We hope you’re having a good and relaxing summer. We’ll post our upcoming programs soon, so watch for the following:
Writers Bloc co-sponsors this program with thanks to the Nazarian Center for Israel Studies at UCLA and UCLA’s Department of Comparative Literature. We invite you to participate in a wonderful cultural event featuring Arab Israeli author, satirist and television comedy writer Sayed Kashua, in conversation with UCLA Professor Arieh Saposnik.
We are now in the thick of campaign season. Whom do we trust to report all the news about primaries, campaigns and the mood swings of voters around the country? Only one journalist gives us the news, and the news behind the news, like Andy Borowitz. Perhaps one of the most important reporters on the election beat today, Andy distills the truth from the big story, and presents it to the American public in a way that the candidates can’t: truthfully.
If you are familiar with Russell Banks’ novels, then you are a fan. It is as simple as that. If you are not yet a Russell Banks reader, then come and hear him talk about his ideas. His novels change the way you look at the world. The fiction of Russell Banks is beautiful, lyrical, and addictive. His stories are based in social realism, and achieve what only the best art and literature can do—they make us better understand the world in which we live.
Writers Bloc is delighted to present Calvin Trillin with Kevin Nealon. We love Calvin Trillin for his very serious musings on food; for his rhyming poetry about presidential (and decidedly non-presidential) candidates and the news of the moment; for his fiction; for his beautiful and moving nonfiction books that bring broad and profound understanding to the reader about topics intimate and personal; and for his hilarious essays in The New Yorker, Time and The Nation.
Michael Moore is a lightning rod for controversy. His documentaries, which are among the highest grossing documentaries in box office history, are meant to provoke, to needle, and are all a call to action. With each documentary, Moore tackles a thorny issue, and proves his point by heeding a policy of taking no prisoners. He has exerted a profound influence on the shape that documentaries now take; his are entertaining, witty, and very powerful in the messages they drive home. A self-described populist through and through, Moore’s films exemplify his political activism. Consider for a moment his contributions to our national conversation on labor, when he released Roger And Me, his film about moving auto industry jobs from Flint, Michigan to Mexico. We have Michael Moore to thank for bringing the issue of child labor at our favorite apparel labels to our attention, with his film, The Big One. Bowling For Columbine, when released, earned the highest grosses in history for a documentary, and that film explored our country’s gun fixation. It also won an Academy Award® for Best Documentary. Bowling for Columbine’s massive popularity was only eclipsed by another Moore film, Fahrenheit 9/11, which attacked the relationship between the Bush family and the family of Osama Bin Laden. Moore’s evaluation of our country’s health care delivery, Sicko, was not without controversy, and we think that’s what Michael Moore wants—controversy does, after all, start the conversation. Sicko also garnered a Best Documentary Academy Award® nomination.