Monday, February 14, 2011

Here Comes AViD 2011!

It’s finally time, patient fans of AViD, to announce our lineup of authors--and once again, it’s a stellar group! Their books are also a diverse mix, with fascinating subjects ranging from local issues such as Iowa’s brain drain, to the global challenges of human trafficking in the mountainous regions of Nepal and how a family deals with the aftermath of the tsunami in Thailand.

I'm convinced that there is a sort of serendipity that happens around AViD every year and this year is no exception. We strive to make every year as unique as possible, including the logo design. This year, we considered several designs before deciding to use Iowa’s wild rose for inspiration. Lo and behold, upon reading Anne Lamott’s definitive book on writing, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, I discovered that Anne compared her writing to a poem by Wendell Berry, titled, The Wild Rose. A fitting tribute to our state flower, to writing, and maybe even to AViD, don’t you agree?

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart.
Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,
and once again I am blessed, choosing again what I chose before.

Now, here’s our list of the AViD writers that will be "blooming" in Des Moines this year:

Patrick J. Carr, Monday, April 11
7:00 PM, Central Library
Hollowing Out the Middle: the Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America

In 2001, with funding from the MacArthur Foundation, sociologists Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas moved to Iowa to understand the rural brain drain and the exodus of young people from America’s countryside. They met and followed working-class “stayers”; ambitious and college-bound “achievers”; “seekers,” who head off to war to see what the world beyond offers; and “returners,” who eventually circle back to their hometowns. What surprised them most was that adults in the community were playing a pivotal part in a town’s decline by pushing the best and brightest young people to leave.

Anne Lamott, Wednesday, April 13
7:00 PM, Hoyt Sherman Place Theater
Imperfect Birds

Anne Lamott is the author of six novels including, Hard Laughter, Rosie, Joe Jones, All New People, and Crooked Little Heart (the sequel to Rosie), as well as four bestselling books of nonfiction, Operating Instructions, an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Traveling Mercies, a collection of autobiographical essays on faith, and Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Anne Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country.

Rainbow Rowell, Monday, April 18
7:00 PM, Central Library

Rainbow Rowell is a columnist for the Omaha World-Herald and a feature writer for the Living section and Her columns and stories focus on all types of popular culture, including movies, books, music, television, and trends, as well as family and lifestyle issues, all filtered through Rainbow’s unique way of looking at the world. Her first novel, Attachments is a romantic comedy set at a Midwest newspaper.

Robert V. Morris, Monday, April 25
7:00 PM, Central Library
Black Faces of War: A Legacy of Honor from the American Revolution to Today.

Robert V. Morris is an Iowa native, the grandson and son of two decorated army officers. He founded the Fort Des Moines Memorial Park and the WWII Iowa Tuskegee Airmen Memorial at the Des Moines International Airport. His documentary Tradition and Valor was broadcast on Iowa Public Television. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa, has taught journalism at Iowa State University and is a past-president of the NAACP Iowa-Nebraska Conference. His new book, Black Faces of War, honors the men and women of color who have served in the American army

Debbie Macomber, Tuesday, May 10
7:00 PM, Hoyt Sherman Place Theater
A Turn in the Road

With more than 130 million copies of her books in print, Debbie Macomber is one of the world’s most popular authors. A number 1 New York Times bestselling author, she is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Drawing on her own experiences and observations, Debbie writes heartwarming tales about small-town life, home and family, enduring friendships and women who knit and every book features her delightful sense of humor.

Conor Grennan, Tuesday, June 7
7:00 PM, Hoyt Sherman Place Theater
Little Princes

Conor Grennan, author of the memoir Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, founded Next Generation Nepal, an organization dedicated to reconnecting trafficked children with their families and combating the root causes of child trafficking in rural villages in Nepal. He was based in the capital of Kathmandu, where he was the Executive Director of Next Generation Nepal, until September 2007. Conor now serves on the Board of Next Generation Nepal, together with his wife, Liz.

Dr. Benjamin Beck, Dr. Robert Shumaker, & Dr. Kristina R. Walkup, Wednesday, June 14
7:00 PM, Central Library
Animal Tool Behavior: The Use and Manufacture of Tools by Animals

When published in 1980, Dr. Benjamin B. Beck's, Animal Tool Behavior, was the first volume to capture and analyze the use of tools by animals. Beck showed that animals - from insects to primates - employed different types of tools to solve numerous problems. In a revised and updated edition of the landmark publication, Robert Shumaker and Kristina Walkup join Beck to reveal the current state of knowledge regarding animal tool behavior.

Dr. Beck is the director of conservation at Great Ape Trust. Dr. Shumaker is the vice president of life sciences at the Indianapolis Zoo, the author of Orangutans, and coauthor, with Dr. Beck, of Primates in Question. Dr. Walkup is an adjunct assistant professor at Drake University.

John Shors, Monday, September 12
7:00 PM, Hoyt Sherman Place Theater
Cross Currents (coming in September)

Native Iowan John Shors returns with his fifth novel about a trio of Americans and a local family on an island in Thailand whose personal dramas play out against the tsunami of 2004. John’s first four novels, Beneath a Marble Sky, Beside a Burning Sea, Dragon House, and The Wishing Trees, have won multiple awards, and have been translated into twenty-five languages. He has spent much of his life abroad, traveling in Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, Africa, and North America.

The AViD Author Series is made possible with funding from the Des Moines Public Library Foundation with generous support from Humanities Iowa, Douglas and Deborah West, Iowa History Center at Simpson College, Iowa Council for International Understanding, Jim and Roxanne Conlin, Drake University, John and Patsy Shors, Hoyt Sherman Place Theater, Forest Avenue Library Brick Fund, Meredith Corporation, and the Friends of the East Side Library.

For updates and information about all of the AViD 2011 events, visit the library’s web site.

No comments: