Literature Program

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Co-sponsored/co-presented by:
Talking Leaves Books

Mark Nowak

"'To Commit Suicide in Buffalo is Redundant': Music & Death in Zero City, 1982-1984"

Presented at:

featured in the forthcoming critical anthology Goth: Undead Subculture(edited by Lauren Goodlad & Michael Bibby, Duke University Press, 2007)

Plus special live music performance by the reunited Nullstadt!

Don Kinsman, vocals
David Kane, keyboards
Darren Burns, keyboards
Kent Weber, bass
Greg Gizzi, drums

Plus excerpts from early '80s vintage Nullstadt video!
Talking Leaves will have books for sale & signing by author.

Admission $10 (Refunded with purchase of Goth at event)

This event is a must-see for forty-something fans of Nullstadt, aging denizens of the pre-Chippewa Strip Continental, Goths not even born yet when Nullstadt was a local favorite at The Continental (let alone old enough to go there!), punks, post-punks, neo-punks, and anyone of any age interested in rock criticism, contemporary cultural anthropology, Marxism, organized labor, or the post-industrial history of Buffalo. (And if you don't fit any of those categories, what are you doing at Hallwalls' web site?)

As explained in Mark Nowak's essay in the new critical anthology of Goth culture—focusing on one band and one club in Buffalo in the early '80s—ÒZero CityÓ is both a literal translation of that band's name (null + stadt) and an epithet for post-industrial Buffalo. A Buffalo native and Canisius College alumnus (BA, English, 1988) with a MFA from Bowling Green (1990), Nowak is now an Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Dept. of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the College of St. Catherine in Minneapolis, where he has taught since 1999. His own book of poetry and essays, Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004), with an afterword by Amiri Baraka, was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, and Nowak has received several major grants from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations. One of his specialties (of both practice and study) is labor writing, and he has written several plays on labor subjects such as the 2006 Sago, WV mine disaster (Sago, 2007), post-NAFTA closings of U.S. plants (Redundancy, 2005), Ronald Reagan's firing and replacement of striking air traffic controllers in 1981 (Capitalization, 2004), and Francine Michalek Drives Bread (the story of a Teamsters organizer, 2003). Both Redundancy and Capitalization have been produced by Buffalo's own Subversive Theatre Collective (see May 1, above).