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Library Friends of Cook County Presents Author Panel and Discussion Focused on Agency and Authenticity in Works of Fiction

October 9, 2023 Grand Marais, Minn – Cook County Library Friends and the Grand Mara­is Art Colony welcome all to a panel discus­sion with visiting authors as part of the 2023 North Shore Readers and Writers Festival. The panel will take place on Thursday, November 2nd, 7:30 p.m. at Studio 21 in downtown Grand Marais. Admission is free and pre-registration via the event page is recommended https://grandmaraisartcolony.org/event/author-panel-agency-and-authenticity-in-works-of-fiction-who-tells-the-story/.

Agency and Authenticity in Works of Fic­tion—who tells the Story? focuses on agency and authenticity in works of fiction with sto­rylines and characters that center around his­torically marginalized communities. The cen­tral question to be discussed is: Who should speak for people of color in works of fiction? The author panel includes esteemed scholars and writers Mona Susan Power, Michael Kle­ber-Diggs, Carol Miller, David Mura and Mi­cheal Torres. The discussion will be moderated by North Shore writer Staci Drouillard, author of Walking the Old Road—a People’s History of Chippewa City (2019) and the Grand Marais Anishinaabe and Seven Aunts (2022).

Mona Susan Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, born and raised in Chicago. She’s the author of four books of fiction, including The Grass Dancer (awarded the PEN/Hemingway Prize), Roofwalker, Sa­cred Wilderness, and her recently released nov­el, A Council of Dolls, which is long-listed for the National Book Award. She lives in Minne­sota and is currently at work on another novel.

Michael Kleber-Diggs is currently writing a memoir about his complicated history with lap swimming called My Weight in Water. He is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow in Liter­ature, a poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things (Milkweed 2021), won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, the 2022 Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Poetry, the 2022 Balcones Poet­ry Prize, the 2021 Poetry Center Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 Minnesota Book Award.

Carol Miller is a Distinguished Teaching Professor, emerita, and former chair of the Pro­gram in American Studies and the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her teaching and scholarship have been focused on Indigenous Literature, espe­cially Native American women writers, and images of Native Americans in popular culture. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Na­tion of Oklahoma.

David Mura’s latest two books are The Sto­ries Whiteness Tells Itself: Racial Myths and Our American Narratives and A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity and Narrative Craft in Writing. He’s also written four books of poetry, a novel, two memoirs (including the NY Times Notable Book Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei) and the Emmy Award winning docu­mentary Armed with Language about the MIS Japanese American soldiers during WWII. He’s won a Kay Sexton Award for contributions to MN literature from the MN Book Awards and the Friends of the St. Paul Libraries.

Michael Torres was born and brought up in Pomona, California where he spent his adoles­cence as a graffiti artist. His debut collection of poems, An Incomplete List of Names (Beacon Press, 2020) was selected by Raquel Salas Ri­vera for the National Poetry Series. Currently he’s an Associate Professor in the MFA pro­gram at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a teaching artist with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. There is no charge for the event, which is hosted by the Grand Marais Art Colony and sponsored by Cook County Library Friends, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote books, reading initiatives and excel­lence in library services by working with the Library Board and the staffs of the public and school libraries to support these agencies, their services and programs. Library Friends would like to thank the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation for grant support, to help bring this event to Cook County.

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