Carleton presents “Conversations about Unspeakable Things”

October 8, 2018

Carleton invites the public to “Conversations about Unspeakable Things,” a collaboration with the Veterans’ Voices project of the Minnesota Humanities Center.

  • Friday, Oct. 12, visiting artist Ehren Tool will discuss his project, “The Cups of War,” from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Applebaum Recital Hall in the Weitz Center for Creativity. A community dinner follows from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Weitz Center Mar-G Common Room. Then, from 8 to 9 p.m. back in the Applebaum Recital Hall, visiting poet J.A. Moad II will read from “Outside Paducah, The Wars at Home.”
  • Saturday, Oct. 13, Ehren Tool with host a hands-on ceramics workshop from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Boliou Hall Room 46. Lunch follows from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Boliou Gallery. Then, local veteran writers Ember Johnson and Emily Oliver will read from and share their work from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Boliou Gallery.

Ehren Tool is a ceramic artist and senior laboratory mechanician in the ceramics department at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Marine veteran of the 1991 Gulf War. “The Cups of War” features uniquely crafted cups decorated with ceramic decals of soldiers’ photos, propaganda, and sculptural reliefs shaped like medals and bombs. The cups are Tool’s weapon of choice for talking about war. He explains, “I am compelled to make work that talks about the strange places where military and civilian cultures collude and collide. My intention when I make and share my work is to make and share MY work. I have made and given away more than 18,000 cups since 2001. I believe the cup is the appropriate scale to talk about war. The cups go into the world hand-to-hand, one story at a time."

J.A. “Jay” Moad II is a playwright, pilot, performer, and veteran from Northfield. He will perform Act III of his play, “Outside Paducah, The Wars at Home” and discuss the significance of war writing and the importance of sharing the stories of veterans through the Veterans' Voices initiative. His New York debut was recently nominated for Outstanding Solo Performance at the New York Innovative Theater (NYIT) Awards.

Ember Johnson lives and writes in Center City, Minnesota. She was a winner of the 2013-14 Loft Mentor Series in nonfiction and her work has appeared in Georgetown Review and Fourth Genre. She completed her BA in creative writing from Metropolitan State University in 2016 and is now pursuing her MFA degree from the University of Minnesota.

Emily Oliver is a poet living in Minneapolis. Her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, OmniVerse, Water~Stone, DIAGRAM and elsewhere. She has been awarded a Sicca Grant, the Corson-Browning Poetry Prize, and a Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant. Her manuscript, "Sound Circuit," was a finalist for the 2017 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize at Persea Books. Oliver works in the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Carleton College.

“Conversations about Unspeakable Things” takes place Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13. Events are free but limited to 60 people. Tickets are required; you may reserve tickets for each day’s events via the Public Works website.

This series is sponsored by the Minnesota Humanities Center; Public Works: Arts and Humanities Connecting Communities, a Mellon Foundation funded initiative at Carleton College; and the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Fund. The Weitz Center for Creativity is located at Third and College Streets in Northfield. Boliou Hall is located on the Carleton College campus and is accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4341.