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Poetry & Short Fiction Reading: Larry O. Dean, Karen An-hwei Lee, & John Young


Join us in the store! Each author will be reading a piece from their forthcoming collections: Muse, Um by Larry O. Dean, Souvenirs by  Karen An-hwei Lee, and Fire in the Field by John Young.

About the books:

Muse, Um is a chapbook of ekphrastic poems inspired by visits to the Art Institute of Chicago. 

A collection of visions shared across cyberspace, Souvenirs, a collaboration between authors Andrew Colarusso and Karen An-hwei Lee, celebrates fragments from the literary afterlife. In Souvenirs, a philosophically astute, poetically searing collection of miniature fictions and contemporary fables, objects take on shapes of their own designs creating a composite map to a world populated with little transparent
souls and ghost ships in lost bottles; a menagerie of curios; photophores of bioluminescence humming in the depths: light begetting light, deep calling to deep. In these twenty-seven prose gems, it seems that Colarusso and Lee are writing from a single mind as they strike a balance between humor and philosophy; the acute and the everlasting. The ideas they discuss—religion, faith, universality, continuance—are large, but their prose is accessible, and at times outright hilarious. Strange, compelling, and arcane considerations of watches, jade, seaweed, and cake, among many other items, come through with stylistic prowess and earnest, intelligent considerations. Souvenirs adds complexity to the mundane, re-centers the iconic, and gifts the reader with nothing short of astonishment; wonder baked into each delicious slice.

In sixteen apparently simple stories, John Young's memorable characters in Fire in the Field  ask (or refuse to ask) what shapes us. Education? Talent? Impulse? Family? Money? Need for approval? Most of the stories are set in small-town Indiana, with a handful coming from New England villages. In most, there's an ethical dilemma, skillfully and subtly plotted so that we readers come away energized, appreciating "the oxymorons of life." All are sensitively written, careful, and real.

About the Authors: 

Larry O. Dean was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. His numerous books include Frequently Asked Questions (forthcoming 2021), Activities of Daily Living (2017), Brief Nudity (2013), Basic Cable Couplets (2012), ABBREV (2011), About the Author (2011), and I Am Spam (2004). He is also an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose latest solo album is Good Grief (2015); Product Placement, the sophomore album from his band, The Injured Parties, was released August 2019. For more info, go to

Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of Phyla of Joy (Tupelo 2012), Ardor (Tupelo 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande 2004), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. She authored two novels, Sonata in K (Ellipsis 2017) and The Maze of Transparencies (Ellipsis 2019). Lee’s translations of Li Qingzhao’s writing, Doubled Radiance: Poetry & Prose of Li Qingzhao, is the first volume in English to collect Li’s work in both genres (Singing Bone 2018). Her book of literary criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora: Literary Transnationalism and Translingual Migrations (Cambria 2013), was selected for the Cambria Sinophone World Series. She currently lives in greater Chicago.
When he was eight, John Young told his mother he wanted to be a scientist or a clown. So he went into advertising and figured he got pretty close. He graduated from Indiana University and earned an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. Now he lives with his wife and two kids in Cincinnati, Ohio. His first novel, When the Coin Is in the Air, was published in 2019.
Event Start Time: 
Thursday, June 23, 2022 - 7:00pm
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Paperback Fiction

Songs in Ursa Major
By: Brodie, Emma
Last Graduate
By: Novik, Naomi
Embassy Wife
By: Crouch, Katie
She Who Became the Sun
By: Parker-Chan, Shelley
Rock Paper Scissors
By: Feeney, Alice
Secret Keeper of Jaipur
By: Joshi, Alka
Dead Romantics
By: Poston, Ashley
Hell of a Book
By: Mott, Jason
State of Terror
By: Clinton, Hillary Rodham
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead
By: Austin, Emily

Hardcover Non-Fiction

By: Keefe, Patrick Radden
Metaphysical Animals
By: Wiseman, Rachael
How to Raise an Antiracist
By: Kendi, Ibram X
As Cooked on TikTok
By: Tiktok
Immense World
By: Yong, Ed
Life in Light
By: Pipher, Mary
His Name Is George Floyd
By: Olorunnipa, Toluse
Boys and Oil
By: Brorby, Taylor
Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden
By: Li, Zhuqing

Hardcover Fiction

Poets House
Author: Thompson, Jean
Ballad of Perilous Graves
Author: Jennings, Alex
Dele Weds Destiny
Author: Obaro, Tomi
Scent of Burnt Flowers
Author: Bazawule, Blitz
Author: Fairbrother, Alison
Learning to Talk
Author: Mantel, Hilary
Mirror Mended
Author: Harrow, Alix E
Girls in Queens
Author: Kandic Torres, Christine
Author: Moshfegh, Ottessa
Author: Brooks, Geraldine