Jun
4
6:00 PM18:00

Sherry Jones, June 4, 6:00 p.m.

josephine baker's last dance.jpg

We’re pleased to welcome international bestselling author Sherry Jones to Skylark to discuss her wonderful novel, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE.

Josephine Baker was a legendary performer, a trailblazing activist, and one of the most remarkable and powerful cultural icons in history. In this moving and insightful biographical novel, Sherry Jones lifts the curtain and pays homage to her fascinating life.

Josephine Baker was born an illegitimate child of poverty in St. Louis, Missouri but emerged as a black ingénue in Paris at the height of the flapper movement. Sherry Jones creates a fictionalized reimagining of Josephine Baker’s rise to international fame and success as a headlining performer on Paris’s grandest stage.

A celebrity in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, World War II, and beyond, Josephine Baker also had a secret career as a pilot in the French Air Force and intelligence spy for the French Resistance. She took center stage as a dedicated Civil Rights activist, becoming the only woman invited to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, and her views on social justice and advocacy continue to influence American life today.

Symbolic of her life, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE is structured around the program of Josephine Baker’s final triumphant performance. As the final curtain falls, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today. Come and listen to Sherry Jones read from her book and share the stories behind this enchanting novel.

Sherry Jones author photo.jpg
View Event →
Jun
8
2:00 PM14:00

Deborah Zemke, June 8, 2:00 p.m.

Come and help us celebrate the launch of the fourth book in the beloved Bea Garcia series, by acclaimed local children’s author Deborah Zemke! This book is especially precious as it is based upon a real-life story that happened some years ago at Grant Elementary School - just across the road from the Daniel Boone Regional Library. Deborah has worked with Grant students for many years as the founder and mentor of the Grant School Book Project, where she has helped more than 1,000 fourth graders write and illustrate hardcover books.

Bea Garcia and her classmates know they can save their school's best tree from being cut down! The fourth chapter book in this quirky, beloved series focuses on teamwork in the classroom and care for the environment. There's a very special 150-year-old oak tree outside the window of Bea's classroom at Emily Dickinson Elementary School. When Bert, Bea's nemesis, climbs the tree, he gets in a lot of trouble--and that leads to even more trouble for everyone. "Concerned" citizens proclaim the tree a hazard and call for cutting it down. But the class won't let that happen, and using Bea's artistic ability, they work out a great plan to save the tree named Emily.

tree and me.jpg

Deborah Zemke has written and/or illustrated more than fifty books for young readers. These range from the popular Doodles drawing books to the acclaimed Bea Garcia chapter book series. Deborah is a frequent contributor to Ranger Rick magazine and the designer of the ITC Zemke Hand font. Deborah grew up drawing, dreaming, reading, and climbing trees near Detroit, Michigan and now, many years later, does exactly the same thing in Columbia, Missouri.

Zemke.jpg
View Event →
Jun
19
6:00 PM18:00

Jill Orr - Book Launch! June 19, 6:00 p.m.

Columbia is full of wonderful writers, and we at Skylark celebrate them in a number of different ways, from hosting local author nights to readings - and, of course, to stocking and talking about and selling their books. Most fun of all is when we get to throw a party for a book launch - and that is what we’ll be doing to celebrate the publication of THE UGLY TRUTH, the third novel by one of our most beloved novelists, the brilliant Jill Orr.

Jill Orr.jpg

THE UGLY TRUTH is the third installment in the Riley Ellison mystery series, and it’s rich with all the suspense, humor, small-town charm, and captivating characters that made the first two books a hit with critics and fans alike.

There's been a shocking double murder in Tuttle Corner, Virginia, involving high-profile players from Washington D.C. This brings national attention - and big-city competition for the story - to junior reporter Riley Ellison's little corner of the world. Beloved caf owner Rosalee is the prime suspect in the violent crimes, but she insists on her innocence. In exchange for protection, Rosalee gives Riley and her fellow reporter Holman exclusive information that incriminates a powerful person. 

Meanwhile, Personal Romance Concierge(TM) Regina H. is back, offering once-again-single Riley not just online dating expertise but also a new subscription self-care service that promises such benefits as "the sensation of emotional bravery on a micromolecular level." 

Riley and Holman eventually begin to wonder if Rosalee is telling the truth. They head down separate investigative paths until one of them finds the truth... and one of them finds the killer. 

Come and help us launch this book into the world! Jill will be there to talk about the book and sign your copy for you. There will be giveaways and snacks! And bubbly stuff.

ugly truth.jpg
View Event →
Aug
6
6:00 PM18:00

Laura McHugh Book Launch! August 6, 6:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars! We’re so excited to have the honor of launching Laura McHugh’s brilliant third novel, THE WOLF WANTS IN, on the novel’s publication day, Tuesday, August 6! Come and help us celebrate our local superstar author’s most recent success!

THE WOLF WANTS IN.jpg

With her previous novels The Weight of Blood and Arrowood, award-winning author Laura McHugh has already proved herself skilled at vividly weaving together small-town intrigue and the dark secrets passed through generations. In THE WOLF WANTS IN, she gives readers a window into a rural farming community lost to the opioid epidemic and the complicated family bonds that come into question when secrets unravel.  

Sadie Keller is determined to find out how her brother died. Untimely deaths are all too common in rural Blackwater, Kansas, where crime and overdoses are on the rise, but she believes—even if the police don’t—that this was different. Soon police attentions shifts entirely when the skull of a missing ten-year-old girl is discovered in the woods outside of town. Sadie is on her own, delving into the dark corners of a life her brother kept hidden and unearthing more questions than answers…questions about how he may have been connected to the young girl’s tragic death. 

Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Henley Pettit knows more than she’d like to about the seedy side of Blackwater. She’s desperate to escape before she’s irreparably entangled in her family’s crimes, but shedding the past is never easy, and getting out of town will be far more dangerous than she ever imagined. Time is quickly running out and when more bones are found in the woods, both women are torn between family loyalties and the knowledge that while some secrets are hard to live with, others will get you killed.

 Fans of dark, true-to-life thrillers and popular crime podcasts like S-Town and Hell and Gone will become absorbed in the family lies, chilling secrets, and the shocking truth that lands at the heart of this brilliant and haunting novel.

View Event →

May
23
6:00 PM18:00

Folio Showcase, May 23, 6:00 p.m.

FOLIO is Rock Bridge High School's yearly literary magazine which showcases student art, poetry, music compositions, photography, manuscripts, and more. It's a celebration of creativity and the fine arts community. Join us at Skylark as these talented students share and discuss their work!

folio.jpg
View Event →
May
16
6:00 PM18:00

David Dowling, May 16, 6:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go to school to learn how to write? There are many illustrious MFA (Master of Fine Arts) programs across the country, where aspiring writers go to learn their craft, but none is as famous or revered as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. And with good reason: the place has produced an astonishing number of distinguished writers and poets since its establishment in 1936. Its alumni and faculty include twenty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, six U.S. poet laureates, and numerous National Book Award winners. The program is famous for using the “workshop” method of classroom peer criticism.

delicate aggression.jpg

The title of David O. Dowling’s fascinating history of the program, A Delicate Aggression: Savagery and Survival in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, pretty much says it all. Meant to simulate the rigors of editorial and critical scrutiny in the publishing industry, the workshop environment creates competition and community, cooperation and rivalry. Focusing on some of the exceptional authors who have participated in the program - such as Flannery O’Connor, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Smiley, Sandra Cisneros, T. C. Boyle, and Marilynne Robinson - David Dowling examines how the Iowa Writers’ Workshop has shaped professional authorship and the course of American literature. This is a fascinating insight into one of the most critical cogs in the publishing-industrial complex (OK, we possibly just made that thing up) and will be a highly informative and entertaining evening.

David Dowling.jpg
View Event →
May
2
6:00 PM18:00

Kathryn Fishman-Weaver, May 2, 6:00 p.m.

We’re excited to welcome Dr. Kathryn Fishman-Weaver to Skylark on May 2. Dr. Fishman-Weaver is the author of Wholehearted Teaching of Gifted Young Women: Cultivating Courage, Connection, and Self-Care in Schools. This important book explores the critical role school communities play in supporting the social and emotional needs of high-achieving young women. Using a youth participatory action research model, the book follows 20 student researchers from high school through college. This longitudinal study leads to "Wholehearted Teaching," a new framework for cultivating courage, connection, and self-care in schools. Framed with personal stories and filled with practical suggestions, Dr. Fishman-Weaver offers strategies for teachers, counselors, parents, and high-achieving young women as they navigate the precipice of youth and everything after.

KFW Headshot.jpg

Kathryn Fishman-Weaver is an educator, author, and relentless optimist. She is passionate about community and strengths-based approaches to teaching, learning, and research. She is the author of Wholehearted Teaching of Gifted Young Women: Cultivating Courage, Connection, and Self-Care in Schools (2018). Her second book, When Your Child Learns Differently: A Family Approach for Navigating Special Education Services with Love and High Expectations, is scheduled for release later this year. Before becoming a nonfiction author, Kathryn’s first literary love was poetry and readers can hear that fondness for verse across her pages. One reviewer said “It is the rare work, such as this book by Dr. Fishman-Weaver that has the guts to interweave mind and heart and spirit into a tapestry of pure courage and hope.” Kathryn holds a faculty position in the College of Education where she serves as the Director of Academic Affairs for Mizzou K-12.

