Sep
3
6:00 PM18:00

Tanner Olson, September 3, 6:00 p.m.

On Tuesday, September 3, we’re pleased to welcome Tanner Olson to Skylark. Tanner is a poet, writer, storyteller, and the creator of Written to Speak, a spoken word and writing project that seeks to spread hope and announce love through written and spoken word. Tanner will be reading from his new book, I’m All Over the Place.

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For the last five years Tanner has spoken at multiple conferences, universities, organizations, camps, classrooms, and churches, sharing poetry, teaching writing classes, and speaking. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife, Sarah.

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Sep
21
10:00 AM10:00

Emily Wilson, September 21, 10:00 a.m.

We are delighted to welcome Emily Wilson to Skylark to discuss her astonishing new translation of The Odyssey with Sean Gurd, Professor of Classics at the University of Missouri. Please note that this is a morning event, which will start when we open our doors on Saturday morning!

Composed at the rosy-fingered dawn of world literature almost three millennia ago, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home.

This fresh, authoritative translation captures the beauty of this ancient poem as well as the drama of its narrative. Its characters are unforgettable, none more so than the "complicated" hero himself, a man of many disguises, many tricks, and many moods, who emerges in this version as a more fully rounded human being than ever before.

Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, Emily Wilson's Odyssey sings with a voice that echoes Homer's music; matching the number of lines in the Greek original, the poem sails along at Homer's swift, smooth pace.

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Emily Wilson is professor of Classical Studies and graduate chair of the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Wilson attended Oxford University (Balliol College B.A. and Corpus Christi College M.Phil.) and Yale University (Ph.D.). In 2006, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in Renaissance & Early Modern scholarship. She lives in Philadelphia with her three daughters and three cats.

Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson

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Sep
23
6:00 PM18:00

Marc McKee and Brian Barker, September 23, 6:00 p.m.

We’re very pleased to announce a double bill of fabulous poets who will be reading from their new books on Monday, September 23.

Marc McKee is the author of What Apocalypse?, winner of the 2008 New Michigan Press / DIAGRAM Chapbook Contest, Fuse (2011), Bewilderness (2014), Consolationeer (2017), and Meta Meta Make-Belief (2019), all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears in online and print journals such as American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, Forklift, Ohio, The Journal, Los Angeles Review, Memorious, Sixth Finch, and several others. Learn more about him here. He is the managing editor of the Missouri Review and lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.

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Brian Barker is the author of three books of poetry, Vanishing Acts (SIU Press, 2019), The Black Ocean (SIU Press, 2011), and The Animal Gospels (Tupelo Press, 2006). His poems have appeared in such journals as Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, The Washington Post, Indiana Review, The Cincinnati Review, Blackbird, and Pleiades. He teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where he is a poetry editor of Copper Nickel. Learn more at www.brianbarker.net.

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Oct
24
6:00 PM18:00

Angela Denker, October 24, 6:00 p.m.

Judging by the conversations that we hear every day in the shop, a great many people are (to put it mildly) perplexed about the state of our nation these days. Irrespective of where you may fall on the political spectrum, there is much to confound and bemuse.

One of the questions that has stumped many folks is how President Trump won more Evangelical Christian votes than any candidate in history. If you have been wondering about this yourself - well, wonder no more. Skylark is proud to welcome Angela Denker, author of RED STATE CHRISTIANS - UNDERSTANDING THE VOTERS WHO ELECTED DONALD TRUMP.

Angela, a veteran journalist and Lutheran pastor, traveled across the US interviewing people who supported the President. The resulting book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Donald Trump became president.

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Angela Denker has written for many publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and Sojourners. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Ben, and two little boys. She graduated from the Mizzou Journalism School in 2006 and met Ben (Mechanical Engineering, 06) playing basketball at the Mizzou Rec Center. Her first newspaper jobs were at the Columbia Missourian and the Columbia Tribune - covering Mizzou sports. Go Tigers!

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Nov
29
6:00 PM18:00

Allen Eskens, November 29, 6:00 p.m.

We’re pleased to welcome best-selling and award-winning thriller author Allen Eskens to Skylark on the day after Thanksgiving. (If you don’t enjoy battling retail-crazy mobs on Black Friday, this might be a good alternative.) We’re especially excited because while Allen has made his name writing novels set in Minnesota, his latest book, Nothing More Dangerous, is set in the fictional town of Jessup, Missouri. (And some of us really like novels set in fictional Missouri towns.)

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Allen is the author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, The Deep Dark Descending, and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Minnesota Book Award, Rosebud Award (Left Coast Crime), and Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His books have been translated into 26 languages and his novel, The Life We Bury, is in development for a feature film.

Allen grew up in Jefferson City, graduating from Helias High School. After that, he headed north to go to college, eventually getting a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from Hamline University. He now lives in Greater Minnesota with his wife and their rescue dogs.

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Aug
7
6:00 PM18:00

Skylark Bookclub: The Handmaid's Tale, August 7, 6:00 p.m.

