Joshua Rivkin discusses and signs Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly

Monday, December 3, 2018 at 7:00pm

This is a past event.

Book Soup: 8818 Sunset Boulevard West Hollywood, CA 90069

Cy Twombly was a man obsessed with myth and history--including his own. Shuttling between stunning homes in Italy and the United States where he perfected his room-size canvases, he managed his public image carefully and rarely gave interviews.  Upon first seeing Twombly's remarkable paintings, writer Joshua Rivkin became obsessed himself with the mysterious artist, and began chasing every lead, big or small--anything that might illuminate those works, or who Twombly really was.  Now, after unprecedented archival research and years of interviews, Rivkin has reconstructed Twombly's life, from his time at the legendary Black Mountain College to his canonization in a 1994 MoMA retrospective; from his heady explorations of Rome in the 1950s with Robert Rauschenberg to the ongoing efforts to shape his legacy after his death.  Including previously unpublished photographs, Chalk presents a more personal and searching type of biography than we've ever encountered, and brings to life a more complex Twombly than we've ever known. 


Joshua Rivkin’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, Slate, Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere.  His first book of nonfiction, CHALK, is forthcoming in October 2018 (Melville House) and his first book of poems SUITOR is forthcoming in Fall of 2020 (Red Hen).

He has received fellowships and awards from the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Ucross Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Inprint-Brown Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Poetry Society of America, as well as a travel fellowship to the Krakow Writer’s Seminar, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University. A former Fulbright Fellow in Rome, Italy, from 2016-2017 he was a Resident Associate at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC.

He holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing Program from the University of Southern California and an MFA from the University of Houston. He has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Houston, Stanford University, and the University of Southern California. He has also taught with Writers-in-the-Schools and other youth education programs. From 2011-2016 he was a poetry editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

He teaches creative writing for Stanford Continuing Studies and lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and daughter.

Event Type

Arts, Lecture / Talk / Workshop


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Creative Writing & Literature
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