THELMA announces Lake Reading Series for 2017-2018

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) announced today the 2017-2018 season for the Lake Reading Series (formerly Foot of the Lake Poetry Collective), will include a reading by national bestselling author Bonnie Jo Campbell.

The Lake Reading Series will kick off October 17 with a reading by Dr. Tara Betts, acclaimed author and interim professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Betts’ poetry and prose have been included in various journals and anthologies, including the American Poetry Review and POETRY Magazine. Her works include Break the Habit, Arc & Hue, and The GREATEST!: An Homage to Muhammad Ali. She is also an editor for The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century.

The pre-event for Betts’ reading at THELMA will begin at 6 pm with an open mic, music and a cash bar. Open mic will take place after the readings for the remainder of the Lake Reading Series events. The Reading Series has free admission and is open to all.

The series will continue November 16 with readings by authors Max Garland and Susan Firer. Garland is the author of The Postal Confessions, winner of the Juniper Prize for poetry in Hunger Wide as Heaven, and The World We Used for It, winner of the 2017-2018 Brittingham Poetry Prize. Born and raised in western Kentucky, he is the former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and current Writer-in-Residence for the city of Eau Claire.

Susan Firer’s most recent book is The Transit of Venus (2016). Her previous books have been awarded the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Prize, the Posner Award, and the Backwaters Prize. She is a recipient of a Milwaukee County Artist Fellowship, a Wisconsin Board Fellowship, the Lorin Niedecker Award, and in 2009 she was given the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2015, Firer was awarded a NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry.

On January 16 THELMA will host the Lake Reading Series’ Favorite Poems, a traditionally fun event featuring community members.

Bonnie Jo Campbell comes to THELMA February 22 to read alongside Marian professor Christina Kubasta. Campbell is the author of the national bestselling novel Once Upon a River, a river odyssey with an unforgettable young heroine, which the New York Times Book Review calls “an excellent American parable about the consequences of our favorite ideal, freedom.” Her first novel, Q Road, delves into the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land.

Campbell’s critically-acclaimed short fiction collections include American Salvage, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Women and Other Animals, which won the AWP prize for short fiction; and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (Autumn 2015). Her story “The Smallest Man in the World” was awarded a Pushcart Prize and her story The Inventor, 1972 was awarded the 2009 Eudora Welty Prize from Southern Review. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.

Christina Kubasta will read from her new novella, Girling, a winner of the Driftless Novella prize from Brain Mill Press, which has been described as “a transcendent novella seated in the body that documents and celebrates sexuality, change, and the vital role of female friendship.”

The Lake Reading Series will conclude April 5 with the Student Invitational, an evening for upcoming student poets and writers to shine.

THELMA is located at 51 Sheboygan St., in the heart of Downtown Fond du Lac’s Arts and Entertainment District. THELMA is a member-based, privately-funded non-profit dedicated to providing arts experiences not readily available in the area. Intimate concerts in the Great Hall, street concerts with major performers, indoor films, and art from world-renowned artists are available at THELMA. THELMA also offers a stunning backdrop for weddings, meetings and all social and corporate gatherings.

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