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Latest River Readings spotlights Kelly Daniels' memoir

January  07, 2014

Augustana College will host a public reading on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m in the Gävle Room, Room 405, of the Center for Student Life (3435 9 ½ Ave.) with Dr. Kelly Daniels, associate professor of English. Daniels will read from his memoir Cloudbreak, California as part of the River Readings series.

Daniels’ memoir was honored by BuzzFeed on Dec. 31, 2013, as one of “13 Works of Nonfiction And Memoir That We Love in 2013.”

BuzzFeed contributor Jonathan Crimmins described Daniels’ work this way: “Restlessness, rootlessness, a father who casts an ominous shadow over his son’s life – Cloudbreak, California expertly captures the rough texture of the less-lovely California we love to read about.”

In the past, the college typically brought off-campus literary artists from across the nation to Augustana to meet and discuss literature for River Readings. With Daniels’ recent success, the decision was made to honor him with the opportunity to be part of a popular campus tradition through a reading of his work, a short reception and book-signing.

In the book, Daniels writes of being left fatherless in ninth grade when his father, “a surfer and an outlaw,” was involved in the death of a drug kingpin and fled the country. His uncle was another character, a criminal “who turned bizarre and dangerous,” and died by accidentally lighting himself on fire.

As an adult, Daniels set off on his own, traveling extensively through Europe, Mexico and Central America, and some of those adventures also are detailed in the memoir.

Dr. Daniels teaches creative writing at Augustana. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, Sonora Review, South Dakota Review, Santa Clara Review, GSU Review, Orange Coast Review, Eyeshot and other journals. Among other awards, he won first prize in Creative Nonfiction at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference.

The River Readings series is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Institute for Leadership and Service, the Thomas Tredway Library and the English department. For more information, contact Amanda Makula, (309) 794-7316, reference librarian and this year’s coordinator of the series.

View a book trailer for Cloudbreak, California.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu