Upcoming Literary Events

You are invited to the University of Minnesota's English@Minnesota Writers Series. Free & open to the public!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Peter Campion Reading, with Ray Gonzalez
7:30 pm, Weisman Art Museum

Peter Campion is the author of two poetry collections with the University of Chicago: The Lions and Other People. Winner of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, he held the Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University and is the recipient of the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as a Pushcart Prize. Since 2007, he has served as the editor-in-chief of the journal Literary Imagination. Campion was named assistant professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota in fall 2011. He will be joined by award-winning poet, essayist and flash fiction writer Ray Gonzalez, Creative Writing Program faculty since 1998.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Antonya Nelson Reading
7:30 pm, Weisman Art Museum

Antonya Nelson has published six short story collections, including her latest, Nothing Right (2009), as well Female Trouble (2003) and In the Land of Men (1999). Her most recent book is the novel Bound (2010), one of four she has published. In 2003, she won the Rea Award for the Short Story; she’s also won a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards. “One pleasure of reading Antonya Nelson is that she brings the careful language and control of literary fiction to uncontrolled, rough-and-tumble lives,” described the Los Angeles Times. “Mixing the admittedly bourgeois undertaking of meticulously crafted prose with working class grit is risky—it can devolve into condescension or cartoonishness—but Nelson, like Raymond Carver, strikes a remarkable balance.” Nelson teaches in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers as well as in the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Zadie Smith Talk and Reading
7:30 pm, Coffman Union Theater

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth (2000), The Autograph Man (2002), and On Beauty (2005). White Teeth won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize; On Beauty won the Orange Prize. In 2009 she published an essay collection, Changing My Mind. Smith's latest novel, NW (Penguin), is released September, 2012. “Smith has an astonishing intellect,” Newsweek praised. “She writes sharp dialogue for every age and race—and she’s funny as hell.” Smith has written nonfiction and reviews for the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, New York Times Book Review, and Guardian, among others. She also edited the short story collection The Book of Other People (2008). Smith was born and raised in London. She is a tenured professor in the Creative Writing Program of New York University.


Monday, October 29, 2012
Nuruddin Farah Reading
7 pm, Loft Literary Center, Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Mpls.

Celebrating the paperback release of Farah's 2011 novel Crossbones. Born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia, Nuruddin Farah is the author of ten novels, a nonfiction book, and numerous articles and stories in English. The first novel in his dictatorship trilogy, Sweet and Sour Milk, won the English-Speaking Union Literary Prize in 1980, and in 1998, he was given the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Long before the collapse of Somalia’s government, he was pushed into exile by the dictator Siyad Barre, and has lived, taught, and written in many African countries. He currently resides in Capetown, South Africa. Having dealt with dictatorship, breakdown, and exile in earlier works, Farah has begun in his current trilogy (Links, Knots, and Crossbones) to imagine possible modes of a return to Somalia. Farah is the 2010-12 College of Liberal Arts Winton Chair at the University of Minnesota, hosted by English.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Christopher Kennedy Reading
7:30 pm, Weisman Art Museum

Christopher Kennedy is currently the Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Syracuse University. Kennedy has published three books of prose poems, Ennui Prophet, Nietzsche's Horse, and Trouble with the Machine. Another poetry collection, Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death, received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award in 2007. His work has appeared in many print and on-line journals and magazines, including Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, Threepenny Review, and McSweeney’s. Reviewing his latest collection, Ennui Prophet (BOA Editions, 2011), Publisher’s Weekly noted, “Hip and inviting, Kennedy’s short prose poems rarely fail to entertain . . . . [This book] shows his clear mastery of several prose-poem forms, with lyricism, jokiness, non sequiturs, sadness, and even a bit of cultural criticism to boot.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Lia Purpura Reading
7:30 pm, Weisman Art Museum

Lia Purpura, a 2012 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship recipient, is the author of three collections of essays including On Looking, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her latest, Rough Likeness (Sarabande, 2012). She has also published three collections of poetry; King Baby (2008) won the Beatrice Hawley Award.  Other awards include an NEA and Fulbright Fellowships and three Pushcart Prizes. She is Writer-in-Residence at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, and teaches at the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA Program in Tacoma, Washington. Of On Looking, Donna Seaman wrote in Booklist: “Purpura puts readers into a state of aesthetic arrest, as well as surprise, discomfort, and meditative pleasure via her pristine, radiant, and unflinching collage-like essays.”

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Colum McCann Talk and Reading
7:30 pm, Coffman Union Theater

Colum McCann is the author of five novels, the last of which, Let the Great World Spin (2009), won the National Book Award for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He’s published two short story collections. The New York Times Book Review called Let the Great World Spin “[o]ne of the most electric, profound novels . . . in years” and “an emotional tour de force.” McCann has also written essays and opinion for numerous newspapers and periodicals, including the New York Times, Times (UK), Atlantic Monthly, GQ, and Granta. Born and raised in Dublin, he earned a BA from the University of Texas. He is currently Professor of Fiction at CUNY Hunter College’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.