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Come and join Carrie and Sky as they host the first-ever Skylark Cross Generation Book Club, where they will be discussing Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.

As Carrie said in her blog post: “We encourage parent/teen combos to join us, especially those seeking to open doorways to difficult conversations. Anyone else interested in joining us is also welcome. This is not exclusively for duos. We hope to facilitate some thoughtful and important conversations, ones that will continue in the future.”

The discussion will start at 6:00 p.m., just after the shop closes its doors for the evening. No need to book; just show up!

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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!

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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.

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Aug
3
7:00 PM19:00

Caleb "The Negro Artist" Rainey, August 3, 7:00 p.m.

We’re excited to welcome Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey back to his hometown for a poetry reading and celebration of his new book of poetry, Look, Black Boy. He’s an extraordinary performer and you won’t want to miss this event!

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Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey is an author, performer, and producer. He hails from Columbia, Missouri, and holds a bachelors degree in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Iowa. As a writer, he published his first book, “Look, Black Boy,” in May, 2019. As a performer he is the winner of multiple slams and a finalist for the UNESCO City of Literature Global poetry slam. He has done spoken word all around the world.

 When he is not writing and performing he is actively producing local events, like Drop The Mic, to showcase the immense talent in the Iowa City community, as well as workshops to teach youth how to write and use spoken word.

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Jul
26
6:00 PM18:00

Wright Thompson, July 26, 6:00 p.m.

We are very pleased to announce that Wright Thompson, MU J-School grad and one of the nation’s most beloved and respected sportswriters, will be appearing at Skylark on Friday, July 26, to discuss his extraordinary collection of essays, The Cost of These Dreams.

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Wright Thompson is, as they say, famous if you know who he is: his work includes the most read articles in the history of ESPN (and it's not even close) and has been anthologized in the Best American Sports Writing series ten times, and he counts John Grisham and Richard Ford among his ardent admirers. But to say his pieces are about sports, while true as far as it goes, is like saying Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is a book about a cattle drive.

Wright Thompson figures people out. He jimmies the lock to the furnaces inside the people he profiles and does an analysis of the fuel that fires their ambition. Whether it be Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Pat Riley or Urban Meyer, he strips the away the self-serving myths and fantasies to reveal his characters in full. There are fascinating common denominators: it may not be the case that every single great performer or coach had a complex relationship with his father, but it can sure seem that way. And there is much marvelous local knowledge: about specific sports, and times and places, and people. Ludicrously entertaining and often powerfully moving, The Cost of These Dreams is an ode to the reporter's art, and a celebration of true greatness and the high price that it exacts.

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We can’t wait to welcome Wright to Columbia. It’s going to be a memorable evening. And if you don’t believe us, here’s some other praise for this brilliant book:

"Thompson has written some of the most important pieces of contemporary sports journalism . . . demonstrating unparalleled insight into the lives of the most compelling figures in sport. . . . This volume elevates reporting and writing that was already operating above the rim.” The New York Times

"Knockout sportswriting from Wright Thompson . . . Mr. Thompson is an investigator of men’s souls, though his writing is as much about the search for clues as it is about what he finds. . . . None of these pieces are strictly sports stories, but all exemplify the high purpose to which so much sports writing aspires today." Wall Street Journal

"Wright is a supremely gifted writer who cuts through the mythology with a scalpel.” —The National Book Review

“[Thompson] demonstrates his storytelling talents by probing the personalities of some of the biggest names in sports, both past and present, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Ted Williams, and Bear Bryant.” —Christian Science Monitor

“Mississippi native Wright Thompson is not only the best active sportswriter in America but also one of the best writers, period. This collection compiles his greatest pieces.” —Men’s Journal

“Thompson demonstrates his talent, deftly portraying a diverse cast of athletes and coaches. . . . [He] also brilliantly reprises the riots and other events surrounding James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss in 1962 and the school’s outstanding football team during that tumultuous year.” —Booklist

“Thompson’s abundant strengths as a long-form journalist are evident on nearly every page…. Richly researched and textured writing that reveals the humanity of the author’s subjects.” Kirkus Reviews

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Jul
18
6:00 PM18:00

Jordan and Jen Lee Reeves, July 18, 6:00 p.m.

We are thrilled to be welcoming our friends and CoMo neighbors Jordan Reeves and Jen Lee Reeves, to Skylark to celebrate the publication of their new book, Born Just Right. The book is written by Jordan, who is 13, and her mom, Jen. It’s written from Jordan’s perspective about her life. She shares how she grew up as a typical kid born with one hand and the adventures her difference has taken Jordan through her life.

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The book is a middle-grade chapter book for ages 8 and older. Parents can enjoy it as much as the kids!

Jordan invented Project Unicorn, a 3D printed prosthetic arm in the shape of a unicorn horn that shoots biodegradable glitter. It helped her learn that having fun with your difference gives you a chance to speak more about how disability is not a negative experience. It expands your world and she hopes more kids will gain the same experience.