Wholehearted Teaching of Gifted Young Women Cover (1).jpg
View Event →
Apr
27
4:00 PM16:00

Samantha Fierke, April 27, 4:00 pm

Also as part of our Independent Bookstore Day celebrations, we’re pleased to present the jazz vocal stylings of one of Columbia’s finest young musicians, Samantha Fierke.

bookshopjazz.jpg

Come and listen to Sam and her first-rate band as you browse our inventory, PLUS our huge selection of signed books by authors who attended last week’s Unbound Book Festival AND our selection of heavily-discounted hardcovers. Oh, and a bunch of exclusive stuff which will be available for sale on that day only. Next Saturday is also the District’s Spring Shop Hop, which means parking is free all day, and there’ll be a ton of stuff to do downtown.

See you there?

View Event →
Apr
24
6:00 PM18:00

Alison C. Rollins, April 24, 6:00 p.m.

AlisonCRollins.jpg

Never a dull moment around here, my goodness no. We’re thrilled to announce that award-winning poet, Alison C. Rollins, will be reading at the shop TOMORROW NIGHT AT 6:00 p.m.

Yes, that is very short notice. But opportunities like this don’t come along very often, and when they do, by golly you snap them up.

Born and raised in St. Louis city, Alison currently works as a Librarian for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Literature fellow. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry ReviewHayden’s Ferry ReviewMeridianMissouri ReviewThe OffingPoetryThe Poetry ReviewRiver StyxSolsticeTriQuarterlyTupelo QuarterlyVinyl, and elsewhere. A Cave Canem and Callaloo fellow, she is also a 2016 recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship. In 2018 she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award. Her debut poetry collection, Library of Small Catastrophes, is out today from Copper Canyon Press. We will have lots on hand if you would like a signed copy!

It’s still April, which means it’s still National Poetry Month. Come on out and listen to this rising star!

View Event →
Apr
17
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

Our final Unbound book club pick is also one of our favorites - THE GREAT BELIEVERS by Rebecca Makkai. It’s a dazzling new novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris.

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico's funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico's little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

The Great Believers has become a critically acclaimed, indelible piece of literature; it was selected as one of New York Times Best 10 Books of the Year, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Buzzfeed Book of the Year, a Skimm Reads pick, and a pick for the New York Public Library’s Best Books of the year.


Makkai.jpg
View Event →
Apr
11
5:00 PM17:00

Jazz in the District, April 11, 5:00 - 7:00

JAM.jpg

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and to celebrate we’re pleased to present, in conjunction with our friends at the We Always Swing Jazz Series, the MU Jazz Combo playing live music in the bookshop from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Come and browse our books while enjoying some first-class live jazz! If that wasn’t enough, wine will be served, and we’re offering 10% off all jazz-related books throughout the month of April!

And, of course, it’s completely free.

View Event →
Apr
10
6:00 PM18:00

Cassie Donish and Stacey Lynn Brown, April 10, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

We’re thrilled to present a reading by two fabulous poets, Cassie Donish and Stacey Lynn Brown. This event is open to everyone and free to attend. Come and welcome spring with some absorbing, beautiful poetry!

Cassie Donish

Cassie Donish

Cassie Donish is the author of the poetry collections The Year of the Femme (University of Iowa Press, 2019), selected by Brenda Shaughnessy as winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize, and Beautyberry (Slope Editions, 2018). Her nonfiction chapbook On the Mezzanine (2019) was selected by Maggie Nelson as winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition. Her writing has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Best New Poets, Colorado Review, VICE, jubilat, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review Online, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, where she received an Olin Fellowship and served as the Junior Fellow in Poetry. She holds a BA in English from the University of Washington, and an MA in human geography from the University of Oregon. She currently teaches classes at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she’s pursuing a PhD in literature and creative writing. She grew up in South Pasadena, California.

Stacey Lynn Brown

Stacey Lynn Brown

In The Shallows, Stacey Lynn Brown continues her potent exploration of the American South—its complex legacies of family and race. These harrowing yet ultimately hopeful new poems depict a daughter grappling with the aftermath of her father’s massive stroke and her own concurrent struggles with a debilitating and mysterious illness. Stacey is also the author of Cradle Song, a book-length poem, and is the co-editor, with Oliver de la Paz, of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. She teaches creative writing at Indiana University in Bloomington.

View Event →
Apr
9
6:00 PM18:00

Romalyn Tilghman, April 9, 6:00 p.m.

