Ocean Crossings Reading Group

Spray at the little arch rock, waves, islands, Pacific Ocean, South Mazatlan, Mexico

“Spray at the little arch rock, waves, islands, Pacific Ocean, South Mazatlan” by Wonderlane on Flickr (via Creative Commons license)

The interdisciplinary reading group Ocean Crossings will meet three times over the course of the Fall 2014 semester. According to their website, Ocean Crossings “explores the Mediterranean as a space, marked by the fluidic and nomadic networks formed by transnational fluxes.”

The group seeks to explore “the role of culture, history and literature for non-national spaces, characterized by exchanges, migrations and conflicts that take place outside existing legal frameworks” (Ocean Crossings).

The first Ocean Crossings meeting took place in September; the second will take place in mid-November at the IPRH Building (805 West Pennsylvania Ave). In March, graduate students will co-host a colloquium on the topic with students from Duke University.

To follow the group and access readings for future meetings, visit the Ocean Crossing public Facebook group.

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Man Booker Prize shortlist includes American authors

On September 9th, the Man Booker Prize judge panel announced the 2014 shortlist for the literary prize. For the first time in the prize’s 46-year history, contestants include American authors. The judges released a statement on their decision to extend the prize to all English-language publications:

“This is the first list to reflect the diversity of the novel in English regardless of the author’s nationality, as the Man Booker Prize has opened up to any author writing originally in English and published in the UK. Previously, the prize was open to authors from the UK & Commonwealth, Republic of Ireland and Zimbabwe.” (The Man Booker Prize shortlist)

This year’s shortlist includes two American novelists, Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler, as well as an Australian author, Richard Flanagan. The prize shortlist is:

  • To Rise Again At a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  • J by Howard Jacobson
  • The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
  • How to Be Both by Ali Smith

The winner, revealed on October 14, will receive £50,000 and worldwide exposure for their work. For more information on the Man Booker Prize and the contestants, see The Guardian’s shortlist coverage.

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Pygmalion Literary Festival

Audrey Petty and Peter OrnerThe second annual Pygmalion Literary Festival kicks off this evening. Part of the Pygmalion Festival, the festival features readings and literary events with local and visiting writers and publishers.

UIUC Creative Writing professor Audrey Petty and author Peter Orner will read tonight at Krannert Art Museum at 5:00 PM. The festival, which takes place September 25-28, also includes readings from authors Richard Siken, Jennifer Percy, Jamaal May, Tarfia Faizullah, Alissa Nutting, and more.

All Pygmalion Literary Festival events are free to the public. For a full listing of events, visit the Pygmalion website.

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Edible Book Festival, April 1st

EdibleBookFestival The 9th Annual Edible Book Festival will take place on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at the University YMCA in Champaign (1001 South Wright Street). According to the Library News & Events website,

“Edible art entries have a connection to books as shapes or content. Prizes will be awarded for the best culinary creations—which will be displayed, judged, and consumed. As I Lay FryingThe Bundt for Red OctoberThe Pie Who Loved Me, and The Lord of the Fries were among the entries last year.”

Each year the festival features a special category; this year the special category is Banned Books. This year’s Edible Book Festival is sponsored by the University Library. For more information, please visit the Edible Book Festival website.


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