When? Thursday, October 12, 6:30-8:30
Where? BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO 80212, 303-284-0194
BookBar “is a bookshop for wine lovers. A wine bar for book shoppers. And a fabulous cafe, too”.
Selah Saterstrom’s creative work draws heavily from her life growing up in the Spiritual Church Movement in Natchez, Mississippi. As a university student, she studied Biblical hermeneutics and was influenced by writers such as Stephen Moore (Derrida & Foucault at the Foot of the Cross, God’s Gym). Her work addresses the tensions and consonances between postmodern hermeneutics and the spiritualist tradition in which she was raised. While divinatory tactics, such as tarot card reading, keep a fashionable place in New Age culture, Saterstrom’s work with divination comes from a lineage of root workers in the South and runs much deeper than a fad.
Saterstrom’s novels – The Pink Institution; The Meat and Spirit Plan; and Slab — make up a trilogy. Each novel is narrated from a young woman’s perspective, but all three are not the same person. One hears southern cadences in the language in a stark and “punchy” style that leaves a cognitive residue often after having made the reader laugh. In her forthcoming book of essays, Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics, Saterstrom blends belletristic pieces with her most direct theoretical and aesthetic conceptions o date in print.
The book is a nod to Henry Wood’s 1899 book of New Thought, Ideal Suggestion through Mental Photography, which William James cited multiple times in his classic, Varieties of Religious Experience. Her forthcoming book, Ideal Suggestions, is advertised: “By employing various “divinatory generators” (instructions, methods, trances), the essays in Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics genuflect to practices that celebrate engagement with uncertainty while cultivating strategies through which one might collaborate with both rupture and rapture.” Saterstrom teaches writing and hermeneutic at the University of Denver, and she has been director of its creative writing program.