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Good Thunder Reading Series to Host 18 Writers for 9 Residencies

Eighteen writers featured in 31st year of series.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 8-28-2012

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series will host 18 writers for nine residencies during the series’ 31st year.

The series invites emerging and established writers to Mankato to meet with community writers and readers, be interviewed on public radio, lead discussions on the craft of writing, and read from their published works.

All events are open to the public and will be held in the Centennial Student Union. Most series guests will be interviewed on KMSU-FM 89.7 and have their discussions broadcast as part of the “Authors in Transit” series at 1 p.m. on the day of the event and 11 a.m. the following Friday. Schedules for each residency are available at

Cited by the Minnesota Humanities Commission as “the premier small-town reading series in the country,” the series is intended to reflect the diversity and vitality found in contemporary writing.

The fall Good Thunder Reading Series will feature:

  • Thursday, Sept. 13: Two dynamic voices in contemporary American poetry, Oregon poet and Walt Whitman Award winner Carl Adamshick (pictured at right) and North Carolina poet and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Dorianne Laux.
  • Thursday, Oct. 4: Graphic writer and artist Alison Bechdel, whose memoir “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” made several “best of” lists the year it was published.
  • Thursday, Oct. 25 (Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Residency): Fiction writers Nick Healy, Nicole Helget, and Nate LeBoutillier. Healy recently published his first book of short stories, and Helget and LeBoutillier recently co-authored and published “Horse Camp,” a novel for young adults.
  • Thursday, Nov. 15 (Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Residency): MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner and Haitian fiction and creative nonfiction writer Edwidge Danticat. She will be joined in the evening reading by 2012-2013 Andreas Graduate Assistant, poet Angela Mullen.

The spring 2012-’13 academic year series will feature:

  • Thursday, Jan. 31: Georgia novelist and Hurston/Wright Award winner Tayari Jones.
  • Tuesday-Friday, Feb. 19-22 (Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency): Minnesota poet Bao Phi and novelist Marlon James. Phi was featured on HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” and in “Best American Poetry 2006.” James’ “The Book of Night Women” won the Minnesota Book Award.
  • Thursday, March 28 (Robert Wright Minnesota Writer Residency): Poet Robert Hedin, who has published over two dozen books of poetry and translations. He directs the splendid Anderson Center at Tower View, an interdisciplinary arts center in Red Wing. Hedin will be joined in the evening by the 2012-2013 Robert Wright Award winner, Brett Biebel.
  • Thursday, April 11 (Minnesota State Mankato alumni residency): Poet Kris Bigalk and fiction writers Thomas Maltman and Scott Wrobel. Bigalk and Wrobel are out with their first books, and Maltman is following up on his Alex Award-winning first novel with another.
  • Thursday, April 25: Minnesota State Mankato faculty writers Geoff Herbach and Diana Joseph. Herbach just published his second novel for young adults, “Nothing Special.” Joseph’s memoir “I’m Sorry You Feel That Way” met much acclaim when it was released in 2009.

The Good Thunder Reading Series began in 1982 and has committed itself since to programs that balance emerging and established talent drawn from Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, and the rest of the nation.

This year’s Good Thunder Reading Series is funded by the Department of English, the College of Arts & Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors.

It is made possible by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature. It is also made possible by a grant provided from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature. Library Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore offer additional assistance.

Those who want more information may call Richard Robbins, Department of English, the director of the Good Thunder Reading Series, by email at by phone at (507) 389-1354, or go to

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 32 state institutions.

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