Florida.

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Presenting: Lee Herrick

June 29, 2020

Lee Herrick is the author of Scar and Flower and two other books of poems, Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire. He is co-editor of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (Orison Books, 2020). His poems appear widely in literary magazines, textbooks, and anthologies such as One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form; Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, with an introduction by Common; Here: Poems for the Planet, with an introduction by the Dalai Lama; California Fire and Water; and Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy, among others. Born in Daejeon, Korea and adopted to the United States at ten months, he served as Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. He lives in Fresno, California and teaches at Fresno City College and the MFA Program at Sierra Nevada University.

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Presenting: Brian Turner

July 6, 2020

Brian Turner is the author of two poetry collections, Phantom Noise and Here, Bullet (a New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection, awarded the 2006 Pen Center USA “Best in the West” Award, the 2007 Poets Prize, and others). His publications and appearances include National Geographic, Harper’s Magazine, Vulture, BBC, and NPR, among others. Turner is a Guggenheim Fellow, a United States Artists Fellow, an NEA Fellow, and a Lannan Foundation Fellow. His series THE KISS at Guernicais now published as an anthology (The Kiss, W.W. Norton, 2018). Turner’s memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country (W.W. Norton, 2014), has been called, “achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful.” He directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University and lives in Orlando, Florida.

hyam plutzik

Presenting: Hyam Plutzik - American Poet

July 13, 2020

Hyam Plutzik: American Poet by Oscar-nominated Christine Choy with appearances by Pulitzer prize winners Stanley Kunitz, Galway Kinnell & Donald Hall.

WATCH MOVIE

Hyam Plutzik (1911-1962) was a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and the father of Betsy owner Jonathan Plutzik, and grandfather of, Zachary Hyam Plutzik, The Betsy’s Managing Director. Hyam Plutzik's lines - 'Out of my life I fashioned a fistful of words. When I opened my hands they flew away', are the opening and closing lines imprinted on The Betsy's Poetry Rail that embrace the work of a dozen poets that shaped Miami culture and history.