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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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November 10 & 11 Good Thunder: Brian Turner and Dunya Mikhail

November 10 & 11 Good Thunder: Brian Turner and Dunya Mikhail


This week, Good Thunder hosts Brian Turner and Dunya Mikhail. They'll be here for two days:  on Thursday, they'll participate in Good Thunder's regular activities. On Friday, they, along with English department professor Gwen Westerman, will give a talk on "Making Meaning Out of War."


Good Thunder is also presenting a Veteran's Day program at Pathstone Living on Friday that includes first-year MFA student Mike Kubista and Professor Candace Black.


Thursday November 10

10-11 am
Emy Frentz Gallery, 523 S. Second St.

Craft Talk
3-3:50 p.m.
Ostrander Auditorium

7:30-8:30 pm
CSU, Room 245


Friday November 11

Veterans' Day Program
2:00-3:00 pm
Pathstone Living
718 Mound Ave.

"Making Meaning out of War"
7:30-8:30 pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 302 Warren Street


Brian Turner, who served seven years in the U.S. Army, is the author of two poetry collections “Phantom Noise” and “Here, Bullet,” and the memoir "My Life as a Foreign Country."  His work has won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection, the 2006 PEN Center USA “Best in the West” award, and the 2007 Poets Prize.


Dunya Mikhail was born in Iraq in 1965 and came to the United States in 1996 after her poetry landed on Saddam Hussein’s enemies list. In 2001, she was awarded the Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing from the United Nations. One of her first works, “The War Works Hard,” was translated into English by Elizabeth Winslow and established her as the first female Iraqi poet with a book published in the United States. Winslow also converted Mikhail’s “Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea,” which won the 2010 Arab American Book Award. Mikhail’s latest collection, “The Iraqi Nights,” was translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid.


Gwen Westerman, a professor of English, is a poet and nonfiction writer. Her work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Water-Stone Review, A View from The Loft, Western American Literature, and Natural Bridge. She has a collection of poetry, “Follow the Blackbirds” (Michigan State University Press, 2013), and she co-authored an award-winning historical volume, “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012).  Her in-progress poetry collection focuses on the experiences of mothers of combat veterans of war.


Candace Black teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her poems and essays have appeared in many journals. "The Volunteer" won the 2000 Minnesota Voice Poetry Award and was published by New Rivers Press in 2003. A chapbook, "Casa Marina," won the Thomas A. Wilhemus Award and was published by RopeWalk Press in 2010. "Whereabouts" won the 2015 Violet Reed Haas Award and will be published by Snake Nation Press in early 2017.

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