Jordan and her mom turned a blog into a nonprofit called Born Just Right. The organization works to create opportunities for other kids with physical disabilities to learn how to design for their own differences. It also works to grow new job paths toward inclusive design needs in all types of industries. They’ve held workshops and meetups in San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Boston/Cambridge.

A few parts of the book include insight from Jordan’s mom, Jen. She shares what it’s like to be Jordan’s mom and partner in helping share her daughter’s message about disability and design. It’s a wonderful book to read and share with your kids. Come and hear Jordan and Jen speak and help us celebrate this wonderful book (and awesome family.)

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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.

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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.

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Jun
13
6:00 PM18:00

K.L. Harris Book Launch - Equillian's Key, June 13, 6:00 p.m.

We’re very pleased to be hosting the book launch for K.L. Harris’s debut novel, Equillian’s Key, on Thursday, June 13.

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K.L. Harris is a fiction writer who has an unquenchable habit of changing words into worlds. Ever since she can remember she has been enthralled by stories. Stories she read in books, stories she saw and acted in on stage, stories she saw in film or heard about in school from history and mythology, and the stories that were constantly playing out in the world all around her.

 Harris grew up traversing the redwoods of northern California, and then moved to Australia when she was eighteen to pursue a life dedicated to story. There, she acquired her BA in Acting for Film and Stage and became an award-winning film maker. After years of working various jobs in the film industry she put it all aside to focus on the written word. She now lives in Columbia with her husband and two children and is a proud member of the talented woman’s writing group, The Dame Good Writers.

 After seven years of world building, she is elated to finally be launching her debut novel, Equillian’s Key, the first book in the fantasy adventure series, Archives of the Night-Watchers. Watch the book trailer below:

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Jun
12
6:00 PM18:00

Columbia Writers' Guild Quarterly Reading Series, June 12, 6:00 p.m.

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By now we hope you know all about the vibrant community of writers living and working in our town. Skylark supports these writers by hosting regular local author nights and keeping a well-stocked Local Authors section in the shop - if you haven’t checked it out yet, come by and do so. You’ll be astonished at the range and quality of the work.

As part of this commitment to our local writers, we also host a regular session of the Columbia Writers’ Guild Quarterly Reading Series. The next reading will be on Thursday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m. The following writers will be participating:

Carolyn Mulford, Novelist. Carolyn grew up on a farm near Kirksville, earned an M.A. in Journalism, and worked as a magazine editor and freelancer on four continents. Twelve years ago she moved back to Missouri to focus on fiction.  The Missouri Center for the Book named her first published novel, The Feedsack Dress, Missouri’s Great Read at the National Book Festival, and the Missouri Writers’ Guild has honored books in her Show Me mystery series with Major Work and Best Novel awards.

Deb Sutton, Novelist. Deb, a social worker, publishes as D.K. Sutton.  She writes slightly flawed characters in compromising situations and has a passion for LGBTQ+ stories, because honestly we need more of these characters. Her love of mysteries, romance, and John Grisham novels inspired her Trials of Love series. Trial & Error, just published, is the first in the series. The first in her Broken series, Broken Sidewalks, centers around the struggles of falling in love while being gay and religious. Her writing style focuses on creating slow burn tension. Deb is currently president of the Columbia Writers’ Guild, a member of the Missouri Writers’ Guild.

Sheree K. Nielsen, Author/Photographer. Sheree believes that every picture tells a story.  Her books combine her love of photography and writing with colorful visual descriptions and healing messages. She is Author/Photographer of 2015 Da Vinci Eye Award Winner Folly Beach Dances (inspired by the sea and her lymphoma journey), Montaigne Medal Finalist and Chanticleer Little Peeps First Place Award Winner for Midnight the One-Eyed Cat (a picture book), Ocean Rhythms Kindred Spirit – An Emerson-Inspired Essay Collection on Travel, Nature, Family and Pets, and an upcoming poetry and photography collection, Mondays in October.

Barbara Leonhard, Poet. Having retired as an Instructor of English as a Second Language, Barbara is now able to devote more time to her poetry, which focuses on metaphysical, metaphorical, and mystical themes. Find her work on the blog - extraordinarysunshineweaver.blog. She also just started Poetry Speaks, a poetry group that meets at the Columbia Senior Center the first and third Mondays each month from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

Alice Anna Reese, Poet. Anna’s poems and short stories have been published in Prince Edward Island’s literary magazines, blueShift and Common Ground, and in the collections Confederation Bridge, TWiG Anthology, and TWiG Branches Out. She has written and published one book: Show Me Famous Missourians. In an effort to make countries self-sufficient in food production, she has a Ph.D. in Animal Production and has conducted research projects in Tabasco, Mexico; Sumatra, Indonesia; and Mali in West Africa. She sings with the Columbia Chorale and writes with the Bloomin’ Writers.  

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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.

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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.

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Jun
4
6:00 PM18:00

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Apr
24
6:00 PM18:00

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

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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!

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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.


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Apr
11
5:00 PM17:00

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Mar
19
6:00 PM18:00

Louder than a Bomb - Preliminary Round 2

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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!!

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