We’re thrilled to present Romalyn Tilghman as she reads from and discusses her richly rewarding first novel, To the Stars Through Difficulties, which was a Kansas Notable Book of the Year in 2018.

Andrew Carnegie funded fifty-nine public libraries in Kansas in the early 20th century--but it was frontier women who organized waffle suppers, minstrel shows, and women's baseball games to buy books to fill them. Now, a century later, Angelina returns to her father's hometown of New Hope to complete her dissertation on the Carnegie libraries, just as Traci and Gayle arrive in town--Traci as an artist-in-residence at the renovated Carnegie Arts Center and Gayle as a refugee whose neighboring town, Prairie Hill, has just been destroyed by a tornado. The discovery of an old journal inspires the women to create a library and arts center as the first act of rebuilding Prairie Hill after the tornado. As they work together to raise money for the center, Traci reveals her enormous heart, Angelina discovers that problem-solving is more valuable than her PhD, and Gayle demonstrates that courage is not about waiting out a storm but building a future. Full of Kansas history--from pioneer homesteaders to Carrie Nation to orphan trains--To the Stars through Difficulties is a contemporary story of women changing their world, and finding their own voices, powers, and self-esteem in the process.

Romalyn.jpg

Straight out of graduate school, native Kansan Romalyn Tilghman was hired as Executive Director of the Association of Community Arts Councils of Kansas and was lucky enough to work with rural arts councils throughout the state. She saw first-hand how groups of (mostly) women encouraged culture on the Plains. From there, she went on to work for the National Endowment for the Arts as Regional Representative, eventually serving a territory that stretched over the Dateline, over the Equator, and over the Arctic Circle. For more than twenty years, she has worked as a freelance consultant in the arts – conducting strategic planning, initiating audience engagement projects, and assessing grant programs for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private foundations. She has served on the boards of Americans for the Arts, Association of California Symphony Orchestras, and Western Arts Alliance, as well as on numerous national panels. She lives in Long Beach, California. To the Stars through Difficulties is her first novel.

Through the stars.jpg
View Event →
Apr
4
6:00 PM18:00

Andrew Ridker, April 4, 6:00 p.m.

We are proud to present one of the fiction debuts of the season on April 4 - Andrew Ridker, with his marvelous novel, The Altruists. The book has already garnered a huge amount of praise and is creating a real buzz in the book world. (The Advanced Reading Copy has been in hot demand around here.) Rights to the novel have been sold in seventeen different countries. It’s a wryly hysterical look at family dynamics - and it’s set in St. Louis! What’s not to like?

Andrew RIDKER 01.jpg

Andrew Ridker was born in 1991. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Boston Review, The Believer, and St. Louis Magazine; and he is the editor of Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics. He is the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. 

THE ALTRUISTS.jpg
View Event →
Apr
3
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - American Prison by Shane Bauer

Shane Bauer has written a book for our times. There’s a reason AMERICAN PRISON was one of the New York Times’s best books of 2018, and was also on President Obama’s reading list last year. It tells the story of his time spent as an undercover guard in a privately-owned, for-profit prison in Louisiana. It is a harrowing but very important tale, which although difficult to read at times, could not be more important.

In 2014, Shane Bauer was hired for $9 an hour to work as an entry-level prison guard at a private prison in Winnfield, Louisiana. An award-winning investigative journalist, he used his real name; there was no meaningful background check. Four months later, his employment came to an abrupt end. But he had seen enough, and in short order he wrote an exposé about his experiences that won a National Magazine Award and became the most-read feature in the history of the magazine Mother Jones. Still, there was much more that he needed to say. In American Prison, Bauer weaves a much deeper reckoning with his experiences together with a thoroughly researched history of for-profit prisons in America from their origins in the decades before the Civil War. For, as he soon realized, we can't understand the cruelty of our current system and its place in the larger story of mass incarceration without understanding where it came from. Private prisons became entrenched in the South as part of a systemic effort to keep the African-American labor force in place in the aftermath of slavery, and the echoes of these shameful origins are with us still.

The private prison system is deliberately unaccountable to public scrutiny. Private prisons are not incentivized to tend to the health of their inmates, or to feed them well, or to attract and retain a highly-trained prison staff. Though Bauer befriends some of his colleagues and sympathizes with their plight, the chronic dysfunction of their lives only adds to the prison's sense of chaos. To his horror, Bauer finds himself becoming crueler and more aggressive the longer he works in the prison, and he is far from alone. 

A blistering indictment of the private prison system, and the powerful forces that drive it, American Prison is a necessary human document about the true face of justice in America.

ShaneBauer.jpg
View Event →
Mar
28
6:00 PM18:00

Annie Ward, March 28, 6:00 p.m.

