Charis Books and More Logo

Punch Me Up to the Gods: Brian Broome in conversation with Deesha Philyaw

Event date: 
Friday, May 21, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes Brian Broome in conversation with Deesha Philyaw for a celebration of Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir, a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here

Punch Me Up to the Gods introduces a powerful new talent in Brian Broome, whose early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys propel forward this gorgeous, aching, and unforgettable debut. Brian’s recounting of his experiences—in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory—reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit’s origin story. But it is Brian’s voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams.
 
Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks’s poem “We Real Cool,” the iconic and loving ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Broome’s writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, bringing an exquisite and fresh voice to ongoing cultural conversations about Blackness in America.

BRIAN BROOME is an award-winning writer, poet, and screenwriter, and K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing an MFA. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon  University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church. Deesha is also the co-author of Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce, written in collaboration with her ex-husband. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, dead housekeeping, Apogee Journal, Catapult, Harvard Review, ESPN’s The Undefeated, The Baltimore Review, TueNight, Ebony and Bitch magazines, and various anthologies. Deesha is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and a past Pushcart Prize nominee for essay writing in Full Grown People. 

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Decatur, GA 30030
Pre-Order Now Badge
Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir Cover Image
By Brian Broome, Yona Harvey (Introduction by)
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358439103
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - May 18th, 2021

A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction

Punch Me Up to the Gods obliterates what we thought were the limitations of not just the American memoir, but the possibilities of the American paragraph.


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Brian Broome in conversation with Deesha Philyaw for a celebration of Punch Me Up to the Gods: A Memoir, a poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction.