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The Epic Read-A-Thon is a 24-hour, nonstop, out-loud community reading to benefit the Woodlawn Writers Corps, a collective of nearly 700 students at Avondale Elementary, Oliver Elementary, and Putnam Middle School. Want to help us read for 24 hours and support young writers in Birmingham? Register as a reader/fundraiser at discobham.com/epic and then check the schedule below to find a time that works for you. Thank you!

FRIDAY
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

SHORT SHORTS AND PROSE POEMS

We'll launch the 2018 Epic Read-A-Thon with a batch of short shorts and prose poems: Black Nikes, by Harryette Mullen; Unchopping a Tree, by W.S. Merwin; Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid; Fatherland, by Viet Thanh Nguyen; Wants/Debts, by Grace Paley; Sticks, by George Saunders; Night Women, by Edwidge Danticat; some Audre Lorde; some Russell Edson; some David Hornbuckle; some Claudia Rankine; and How to Speak Poetry, by Leonard Cohen.

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FRIDAY
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

AT LAST! BOOKS PRESENTS: LUCIA BERLIN, LYDIA DAVIS, LORRIE MOORE

At Last! Books is curating a series of stories for this hour by Lucia Berlin, Lydia Davis, and Lorrie Moore. Join At Last!'s Kristen Iskandrian to read from these three masters of the short form.

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FRIDAY
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

TIME AND AGAIN (Breece D'J Pancake), THE ONES WHO WALK AWAY FROM OMELAS (Ursula Le Guin), and TWO MEN ARRIVE IN A VILLAGE (Zadie Smith)

Stories of three very different journeys by three of our favorite writers. A hint of menace to take us into the night.

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SPEECH SOUNDS (Octavia Butler) and selections from THE SPOONS IN THE GRASS ARE THERE TO DIG A MOAT (Amelia Martens)

A short story read-a-thon would not be complete without sci-fi master Octavia Butler's classic story about a virus that nearly wipes out humans' ability to speak. We'll then bounce back from the brink with some sublime Amelia Martens prose poems to close out the hour. 

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FRIDAY
10 p.m. to 11 p.m.


HAN GAHP (Jung Yun) and VILLAGE 113 (Anthony Doerr)

Two exquisitely crafted stories of characters working in, through and against the natural world.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 11 PM and 12 AM
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FRIDAY
11 p.m. to 12 a.m.


GORILLA, MY LOVE (Toni Cade Bambara) and THE ZAHIR (Jorge Luis Borges)

Two stories about names, memory, misdirection, doubt, and the power of stories.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 12 AM and 1 AM
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SATURDAY
12 a.m. to 1 a.m.


LOVE (Clarice Lispecter) and INVENTORY (Carmen Maria Machado)

Two stories that explore the tricks and limitations of the body. 

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SATURDAY
1 a.m. to 2 a.m.


THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (Tim O'Brien)

The title story from one of the great works of fiction about war. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 2 AM and 3 AM
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SATURDAY
2 a.m. to 3 a.m.


HONORED GUEST (Joy Williams)

This may be the only time in your life you have an opportunity to read Joy Williams at 3 a.m. on a Saturday in February, surrounded by other humans.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 3 AM and 4 AM
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SATURDAY
3 a.m. to 4 a.m.


THE PAPER MENAGERIE (Ken Liu)

The first work of science fiction to win the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 4 AM and 5 AM
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SATURDAY
4 a.m. to 5 a.m.


THE MAPPIST (Barry Lopez)

Celebrate the sunrise with one of the leading figures of the literature of light.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 5 AM and 6 AM
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SATURDAY
5 a.m. to 6 a.m.


THE FOURTH ALARM (John Cheever), WE ARE NIGHTTIME TRAVELERS (Ethan Canin), and OLIKOYE (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Three elegant virtuosos from three different generations: Cheever, Canin, Adichie.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 6 AM and 7 AM
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SATURDAY
6 a.m. to 7 a.m.


ALL SUMMER IN A DAY (Ray Bradbury), THE FIRST DAY (Edward P. Jones), and SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (Vladimir Nabokov)

Join us for breakfast on Saturday morning and begin the day with three sentence sculptors. Bonus if you bring a basket with ten different fruit jellies in ten little jars.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 8 AM and 9 AM
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SATURDAY
7 a.m. to 8 a.m.


DRINKING COFFEE ELSEWHERE (Z.Z. Packer)

The title story from what remains one of the best debut story collections ever. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 7 AM and 8 AM
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SATURDAY
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.


THE INHERITORS (Kristen Iskandrian) and THE SUMMER PEOPLE (Kelly Link)

Two winners of the prestigious O. Henry Prize. Powerful and odd-in-the-best-way stories of proximity and change. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 9 AM and 10 AM
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SATURDAY
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.


KISSING THE WITCH (Emma Donoghue), NIGHT GARDEN (Shruti Swamy), selections from DOUBLE-WIDE (Michael Martone), selections from IN THE HEART OF THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY (William Gass) 

An hour of fables, lore, flash fiction, and landscapes -- physical and figurative.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 10 AM and 11 AM
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SATURDAY
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.


PUTNAM POETRY STARS

Come listen to original work by the Putnam Poetry Stars, a small elite group of middle-school poets in Woodlawn Writers Corps.

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SATURDAY
11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


BIRDLAND (Michael Knight) and A VERY OLD MAN WITH ENORMOUS WINGS (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

Parrots. Crabs. Chickens. A tarantula. College football and a man with wings. Come eat lunch and be entertained by these two classics.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 12 PM and 1 PM
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SATURDAY
12 p.m. to 1 p.m.


JESUS SHAVES (David Sedaris), THE GIRL IN THE FLAMMABLE SKIRT (Aimee Bender), and WATER LIARS (Barry Hannah)

Humor in three very different, distinctive flavors.

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SATURDAY
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.


MENESETEUNG (Alice Munro) and THE SWING (Mary Ladd Gavell)

One of the best known stories by one of our best known short story writers + a little known story by a little known writer often compared to the best known writer. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 2 PM and 3 PM
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SATURDAY
2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


BULLET IN THE BRAIN (Tobias Wolff) and BOOKS AND ROSES (Helen Oyeyemi)

You can forever re-read these stories that unpredictably snap into place. 

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 3 PM and 4 PM
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SATURDAY
3 p.m. to 4 p.m.


A SHELTERED WOMAN (Yiyun Li)

A story that beautifully lays bare the complexities of being human.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 4 PM and 5 PM
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SATURDAY
4 p.m. to 5 p.m.


SONNY'S BLUES (James Baldwin)

Endurance. Empathy. Family. Art. Race. America. It's all here in this tour de force.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 5 PM and 6 PM
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SATURDAY
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.


WHY I LIVE AT THE P.O. (Eudora Welty)

Such a great exploration of fictional voice that we don't even care if the story is about anything.

SIGN UP TO READ BETWEEN 6 PM and 7 PM
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SATURDAY
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.