We’re very excited to welcome Annie Ward, author of BEAUTIFUL BAD, the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since A.J. Finn’s THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW.

beautiful bad.jpg

A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.  

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries.  Hospitals and lakes.  When Ian drinks vodka in the basement.  ISIS.  When Ian gets angry...  That something is really, really wrong with me.  

Maddie and Ian's love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo.  Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.  But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.  From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, 16 Years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

Come and listen to Annie Ward read from and discuss her extraordinary new novel. 

Annie Ward.png

Annie Ward has a BA in English Literature from UCLA and a MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starring Adam Scott, was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award winner at the Aspen Film Festival. She has received a Fulbright Scholarship and An Escape to Create Artists residency. She lives in Kansas with her family.

View Event →
Mar
27
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Everyone Knows You Go Home by Natalia Sylvester

Come and join in the conversation about Natalia Sylvester’s beautiful novel, winner of the International Latino Book Award.

The first time Isabel meets her father-in-law, Omar, he's already dead--an apparition appearing uninvited on her wedding day. Her husband, Martin, still unforgiving for having been abandoned by his father years ago, confesses that he never knew the old man had died. So Omar asks Isabel for the impossible: persuade Omar's family--especially his wife, Elda--to let him redeem himself.

Isabel and Martin settle into married life in a Texas border town, and Omar returns each year on the celebratory Day of the Dead. Every year Isabel listens, but to the aggrieved Martin and Elda, Omar's spirit remains invisible. Through his visits, Isabel gains insight into not just the truth about his disappearance and her husband's childhood but also the ways grief can eat away at love. When Martin's teenage nephew crosses the Mexican border and takes refuge in Isabel and Martin's home, questions about past and future homes, borders, and belonging arise that may finally lead to forgiveness--and alter all their lives forever.

NataliaSylvester_photo.jpg
View Event →
Mar
23
7:00 PM19:00

Danny Caine, March 23

We’re very excited to welcome poet and fellow bookseller Danny Caine to Skylark to celebrate the publication of his new collection of poems, Continental Breakfast (Mason Jar Press, 2019). Danny is the owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas and is also the author of El Dorado Freddy's (collaboration with Tara Wray, Belt Publishing 2020), and the chapbook Uncle Harold's Maxwell House Haggadah (Etchings Press 2017). His poetry has appeared in Hobart, DIAGRAM, New Ohio Review, and Barrelhouse.

Danny Caine.jpg

Continental Breakfast, an often-humorous book, explores the effect of mass commercialism on identity, love, religion, and the American landscape. From Kanye West at Waffle House to dead malls to Passover candy, the book questions how branding and celebrity function as filters through which we see the world.  You won’t want to miss what is to sure to be a thought-provoking and entertaining evening. Plus, it has one of the best covers we’ve seen in a long time.

Continental+Breakfast+Cover-Web+(1).jpg
View Event →
Mar
21
6:00 PM18:00

Andrew Reeves, March 21, 6:00 p.m.

Intelligent investigative writing meets experiential journalism in this important look at one of North America’s most voraciously invasive species

Politicians, ecologists, and government wildlife officials are fighting a desperate rearguard action to halt the onward reach of Asian Carp, four troublesome fish now within a handful of miles from entering Lake Michigan. From aquaculture farms in Arkansas to the bayous of Louisiana; from marshlands in Indiana to labs in Minnesota; and from the Illinois River to the streets of Chicago where the last line of defense has been laid to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, Overrun takes us on a firsthand journey into the heart of a crisis. Along the way, environmental journalist Andrew Reeves discovers that saving the Great Lakes is only half the challenge. The other is a radical scientific and political shift to rethink how we can bring back our degraded and ignored rivers and waterways and reconsider how we create equilibrium in a shrinking world.

With writing that is both urgent and wildly entertaining, Andrew Reeves traces the carp’s explosive spread throughout North America from an unknown import meant to tackle invasive water weeds to a continental scourge that bulldozes through everything in its path.

Credit: Courtney Walker

Credit: Courtney Walker

Andrew Reeves is an award-winning environmental journalist. His work has appeared in the Walrus, This Magazine, and the Globe and Mail. He received a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of King’s College in 2016. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and daughter.

Overrun_cover_hi-res.jpg
View Event →
Mar
19
6:00 PM18:00

Louder than a Bomb - Preliminary Round 2

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 9.42.29 PM.png

Louder than a Bomb is the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. Based out of Chicago and birthed by Young Chicago Authors, Louder than a Bomb has expanded to over a dozen cities since 2001.

The Mid-Missouri chapter includes 7 high school teams from Columbia, Jefferson City and Mexico, who have gathered to build bridges across our communities with words, verse, and conversation.

