Columbia College Chicago Announces Fall 2016 Reading Series with Charles Johnson, Ross Gay, Hoa Nguyen, Vu Tran and Many Others

(L-R) Charles Johnson, Hoa Nguyen, Vu Tran. Photos courtesy of the artists.

CHICAGO (August 26, 2016) –Columbia College Chicago’s Creative Writing Department’s Reading Series continues this fall with notable writers including National Book Award winners Charles Johnson and Ross Gay, as well as Hoa Nguyen, Vu Tran, Bhanu Kapil, T. Geronimo Johnson and more.
The reading series is a mix of established and emerging writers that promises to be the “most eclectic and diverse offering yet,” says Creative Writing professor and associate chair Joe Meno.

The series begins on Sept. 21 with T. Geronimo Johnson and Chicago-based poet Nate Marshall who, Meno says, will “light the fuse for a semester full of exclamatory, explosive writing.” The series also features Thalia Field and Bhanu Kapil, both on the vanguard of experimental, genre-defying writing.
Also featured are Chase Joynt and Vivek Shraya, two Toronto-based trans artists who incorporate performance, film and installation into their work. According to Meno, the effort to expand the boundaries of a traditional reading series is "for students, faculty and staff to make the connection between works on the page and performance so that they sense the different ways language influences our world.”
The readings are free and open to faculty, staff, students and the general public. Each reading will open with a graduate student reader and close with a Q&A session with the audience. Selected titles will be available for sale.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
T. Geronimo Johnson & Nate Marshall
5:30 p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
T. Geronimo Johnson was born and raised in New Orleans and is the bestselling author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold It ’Til It Hurts, which was a finalist for the 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction.
Nate Marshall is the author of Wild Hundreds, an editor of The BreakBeat Poets, a member of The Dark Noise Collective and National Program Director of Louder than a Bomb.
Books available: Welcome to Braggsville (Johnson); Wild Hundreds (Marshall)
Tuesday, Oct. 4
Sarah Gorham & Vu Tran
5:30 p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
Sarah Gorham is the author of Study in Perfect, Bad Daughter and The Cure among other publications. She is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Sarabande Books.

Vu Tran was born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma. His first novel, Dragonfish, was a NY Times Notable Book of 2015. He currently teaches at the University of Chicago.
Books available: Study in Perfect (Gorham); Dragonfish (Tran)
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Chase Joynt & Vivek Shraya
5:30p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and author of the memoir, You Only Live Twice: Sex, Death, and Transition.
Vivek Shraya is a Toronto-based artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. She of the Mountains was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books of 2014.
Books available: You Only Live Twice (Joynt); Even This Page is White (Shraya)
Thursday, Nov. 3
Charles Johnson
6 p.m. Harold Washington Library, Pritzker Auditorium
Charles Johnson is a scholar and the author of many essays, short stories and novels including Dreamer and Middle Passage, which won the National Book Award, making him the second African-American man to receive this prize after Ralph Ellison in 1953. Johnson received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1998. A world premiere stage adaptation of Middle Passage is forthcoming from Pegasus Players in Chicago.
Thursday, Nov. 10
Ross Gay & Thalia Field
5:30 p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
Ross Gay is the author of Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude, which was a winner of the National Book Critics Circle award and a finalist for the National Book Award. He also serves as an editor at Some Call it Ballin’, Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.
Thalia Field writes books that confront the narrative implications of history, science, and animal studies. Her latest hybrid fiction is Experimental Animals, published by Solid Objects.
Books available: Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (Gay); Bird Lovers, Backyard and Experimental Animals (Field)
Tuesday, Nov. 15
Hoa Nguyen & Matvei Yankelevich
5:30 p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
Hoa Nguyen was born in the Mekong Delta and currently resides in Toronto. Her poetry collections include As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice, Poems 1998-2009 and Violet Energy Ingots.
Matvei Yankelevich was born in Moscow and currently resides in Brooklyn. A poet and fiction writer, he is the author of Boris by the Sea and Alpha Donut. He also serves as co-executive director at Ugly Duckling Presse.
Books available: Violet Energy Ingots (Nguyen); Some Worlds (Yankelevich)
Tuesday, Dec. 6
Bhanu Kapil & Tony Trigilio
5:30 p.m. Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, Second Floor
Bhanu Kapil currently teaches at Naropa University and Godard College. Her cross-genre writing includes The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers and Humanimal:A Project for Future Children and Ban en Banlieue.
Tony Trigilio’s most recent collection of poetry is Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood),Book 2. He teaches poetry at Columbia College Chicago.
Books available: Ban en Banlieue (Kapil); The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood) Book 1 and Inside the Walls of My Own House: The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood), Book 2 (Trigilio)

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The Columbia College Chicago Reading Series is committed to curating critically engaged contemporary works that challenge traditional discourse and embraces culturally relevant, diverse voices. The college’s unique connection to the vibrant cultural and educational district in the South Loop also sets the stage for some of the most fascinating, inspiring and influential conversations on the literary arts.

Columbia College Chicago is a private, nonprofit college offering a distinctive curriculum that blends creative and media arts, liberal arts and business for more than 8,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Dedicated to academic excellence and long-term career success, Columbia College Chicago creates a dynamic, challenging and collaborative space for students who experience the world through a creative lens. For more information, visit

Media contact: Danielle Wilcox, 312.369.7937,