Skip to main content

The River Readings at Augustana

The River Readings at Augustana brings literary artists to campus each year from around the country. These writers of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction meet with students in class or other venues to discuss their work and careers, and present a free reading open to the public. A reception and book-signing is held after the reading. 

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 Dr. Meg Gillette, 309-794-7384.

Sept. 18, 2018: Kai Carlson-Wee and Anders Carlson-Wee 

Poets and brothers Kai Carlson-Wee and Anders Carlson-Wee will read together at 5 p.m. in the Brunner Theatre Center's Black Box on campus.

In addition to co-writing two chapbooks, the two created the 2017 documentary film "Riding the Highline," about their trip hopping freight trains from Minneapolis to Wenatchee, Wash.

Kai Carlson-Wee is the author of "RAIL," forthcoming from BOA Editions. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Best New Poets, TriQuarterly, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, and The Missouri Review, which selected his poems for its 2013 Editor’s Prize.

His photography has been featured in Narrative Magazine and his poetry film, "Riding the Highline," received jury awards at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival and the 2016 Arizona International Film Festival.

With his brother Anders, he has co-authored two chapbooks, "Mercy Songs" (Diode Editions) and "Two-Headed Boy" (Organic Weapon Arts), winner of the 2015 Blair Prize.

A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco and teaches poetry at Stanford University.

Anders Carlson-Wee is the author of "The Low Passions" (W.W. Norton, 2019). His work has appeared in BuzzFeed, The Nation, Tin House, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, The Sun, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

His debut chapbook, "Dynamite," won the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bread Loaf, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference.

He is co-director of the award-winning poetry film "Riding the Highline" and winner of Ninth Letter’s Poetry Award, Blue Mesa Review’s Poetry Prize, New Delta Review’s Editors’ Choice Prize, and the 2017 Poetry International Prize.

He holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Minneapolis.

April 10, 2019: Steve Almond

Steve Almond will read on at 5 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall, second floor of the Denkmann Memorial Building.

He is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers "Candyfreak" and "Against Football."

"Bad Stories," his newest book, "is an effort to make sense of our historical moment. The book argues that Trumpism is a bad outcome arising directly from the bad stories we tell ourselves."

Almond hosts the New York Times Dear Sugars podcast with author Cheryl Strayed.

His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series.