Skylark is very proud to be hosting some of the preliminary rounds of the event. Tonight’s event will be the second of four rounds. The final of this year’s competition will take place on the campus of Stephens College on Saturday, April 20, as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

Poetry is gonna change the world, ya'll. Come get your soul shook and stand witness as the next generation of leaders take center stage!!

View Event →
Mar
13
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson has written a hell of a book, and we can’t wait to talk about it. Set over several generations, BIRDS OF OPULENCE is a beautiful, deeply lyrical exploration of love and loss in a bucolic southern black township.

The Goode-Brown family, led by matriarch and pillar of the community Minnie Mae, is plagued by old secrets and embarrassment over mental illness and illegitimacy. Meanwhile, single mother Francine Clark is haunted by her dead, lightning-struck husband and forced to fight against both the moral judgment of the community and her own rebellious daughter, Mona. The residents of Opulence struggle with vexing relationships to the land, to one another, and to their own sexuality. As the members of the youngest generation watch their mothers and grandmothers pass away, they live with the fear of going mad themselves and must fight to survive.

Crystal Wilkinson offers up Opulence and its people in lush, poetic detail. It is a world of magic, conjuring, signs, and spells, but also of harsh realities that only love -- and love that's handed down -- can conquer. At once tragic and hopeful, this captivating novel is a story about another time, rendered for our own.

Crystal Wilkinson.jpg
View Event →
Mar
12
6:00 PM18:00

Louder Than A Bomb - Preliminary Round 1

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 9.42.29 PM.png

Louder than a Bomb is the largest youth poetry slam competition in the world. Based out of Chicago and birthed by Young Chicago Authors, Louder than a Bomb has expanded to over a dozen cities since 2001.

The Mid-Missouri chapter includes 7 high school teams from Columbia, Jefferson City and Mexico, who have gathered to build bridges across our communities with words, verse, and conversation.

Their 2nd season kicks off with the first preliminary bout at 6PM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019, and Skylark is very proud to be hosting the event. Come and hear some slam poetry in the heart of the District!

This will be the first of four rounds (the second is Tuesday, March 19th, also at Skylark) and the final of this year’s competition will take place on the campus of Stephens College on Saturday, April 20, as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

Poetry is gonna change the world, ya'll. Come get your soul shook and stand witness as the next generation of leaders take center stage!!

View Event →
Mar
10
9:30 PM21:30

Bookshop Yoga Returns! March 10, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

yoga and books.jpg

It’s back! After taking a break over the holidays we are starting a new round of bookshop yoga! Come and sit with Michaela on the second Sunday of each month, bright and early (well, 9:30) before the shop opens its doors for the day.

Suitable for all ages and levels of experience. No need to book or call ahead - just show up.

Remember:

  • You will need to bring your own yoga mat.  

  • Cost: $10 cash, but you get a $10 credit to spend in the shop that day.

View Event →
Mar
6
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Join us as we discuss BOY ERASED, Garrard Conley’s beautiful, heart-wrenching memoir of his experiences with conversion therapy as a young gay man in the South. And if you caught the movie at Rag Tag, we may also discuss the relationship between the book and the film? Which did you prefer, and why? (One of the panels that Garrard will be participating in at Unbound is about film adaptations of books.)

Garrard Conley.jpg
View Event →
Mar
5
7:00 PM19:00

Dr. Tererai Trent, March 5, 7:00 p.m.

We are honored to welcome acclaimed author, scholar, and activist Dr. Tererai Trent to Skylark Bookshop to sign copies of her extraordinary book, THE AWAKENED WOMAN: A GUIDE FOR REMEMBERING AND IGNITING YOUR SACRED DREAMS. Dr. Trent will be speaking at the Missouri Theatre immediately prior to the signing. For more details about Dr. Trent’s talk, go here.

Tererani_Trent_Awakened_WomanFEAT.jpg

Dr. Tererai Trent is one of the most internationally acclaimed voices for women’s empowerment and quality education. Hailed by Oprah Winfrey as her “all-time favorite guest,” Dr. Trent is an inspiring and dynamic scholar, educator, humanitarian, motivational speaker, author, and the founder of Tererai International. She has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey ShowSuperSoul Sessions, CNN-Voice of Africa, CNBC, and has spoken at the United Nations, TEDx, the Women in the World Summit, and the Emerging Women summit, among others. She received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Evaluation from Western Michigan University and holds Master’s degrees in Public Health and Plant Pathology.

awakened woman.jpg
View Event →
Mar
2
1:00 PM13:00

Aaron Cohen @ True/False, Saturday, March 2, 1:00 p.m.

STOP PRESS - JUST ADDED!

