Black Punk Now Author Talk & Music @924 Gilman

Black Punk Now book cover, 924 Gilman logo, and author portraits
December 9, 2023 - 2:00pm-5:00pm (ended)

Join us for a very special Library event as we celebrate the release of BLACK PUNK NOW, an anthology co-edited by punk rock authors James Spooner and  Chris L. Terry. Contributors to the collection include critic Hanif Abdurraqib and cartoonist Raeghan Buchanan, conversations with Brontez Purnell, and a roundtable of all femme festival organizers. Spooner's contribution includes a comic, as well as all the interior illustrations. Cover photo by Ed Marshall

PLUS! Enjoy a live musical performace by beloved (and local <3) artist, Brontez Purnell, after the author talk and book signing. 

James and Chris will have copies of BLACK PUNK NOW, for sale and signing at this event.

NOTE: this event is happening at the Alternative Music Foundation (924 Gilman), which is located at 924 Gilman St., Berkeley, California 94710. Arrive on time to secure a nice place to see and hear our honored creators in conversation.

James Spooner is an award winning graphic novelist, filmmaker and tattoo artist.  His debut graphic novel, The High Desert  was named “Best of 2022” by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and The New York Public Library. The High Desert is the 2023 recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award and the Cartoonist Studio Prize. Spooner co-edited an anthology of Black punk writers and comic creators entitled, Black Punk Now. Available now, the book was named in the top 10 Music Books of 2023 by Pitchfork and received a Kirkus star. Pantheon has recently acquired his forthcoming second memoir, set for publication in 2025. He was recently commissioned to adapt a story by the Scottish Book Trust and is regular contributor to RazorCake Magazine. 

Spooner directed the seminal documentary Afro-Punk which premiered at national and international film festivals, including Toronto International and The American Black Film Festival. James also co-founded the AfroPunk Festival, which currently boasts audiences in the hundreds of thousands around the world.


​Spooner’s work has been recounted in various publications, including NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Vice, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, MTV, NBC News and Variety. He was a recipient of the ReNew Media Rockefeller Grant. He is an ongoing guest curator for the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, and previously programmed for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

James continues to screen Afro-Punk around the world, giving talks on punk, comics and Black identity.

Chris L. Terry is the author of the novel Black Card, one of NPR's best books of 2019. Terry's debut novel Zero Fade was on Best of 2013 lists by Slate and Kirkus Reviews. Born in 1979 to a Black father and white mother, Terry spent his late teens and early twenties touring as the vocalist for different Richmond, Virginia punk bands. He has a Creative Writing MFA from Columbia College Chicago, and now lives and teaches in Los Angeles. His recent work has appeared in Pitchfork, Stereogum, Razorcake, Very Smart Brothas/The Root, Catapult and theLAnd Magazine.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children's book, the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down, and 100 Boyfriends, a collection of stories. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award in Fiction, he was named one of the thirty-two Black Male Writers of Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band The Younger Lovers, a cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock. Born in Triana, Alabama, he's lived in Oakland, California, for more than a decade. 

Thank you to the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library for sponsoring this program! <3 

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