At Skylight: Emily Jon Tobias presents MONARCH w/ Rooja Mohassessy

At Skylight: Emily Jon Tobias presents MONARCH w/ Rooja Mahessy

MONARCH: Stories subverts the reader's common perceptions about how love can heal, how loss and suffering can transform, and how every character deserves a second chance. America's city scars, sewers, alleyways, and bars are landscape to their wars, as characters heal and transform under wind turbines and on open roads, in golden cornfields and with the wails of Chicago blues. Heroes in this collection are the marginalized, the sufferers, the down-trodden, the misfits, the wanderers, and the wounded, shaped by grief but not defined by their scars. Honoring the human capacity for change, characters drive the collection, turning up the dial to raise the volume of voice for those who live on the fringe and are often ignored. In collection, MONARCH is an exploration of the human condition through a lens of damaged survivors as they learn to love through small acts of kindness, given and received. Characters bear traumas with their bodies, and often, they transgress. They break in, break down, and ultimately, break open.

An inclusive invitation, MONARCH aims at an intimate portrayal of scarred characters on American streets beating the drum of current culture against the fierce rhythm of critical social justice issues. With this at its heart, the collection Includes a reading guide written by the author with prompts intended to inspire discourse between readers, writers, and students, making the work of special interest to librarians, teachers, book clubs, and beyond.

Emily Jon Tobias is an award-winning writer whose work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, along with other honorable mentions, and has been featured in literary journals such as Santa Clara Review, Talking River Review, The Opiate Magazine, The Ocotillo Review, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Big Muddy, and elsewhere. Midwestern-raised, she now lives and writes on the coast of Southern California. She holds an MFA in Writing from Pacific University Oregon.

Rooja Mohassessy is an Iranian-born poet and educator. She is a MacDowell Fellow and an MFA graduate of Pacific University, Oregon. Her ekphrastic debut collection When Your Sky Runs Into Mine (Feb 2023) was the winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Award. Rooja has been featured on NPR, The Hive Poetry Collective, and other poetry podcasts and radio stations. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, RHINO Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, CALYX Journal, Ninth Letter, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, New Letters, The Rumpus, The Journal, Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. Her work is also anthologized in California Fire & Water, A Climate Crisis Anthology, and Colossus: Body, a compilation of writings by Californians writing on the themes of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. Rooja is an editorial assistant at the journal Prairie Schooner.

Event date: 
Friday, May 17, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Monarch: Stories By Emily Jon Tobias Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625570857
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Lawrence Press - May 17th, 2024