As many of you know, this weekend is the always-fabulous True/False Film Festival. One of the most buzzed-about movies coming to the fest is Amazing Grace, which tells the story of a couple of days in 1972 when Aretha Franklin performed at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and returned to her gospel roots. Author Aaron Cohen wrote an entire book about the event and the million-selling album that was made from it, and he will be coming to the festival to talk about it all.

He’ll also be appearing at Skylark at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, to sign copies of his book, Amazing Grace. Take a moment out of your festival day and come and say hi, buy a book, and learn about the story behind one of the most extraordinary albums of recent times.

Aaron Cohen.jpg

Aaron Cohen is the author of "Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace'" (Bloomsbury) and "Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power" (University of Chicago Press), which will be available in September 2019. He teaches humanities, journalism and English composition at City Colleges of Chicago and received a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016. Cohen's articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, DownBeat, Washington Post and The Nation and he is the two-time recipient of the Deems Taylor Award for outstanding music writing from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP.)

amazing grace.jpg
View Event →
Feb
27
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, February 27, 6:00 p.m.

The second chapter of the Skylark Unbound Book Club will feature BROWN GIRL DREAMING, by Children’s laureate and 2019 Unbound keynote Jacqueline Woodson. This YA title won the National Book Award in 2014.

jacqueline-woodson_2011--marty-umans_wide-68f987860c647b97171dc60e6e2ee46f01c323c4.jpg

Brown Girl Dreaming was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner.

This discussion will be led by Skylark bookseller Beth Shapiro, who, as a former high school librarian, knows a thing or two about YA books.

BrownGirlDreaming-4medals-3001.png
View Event →
Feb
21
6:00 PM18:00

Local Author Night 2, February 21, 2019 6:00 p.m.

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 7.19.18 PM.png

We had so much fun on our inaugural Local Author Night that we can’t wait to do it all again on Thursday, February 21! As before, we’ll have a mixture of readings and interactive Q and A.

The participating authors are as follows:

R.G. Bisig. R.G. Bisig has been reading X-Men and Legion of Super Heroes comic books since what seemed like the beginning of time. Or at least it was for him. He started writing down ideas for science fiction novels as early as 12. Soon after the release of “The Empire Strikes Back”, he wrote his own version of Episode VI on a typewriter on board the USS Hammerhead. Sadly, it wasn’t what George Lucas had in mind. After a tour in the US Navy, he went on to be Dungeon Master for several D&D groups and wrote a scenario titled “Busy Night” which debuted at the 1998 GenCon role-playing gaming convention. Before publishing his novel last year, most of his writing consisted of short stories for a local Star Trek fan club or adventures for his Dungeons and Dragons group to enjoy. Visit his website here.

B.K. Boes. B.K. Boes has been creating stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She always drifted toward the fantastical, though she loved most every genre that crossed her path. Now, she writes epic fantasy and science fantasy, transferring worlds and characters from her imagination to the page. She is the author of Mother of Rebellion, the first book in The Leyumin Divided Saga. Click here to visit her website.

Debra Parker Oliver is the Paul Revare Family Professor of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine, at the University of Missouri. She has a Masters of Social Work and PhD in Rural Sociology from MU. She was a hospice social worker and administrator in three hospice programs for a total of more than 20 years. In an effort to teach and advocate for those facing cancer and terminal illness, Debbie and her husband David created a blog to share their journey with others. They received the Project Death in America Community Education Award from American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine care two weeks before David passed away. Debbie now continues the journey through grief and bereavement, continuing her commitment to share her journey. Click here to visit her website.

Sharon SingingMoon’s poetry is personal, political and spiritual.  She draws inspiration from Nature and her rich tapestry of life experiences which include twice walking across the country in support of Native Treaty Rights and nuclear disarmament, practicing mid-wifery, living off the land, and spending 20 years as a lobbyist for social justice.  Writing in journals and on scraps of paper since her early teens, Random Seed is Sharon’s latest collection of poetry.

View Event →
Feb
20
6:00 PM18:00

Unbound Book Club - Lincoln in the Bardo, February 20, 2019 6:00 p.m.

bardo.jpg

Our inaugural Unbound Book Club will discuss the astonishing debut novel of this year’s keynote speaker, George Saunders. Lincoln in the Bardo was published in 2017 to universal acclaim. In addition to winning the Man Booker Prize, it was also a New York Times #1 bestseller. Come and discuss the book after hours at the shop on Wednesday, February 20. This event is open to everyone and is completely free.

Please note that you don’t have to have read the novel to attend, but there may very well be spoilers!

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo
 is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

View Event →
Feb
18
6:00 PM18:00

Bobby Norfolk, February 18, 6:00 p.m.

We are very pleased to welcome multi-award winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk to Skylark as part of the University of Missouri’s celebration of Black History Month.

Bobby's innate ability to read and connect with audiences of all ages makes him one of America’s premier storytellers. Using dynamic movement and vocal effects, Bobby creates vibrant characters who come to life through imaginative, creative story. Living History programs that highlight the African-American experience, and toe-tapping musical shows that feature song and live musicians are also part of his repertoire. His stories promote character education traits (such as respect and responsibility), cultural diversity, and literacy. He inspires and motivates kids and adults telling stories that can be shared through the oral tradition. “No fancy electronics, just teller listener, and the imagination.”

Bobby Norfolk.jpg

Bobby began his career as a stand-up comedian in 1975 at local St. Louis comedy clubs and as an actor with The St. Louis Black Repertory Co. Concurrently, he worked ten years at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis as a National Park Service Ranger. In 1979, Bobby made his first appearance as a storyteller at the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, and discovered that through storytelling he was able to combine his theatre and stand-up comedy background to become a “story-performer.”

In television, Bobby won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS TV show “Gator Tales” and also hosted the Emmy nominated series “Children’s Theater at Bobby’s House.” Both shows were based out of St. Louis and the themes were character education, literacy, and storytelling.

In October 2009, Bobby was given the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the nation. This prestigious award is given to artists for exceptional commitment and exemplary contributions to the art of storytelling, who set the standard of excellence in their craft.

Bobby travels both nationally and internationally presenting performances, keynotes, and workshops. A past member of the Board of Directors for the National Storytelling Network, he currently serves on the St. Louis Storytelling Festival Advisory Council and is a featured artist in festivals word-wide. He founded Folktale Productions, a storytelling company started in 1987. His web site is www.bobbynorfolk.com.

View Event →
Jan
9
6:00 PM18:00

Missouri Writers' Guild Quarterly Reading Series, January 9, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

CWGlogoj.jpg

One of the reasons why it’s so much fun to work in an independent bookshop in Columbia is that we have an incredibly vibrant community of writers living and working in our town. If you haven’t done so yet, come by and check out the Local Authors section at the shop. You’ll be astonished at the range and quality of the work that our local writers produce. And if you attended our first Local Author Night back in November, you’ll have heard some of that work for yourself.

Skylark is committed to supporting our local writers, and so we’re very pleased to host a session of the Columbia Writers’ Guild Quarterly Reading Series on Wednesday, January 9 at 6:00 p.m. Come and listen to new work by the following authors:

Aaron Fox, Children’s Author, member of the Tom Bradley morning radio show. He will be releasing a children's book about Truman the Tiger this spring. His first children's book, The Secret Life of Sloan the Sloth came out last March.

Melinda Hemmelgarn, Poet/Activist, registered dietitian, host of Food Sleuth Radio, which airs Thursday evenings at 5:00 p.m. on KOPN. Her poetry has been published in Interpretations. She writes poetry to create empathy for the human condition and promote social and environmental justice.  

Rexanna Ipock-Brown, Novelist, author of fiction and non-fiction.  Her first novel is a paranormal romance that includes a hybrid witch/wolf, smoking hot shifters and vampires, swoon-worthy love scenes, naughty language and a dash of violence to spice things up.  When she is not writing about Rosemary, her friends and family, she runs a successful psychic service which gives her plenty of ideas.

Stephen Paul Sayers, Novelist, is a college professor and bestselling author of supernatural thriller and horror fiction.  His first two novels, A Taker of Morrows and Soul Dweller, were published in 2018 by Hydra Publications, his short fiction has appeared in Unfading Daydream and Well Versed.

Steve Wiegenstein, Novelist, author of three novels set in nineteenth-century Missouri: Slant of Light, This Old World, and The Language of Trees. Slant of Light was the runner-up for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction for 2012, and The Language of Trees received the 2018 Walter Williams Major Work Award from the Missouri Writers Guild. A selection from Slant of Light is forthcoming in The Literature of the Ozarks from the University of Arkansas Press next month. 

View Event →
Dec
22
7:00 PM19:00

Polar Express Story Time! December 22, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

polar express.jpg

All aboard The Polar Express!

We are pleased to invite kids of all ages to come enjoy a special evening storytime event at Skylark Bookshop on Saturday, December 22 at 7:00 pm.

We will be reading the beloved classic, The Polar Express, enjoying cookies and cocoa (of course) and whipping up some fun craft activities.

Wear your favorite pajamas and come ready for a magical evening!

This event is completely free, but we’d be grateful if you would email us at mail@skylarkbookshop.com if you’d like to come, just so we know how many supplies to provide.

See you then!

View Event →