VWS: Shane Book and Mat Johnson

The Jack Ridl Visiting Writers Series welcomes poet Shane Book and novelist Mat Johnson on Thursday, February 7 at 7 pm in the Knickerbocker Theater.

Shane Book

Ceiling of Sticks,” Book’s first collection of poems, focuses on the effect of global politics on the individual. He takes readers to places like Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Trinidad, Mexico, and Canada’s west coast in order to bring an “intimate vision of humanity” and moments of “clarity and empathy to individuals” in the aftermath of war and catastrophe. The collection won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Check out Book’s poem “The Suspect” for an example of his work.

Book is a graduate of New York University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared in 17 anthologies and more than 45 magazines. He is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Mat Johnson

A faculty member at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, Mat Johnson’s works include the novels Pym, DropHunting in the Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain. Johnson’s works are often concerned with historical events and social movements.

Johnson received his MFA from Columbia University School of the Arts, and has taught at Rutgers, Columbia, and Bard College.

For more examples of Book’s and Johnson’s work, search them as authors in the library database Literature Online (LION).

In addition to the reading, a Q&A session will take place on Thursday, February 7 at 11 am in Fried-Hemenway Auditorium in the Martha Miller Center.

–Madalyn Muncy, Library Student Blogger

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