Fiction, nonfiction, comics, and books for young people will all be featured during the 2012 edition of Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series. The collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries will grow to eight events this year, all free and open to the public. Seven of the eight events will be held at the Hotel at Kirkwood.
The lone exception is the Thursday, May 3 appearance by Marc Brown, creator of the beloved “Arthur” series for children. Brown’s stories about a young aardvark, his friends, and his annoying little sister have entertained children for years and are the basis for a popular PBS animated series. Brown will give two presentations for second graders in the Linn-Mar, Marion Independent, and Cedar Rapids Community school districts during the school day. At 7 p.m., he will give a third presentation that will be open to the public. All three events will be held in the Linn-Mar High School auditorium.
Prior to Brown’s visit, the series kicks off on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m. with Robin Hemley. The director of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program will read from Do-Over! which recounts his adventures upon returning to such childhood rites-of-passage as kindergarten, summer camp, and the high school prom. Hemley, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, has two new books—one fiction, the other nonfiction—scheduled for release this spring.
On Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m., Kevin Brockmeier will read from his latest novel, The Illumination. Brockmeier is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is currently a visiting faculty member for the program. In The Illumination, everyone’s physical pain manifests as a bright light shining from his or her body. Brockmeier’s other work includes the short story collection Views from the Seventh Layer and the novel A Brief History of the Dead.
Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of the Linn Area Reads selection Righteous Porkchop will be featured on Friday, May 11 at 7 p.m. Hahn Niman 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. In March and April, the Linn Area Reads program will host several related events.
On Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m., A. David Lewis, a comics creator and scholar, will discuss Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels, which he co-edited and in which an essay centered on Superman appears. Other essays in the book consider the work of comics creators such as Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison. Lewis is the author of comics with religious themes including The Lone and Level Sands, Mortal Coils, and Some New Kind of Slaughter. He will be sending a collection of comics art that will be displayed in the weeks leading up to his event at the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha public libraries as well as the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble.
Wendy Delsol, who hails from Des Moines, will appear on Thursday, June 21, at 7 p.m. She is the author of the teen paranormal novels Stork, Frost, and the forthcoming Flock. Grounded in Norse mythology, the series follows the teenaged Katla Leblanc, whose family moves from L.A. to Minnesota where Katla discovers she has secret connections to a mysterious group of women. Delsol is also the author of The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls.
On Sunday, July 1 at 1 p.m., thriller writer James Rollins will read from Bloodline, the eighth entry in his bestselling Sigma Force series. Rollins is also the author of six standalone thrills and the Jake Ransom series for young adults. In Bloodline, a genetic abnormality might hold the key to immortality, but the truth is shrouded in a centuries-old conspiracy. James Rollins’ appearance is a Freedom Festival affiliate event.
Science writer Sam Kean will be the final Out Loud! author of the season on Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. He is the author of 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. This event is a collaboration with the Iowa City Book Festival. Kean will appear at the festival on Saturday, July 14.
All Out Loud! authors will take questions from the audience and sign books following their presentations.
More information about the Out Loud! Author Series, as well as information about the Linn Area Reads program, is available at www.metrolibrarynetwork.org.
Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series is supported by the Giacoletto Foundation with media support from The Gazette and event book sales provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers.