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Local Author Q & A with Anne Elizabeth Moore & Adrian Shirk

We’re pleased to announce an intimate book reading and Q & A with two local authors, Anne Elizabeth Moore & Adrian Shirk. Both books are on the NPR Best Books List in 2021.

Heaven is a Place on Earth, by Adrian Shirk is an exploration of American ideas of utopia through the lens of one millennial’s quest to live a more communal life under late-stage capitalism.
Told in a series of essays that balance memoir with fieldwork, Heaven Is a Place on Earth is an idiosyncratic study of American utopian experiments—from the Shakers to the radical faerie communes of Short Mountain to the Bronx rebuilding movement—through the lens of one millennial’s quest to create a more communal life in a time of unending economic and social precarity.

Gentrifier, by Anne Elizabeth Moore, takes on the thorny ethics of owning and selling property as a white woman in a majority Black city and a majority Bangladeshi neighborhood with both intelligence and humor, this memoir brings a new perspective to a Detroit that finds itself perpetually on the brink of revitalization.
In 2016, a Detroit arts organization grants writer and artist Anne Elizabeth Moore a free house–a room of her own, à la Virginia Woolf–in Detroit’s majority-Bangladeshi “Banglatown.” Accompanied by her cats, Moore moves to the bungalow in her new city where she gardens, befriends the neighborhood youth, and grows to intimately understand civic collapse and community solidarity. When the troubled history of her prize house comes to light, Moore finds her life destabilized by the aftershocks of the housing crisis and governmental corruption.

Join us for an exciting evening where both authors will read portions of their book and engage in thoughtful conversation, as well as take questions from guests.

Anne Elizabeth Moore was born in Winner, SD, and lives in the Catskills with her ineffective feline personal assistant, Captain America.

Her 2021 title, Gentrifier: A Memoir, was an NPR Best Book. In 2019, her book on comics creator Julie Doucet, Sweet Little Cunt, won a Will Eisner Comics Industry Award. Her book Body Horror was nominated for a 2017 Lambda Literary Award and a Chicago Review of Books Award, was listed as a 100 Best Book Of All Time on the Political Economy by BookAuthority and named Best Book by the Chicago Public Library. The comics journalism collection Threadbare made the 2016 Tits & Sass list “Best Investigative Reporting on Sex Work.” Cambodian Grrrl received a 2012 Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Journalism. Unmarketable was named Best Book of 2007 by Mother Jones.

Moore’s essays “Reimagining the National Border Patrol Museum (and Gift Shop)” and “17 Theses on the Edge” received honorable mentions in Best American Non-Required Reading (2008 and 2010, respectively). “Three Days in Detroit,” an essay in the Baffler, was long-listed for Best American Essays 2018.

Moore is the former editor of award-winning Punk Planet, the founding editor of the Best American Comics, and is the former editor in chief of the Chicago Reader. She has exhibited work in the Whitney Biennial in New York; in Leipzig, Phnom Penh, Berlin, Tbilisi, Lisbon, and Vienna; and in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Moore has been honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Media Arts Award, a UN Press Fellowship, a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship, a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts, and two Fulbright Scholarships. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was a visiting artist at ArtCenter, and was the 2019 Mackey Chair at Beloit College.

Body Horror: Capitalism, Fear, Misogyny, Jokes, will be rereleased by Feminist Press in 2023.

Adrian Shirk is the author of HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH (Counterpoint, 2022), a personal odyssey of American utopian experiments, and AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY (Counterpoint, 2017), a hybrid-memoir exploring American women prophets and mystics, named an NPR ‘Best Book’ of 2017.

Shirk was raised in Portland, Oregon, and has since lived in New York and Wyoming. She’s a frequent contributor to Catapult, and her essays have appeared in The AtlanticLit Hub, and Atlas Obscura, among others.  She teaches in Pratt Institute’s BFA Creative Writing Program, and lives at The Mutual Aid Society in the Catskill mountains.


Jun 16 2022


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm