Out Loud! Eight Writers Read | Plus the Largest Event in OL! History: Marc Brown

Writer Kevin Brochmeier reads April 27, 2012.

In April, the fifth season of events for the Out Loud! Metro Library Author Series will get underway. It’s the biggest season to date, with eight readings scheduled. All of the events, except for Marc Brown,  will take place at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids.

Robin Hemley: Saturday, April 21, 1 p.m.

If you could go back and take another swing at some key moments in your life, would you do it? Robin Hemley, director of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program, did that very thing. Do-Over! bears this description on its cover: “In which a 48-year-old father of three returns to kindergarten, summer camp, the prom, and other embarrassments.” Do-Over! will be the focus of Hemley’s presentation, but he is scheduled to have two new books out soon—one fiction, the other nonfiction—and will likely talk about those as well.

Kevin Brockmeier: Friday, April 27, 7 p.m.

What if everyone’s physical pain could be seen as a bright light shining from their bodies? That question is at the heart of Kevin Brockmeier’s amazing novel The Illumination. Brockmeier, an Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad and currently visiting faculty, is a wondrous storyteller. In addition to The Illumination, I highly recommend his novel A Brief History of the Dead and the short story collection The View from the Seventh Layer.

Marc Brown: Thursday, May 3, 7 p.m., Linn-Mar High School Auditorium

How can one aardvark get into so many tricky situations? The author of the beloved Arthur series—featuring the adventures of a young aardvark, his friends, and his annoying little sister—is going to make a lot of area school children very happy. All second graders in the Cedar Rapids Community, Linn-Mar, and Marion Independent school districts will be invited to attend two daytime presentations. That evening, Brown will give a third presentation that is open to the general public. All told, this is shaping up to be the biggest event in Out Loud! history.

Nicolette Hahn Niman: Friday, May 11, 7 p.m.

How do you go about eating healthily and ethically? Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms, will discuss her work as both an advocate and a rancher. She first became immersed in issues surrounding food production when she served as the senior attorney for Waterkeeper, an environmental group headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. That work is the jumping-off point for Righteous Porkchop. Look for several related events at metrolibrarynetwork.org.

A. David Lewis: Friday, June 8, 7 p.m.

What roles do religion and the religious play in comics? A. David Lewis is co-editor of Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels, a book of essays covering a wide array of comics, including the work of Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Alan Moore (From Hell), and Grant Morrison (The Invisibles). Lewis’s own essay in the collection is entitled “Superman Graveside: Superhero Salvation beyond Jesus.” He is the author of comics with religious themes, including The Lone and Level Sands, Mortal Coils, and Some New Kind of Slaughter. Lewis will be sending a collection of comics art that will be displayed at the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha public libraries as well as the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble.

Wendy Delsol: Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m.

What if you had the power to place souls on earth? Wendy Delsol, who hails from Des Moines, is the author of the teen paranormal novels Stork, Frost, and (coming in October 2012) Flock. Grounded in Norse mythology, the series follows Katla Leblanc, a teenager whose family moves from L.A. to Minnesota, where Katla discovers she has secret connections to a mysterious group of women. Magic, danger, romance, and more ensue. Delsol is also the author of The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls.

James Rollins: Sunday, July 1, 1 p.m.

Would you have what it takes to save the world? Thriller writer James Rollins will be on tour for Bloodline, the eighth book in his bestselling Sigma Force series. He is also the author of six standalone thrillers and the Jake Ransom series for young adults. Rollins is a heck of an action writer who never seems to take his foot off the accelerator. His books blend science, history, and a sense of mystery, and his fans are always eager to head off on another mission with his characters.

Sam Kean: Friday, July 13, 7 p.m.

How much of your life and your talents can be traced to your DNA? Sam Kean is a brilliant science writer who captivated readers (including both me and my science-loving son) with The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. This July, his second book, The Violinist’s Thumb And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code, will be released. His Out Loud! event will serve as a sort of release party, as our attendees will have first crack at the new book, which won’t officially come out until a few days later. We’re also pleased to be collaborating with our friends from the Iowa City Book Festival. Kean will be a part of those festivities on Saturday, July 14.

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I hope to see you at Out Loud! events this year. Stay up to date at Metro Library Network or zap me an email at outloudauthorseries@hotmail.com if you’d like to be included on our reminder list.