Press ReleaseLocal Libraries LIT to host award-winning author Saeed Jones on April 1


Local Libraries LIT to host award-winning author Saeed Jones on April 1

 

Local Libraries LIT (Listen, Initiate, Talk), is a unique partnership between the public libraries in Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty, and the University of Iowa Libraries with support from The Tuesday Agency. Together, they will host award-winning author and poet Saeed Jones, a powerful voice in the world of literary activism, whose writing often takes on questions of identity.

This virtual event will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021. There is no charge to participate, but registration is required at icpl.org/local-libraries-LIT. Once registered, you will be emailed a link to the event.

Jones is an essential author, as well as a powerful voice in the world of literary activism, and his writing often takes on questions of identity. Formerly a major contributor at Buzzfeed, he shaped his platform into a tool for social awareness with his no-holds-barred personality.

His debut collection, Prelude to Bruise, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was awarded the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. The collection also received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which described the book as, “a fever dream, something akin to magic.” His poems engage themes of intimacy, race, and power, and often incorporate elements of mythology. In a 2014 interview for PEN America, Jones stated, “I’m obsessed with manhood as a brutal and artful performance. My mind always finds its way back to the crossroad where sex, race, and power collide. Journeys, transformation as well as dashed attempts to transform, fascinate me as well.”

In 2019, Jones released his highly anticipated memoir, How We Fight for Our Lives. A review from NPR writes, “Jones’s voice and sensibility are so distinct that he turns one of the oldest of literary genres inside out and upside down.” In this memoir, Jones has developed a one-of-a-kind style that is as beautiful as it is powerful, and he has cemented himself as an essential writer of our time.

Jones has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer/Art/Mentorship.While the event is free and open to the general public, financial contributions will be welcomed to support local libraries and to fund future programs in this series. 

Contact:Patty McCarthy, Iowa City Public Library Development Office Coordinator319-356-5249

Local Libraries LIT (Listen, Initiate, Talk) introduces thought-provoking writers to community members in a unique partnership between the public libraries in Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty, and the University of Iowa Libraries with support from The Tuesday Agency. The goal of Local Libraries LIT is to fuel conversations and actions to grow more inclusive communities.

Saeed Jones