I See More Clearly in the Dark, Book Launch & Readings | May 9, Thu 6:30PM

 Flyer by Sming Sming Books
Join us at Bungee Space on May 9th, Thur, 6:30pm for 
An evening of readings with 
Vanessa Holyoak, author of I See More Clearly in the Dark (Sming Sming Books, 2023)
Alisha Dukelow, author of Modernist Affect Grid (Anteism Books, 2023)
and Eliza Callahan, The Hearing Test (Penguin Random House, 2024).


 Free & Open to the Public


Vanessa will read an excerpt from her novel, 
I See More Clearly in the Dark, published in 2023 by Sming Sming Books. I See More Clearly in the Dark chronicles the experiences of a narrator referred to only as “I” as she wanders a dystopian near-future drained of life-sustaining darkness. This ethical and ecological desecration is lived out simultaneously by a parallel “I”: an amorphous, prehistoric or posthuman body, living and dreaming in a lush and tenebrous wilderness. The government has decided to wipe out national forests to install brilliant, homogenous resorts in which citizens are obliged to live under conditions of total illumination, the forest's expansive darkness remaining only as a memory and haunting source of imagination. When her lover is relocated as part of this Resort Plan, “I” is left to mourn a present emptied of intimacy or future from her home in the city of P (based loosely on Paris, Ville Lumière)—before escaping to the edge of the forest to seek out the darkness that might remain. 


About Vanessa Holyoak

Vanessa Holyoak is a Franco-American Los Angeles-based writer and artist working across installation, photography, video, performance, and language. She constructs uncanny, minimalist environments that allude to mediation and memory, intimate and ecological loss, and the cognitive overload of the present, often working as an artist duo with Antoine Chesnais. Through dreamlike juxtapositions of objects, moving and still images, light, and sound articulated through a speculative fiction lens, her work raises questions about cultural and ecological displacement and disappearance. She also writes art criticism and hybrid fiction and is researching the liberatory potential of dreams, sleep, and darkness across both literature and visual art. She received a dual MFA in Creative Writing and Photography & Media from the California Institute of the Arts and is pursuing a PhD in Comparative Media & Culture at USC.



In 1962, Place Ville Marie, Montreal’s cross-shaped office tower and underground shopping mall—named after the French Catholic settlement of unceded Mohawk territory that became the colonial city—opened to the public as the Commonwealth’s tallest “nerve centre” and “breathing machine.” The same year, Silvan Tomkins, the father of affect theory, published Volume I of Affect Imagery Consciousness, which exuberantly draws on the then-sensational cybernetic brain-computer metaphor. 1962 also saw the publication of Story Sequence Analysis by Magda Arnold, a luddistic and devoutly Catholic psychologist who mothered the monumental cognitive appraisal theory of emotion. Modernist Affect Grid’s essay-poems triangulate these events as they emerge amidst the Cold War tech race’s paranoid and projective ambition. 

About Alisha Dukelow

Alisha Dukelow lives in Los Angeles, where she is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Southern California. She is interested in the relationship between innovative modern and contemporary literature, the mind/body, time, and the environment. She received an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia in Montreal, and her poetry and fiction have been published in places such as The Malahat Review, PRISM international, and Room. Her chapbook of poems, Pareidolia (2020), is available through Anstruther Press. 


When the narrator of The Hearing Test, an artist in her late twenties, awakens one morning to a deep drone in her right ear, she is diagnosed with Sudden Deafness, but is offered no explanation for its cause. As the specter of total deafness looms, she keeps a record of her year—a score of estrangement and enchantment, of luck and loneliness, of the chance occurrences to which she becomes attuned—while living alone in a New York City studio apartment with her dog.
Through a series of fleeting and often humorous encounters—with neighbors, an ex-lover, doctors, strangers, family members, faraway friends, and with the lives and works of artists, filmmakers, musicians, and philosophers—making meaning  becomes a form of consolation and curiosity, a form of survival. 
At once a rumination on silence and a novel on seeing, The Hearing Test is a work of vitalizing intellect and playfulness which marks the arrival of a major new literary writer with a rare command of form, compression, and intent.

About Eliza Barry Callahan

Eliza Barry Callahan (b.1995) is a writer, artist, and filmmaker from New York, New York. Her debut novel, The Hearing Test, was published in March in the US and is forthcoming in the UK in April, 2024. She is a 2023 New York Foundation for The Arts Fellow. She teaches at Columbia University.