Valerie Werder, author of Thieves + Taraka Larson (formerly Prince Rama) (Live From Upstate/Foreword!)

Starr Cinema Tickets



Thursday, April 18

Thieves author Valerie Werder and avant-garde rock icon Taraka Larson come together for an evening of literature, music, film, and a mind-bending spin through the idea funnel cloud of art/self/theft/money. The night is hosted by novelist Ashley Mayne.

Valerie Werder is a writer and visual studies scholar whose dissertation, “Body Camera,” looks at how police bodycam and handheld smartphone technologies shape contemporary articulations of subjectivity.. She uses fiction and multimedia performance to navigate questions of consent, complicity, and institutional transparency. Her work has been published in BOMB, performed at Participant Inc, and exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery. Valerie’s debut novel, Thieves, was published by Fence Books in 2023.

Taraka Larson grew up in ashrams, lived in black metal communes, worked for utopian architects, delivered lectures from pools of fake blood, written post-internet manifestos, and toured the world extensively with her band, Prince Rama. They are perhaps the only band who have been able to simultaneously incite mosh pits and chart on the New Age charts. Through the lens of music, Larson has created an unconventional visual arts practice. Her latest solo project explores a new landscape of disheveled “post-edenic-grunge” music she wrote while living in isolation with a Sonoran Gopher Snake in a gallery simulating a post-apocalyptic Garden of Eden.

Ashley Mayne’s work has appeared in Fence, Post Road, Northwest Review, Juked, Peripheries, Blight Podcast, Metambesen, and elsewhere. She is the author of novels Mankiller (2014 Dr. Cicero Books) and Tiger (2015), edits fiction for Fence, curates the reading series Crystal Radio, and works on an organic farm in the Hudson Valley.