Storytelling Series: Franny Choi, Jamaal May, casey rocheteau

There is a unique dynamic between the written and spoken word. In reading aloud what is written down, in its horizontal and linear construction, in expressing verbally what the most basic form of communication is, the speaker becomes more than just a reader, but a Storyteller. Something magical happens when there is a release of words from the page utilizing our voice. In the age of media, of solitary observation of screens and the silent withdrawal of the individual to read, we forsake our common unifying bond, the communal splendor of a campfire. The hearth of human civilization revolves around the fundamental communal gathering and always is the Storyteller in the center.

With each Storytelling Series event, Book Suey will present a local writer/author to speak, to tell us a story, invite us to experience a piece of their world, their vision -- illuminating something we were unable to see before.

June 8th we have three writers: Franny Choi, Casey Rocheteau, and Jamaal May.

Franny Choi is the author of the collection Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has been a recipient of Poetry magazine's Frederick Bock Prize, as well as fellowships from Kundiman, VONA, and the Rhode island State Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Indiana Review, Drunken Boat, The Poetry Review, The Abolitionist, and elsewhere. As a Project VOICE teaching artist, she has taught students of all ages and levels of experience. Choi is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers Program and a member of the multidisciplinary artists of color collective Dark Noise. She is a co-host of the Poetry Foundation's podcast, VS.

Casey Rocheteau, a writer, an artist, and a historian, is the author of two collections of poetry: Knocked Up On Yes (2012) and The Dozen (2016). In the multi-genre works, Rocheteau draws on documentary and archival sources and frequently utilizes techniques such as collage to explore issues of race, gender, trauma, and mental illness. Their work has been published widely in journals and publications such as LitHub, The Offing, Barnes & Noble Review, among others. Rocheteau’s visual art has been exhibited at Cranbrook Art Museum and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.Rocheteau is a former writer-in-residence at InsideOut Literary Arts in Detroit and has been a fellow at the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. They won the inaugural Write a House permanent residency in 2014 and currently live in Detroit.

Jamaal May was born and raised in Detroit. His first book, Hum (2013), won a Beatrice Hawley Award and an American Library Association Notable Book Award and was an NAACP Image Award nominee. Hum explores machines, technology, obsolescence, and community; in an interview, May stated of his first book, "Ultimately, I'm trying to say something about dichotomy, the uneasy spaces between disparate emotions, and by extension, the uneasy spaces between human connection." May's poems have appeared widely in journals such as Poetry, New England Review, The Believer, and Best American Poetry 2014. His second collection is The Big Book of Exit Strategies (2016)

We will have more information here on our upcoming storytellers soon. So check back in!