Mahyar A. Amouzegar and Allison Pitinii Davis in Conversation

Our Small Press Author Reading Series is rolling out slowly this year, but it’s rolling. For 2022, we are recording these readings, so that you might watch and study them at your leisure. In each one, you’ll enjoy a wonderful excerpt or two from each author’s newest book, learn a little about the craft of storytelling — no matter the genre, and consider the human experience through the eyes of poets, short story authors, novelists, and memoirists.

The son of a bookkeeper, MAHYAR A. AMOUZEGAR grew up in his home country of Iran surrounded by literature. Every night his father returned from his job at the publishing house with a new book in hand, filling Amouzegar’s childhood home with a panoply of works from established and up-and-coming writers. Then at age fourteen, Amouzegar left Tehran to live with his older sisters in California. The year was 1978. Delayed by the political unrest that would soon lead to the Iranian Revolution, his parents were unable to follow him to the United States for over five years. A hemisphere away from his mother and father, Amouzegar came of age in San Francisco. Entering adulthood, he found himself balancing a promising career as a national security analyst with his boyhood love of literature. His latest novel is The Hubris of an Empty Hand (University of New Orleans Press, 2021).

ALLISON PITINII DAVIS is the author of Line Study of a Motel Clerk (Baobab Press, 2017), a finalist for the Jewish Book Council’s Berru Award for Poetry and the Ohioana Book Award, and Poppy Seeds (Kent State University Press, 2013), winner of the Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day series, The New Republic, and elsewhere. Her work engages with the Rust Belt Jewish diaspora, labor and family businesses, and experimentation. Her research examines the implications of reading Objectivist poet Charles Reznikoff in interminority frameworks.

Stay tuned for our next Small Press Author Reading with ATHENA DIXON (The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Split/Lip Press, 2020) and LESLIE T. GROVER (The Benefits of Eating White Folks, Jaded Ibis Press, forthcoming in April 2022), celebrating Women’s History Month in March 2022.

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