Award-winning essayist and novelist Natalie Bakopoulos — named “a writer to watch” by the Chicago Tribune — kicked off this year's Writers@Grinnell with a twist.
Bakopoulos not only read from her own work, but earlier in the day she tackled "Sibling Rivalry: Writing about Family without Getting Disowned" in a roundtable discussion with her brother, Dean Bakopoulos, assistant professor of English.
Natalie Bakopoulos recently released her first novel, The Green Shore, which paints a finely-etched portrait of one family whose heartbreaking stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of the late 1960s Greek military dictatorship. She has also written essays for Granta, Salon, and The New York Times about Greece's current economic crisis.
She was the first of several writers joining Grinnellians for readings and interactions with students as a part of the fall Writers@Grinnell series. The series brings to campus writers of all kinds: poets, novelists, memoirists, essayists, radio essayists, columnists, graphic memoirists, playwrights, and short story writers.
The next to present will be historian, biographer, and journalist Sam Tanenhaus ’77, visiting faculty in English. Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review, is author of The Death of Conservatism and Whittaker Chambers: A Biography.
Others writers in the series include:
Charles Baxter, acclaimed fiction writer, critic, and one of the nation's most beloved creative writing teachers, who will read from his most recent story collection, Gryphon: New and Selected Stories.
May-lee Chai ‘89, a writer and educator, who has participated in past Writers@Grinnell series and returns to lead a roundtable discussion on "Writing after Grinnell” and to read from her memoir Hapa Girl.
Ronald Wallace, who will read selections from his poetry, including from Long for this World and For a Limited Time Only, and lead a roundtable presentation on formal poetry. Praised as "one of our liveliest, most readable poets" by Charles Harper Webb, Wallace’s trademark warmth and wit makes poetry lovers out of the form’s sworn enemies.
Brothers Davy and Peter Rothbart, who began FOUND Magazine in 2001. The magazine spawned the 2004 bestseller Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World, as well as two other collections in 2006 and 2009. In November, Davy Rothbart reads from his new essay collection, My Heart Is an Idiot, accompanied by music composed and performed by his brother. The Rothbart brothers have sat on David Letterman's interview couch and have been featured on the radio show This American Life.
Students of Grinnell Review round off the fall semester in December with readings from the College’s literary journal, which is edited and designed entirely by Grinnell students.
See Writers@Grinnell for times and locations.