LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage

Is your conference schedule already packed to the brim? Perhaps you need to take a break from programs and meetings, and let someone read to you for a change. Find time in your busy day to sit back and enjoy live readings from popular and up-and-coming authors at the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage at the end of the 2600 aisle in the exhibits hall, presented by the ALA Public Programs Office.

Thanks to generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, this year’s LIVE! Stage will feature a special focus on poetry. Readings from many established and emerging poets will represent the range of poetry, from rhymes formed on the page, to the rhythms of the spoken work—poems that are sensuous and sensory, witty and wicked, poems that come alive when read by their creators. Don’t miss it!

LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage Schedule
Time Saturday, June 26 Sunday, June 27 Monday, June 28
10:00 Heid E. Erdrich
10:30 Ann B. Ross
11:00 Ellen Hopkins
11:30 Beatriz Riviera
Noon Henri Cole Nickole Brown Dolen Perkins-Valdez
12:30 Kwame Alexander Adriana Trigiani Marilyn Johnson
1:00 Gwendolyn Zepeda Laurie Halse Anderson Jean Kwok
1:30 Vicki Myron Heidi W. Durrow
2:00 Matt Dembicki Daphne Kalotay
2:30 Sarah Blake Jay Varner
3:00 Benjamin Alire Sáenz Jim Breuer
3:30 R. Duane Betts Roy Blount, Jr.

Most readings will be followed by an autograph session.


Author bios:

kwame alexander Kwame Alexander, And Then You Know: New & Selected Poems. Kwame Alexander is a poet, publisher, and an award-winning producer of literary programs, dubbed a "phenom" in the poetry world by The Charleston City Paper. He is poet in residence to the Loudoun County Public Library’s (Virginia) “Try Poetry 2010” year-long poetry initiative. Alexander resides in the Washington, DC area, where he produces the annual Capital BookFest, and currently serves as Founding Director of Book-in-a-Day, a literacy program that inspires youth in the writing and publishing process. (no photo credit available)

laurie halse anderson Laurie Halse Anderson, Forge (Simon&Schuster). Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous ALA and state awards. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists. Chains also received the 2009 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and Laurie was chosen for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award. Follow her adventures on Twitter,, and on her blog, (photo credit: Laurie Halse Anderson)


r. dwayne betts R. Dwayne Betts, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Avery/Penguin). Reginald Dwayne Betts is a husband, the father of a young son and a poet. Betts won a 2010 NAACP Image Award. He has been awarded the Holden Fellowship from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, the Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Institute, a Cave Canem Fellowship and a scholarship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poetry has appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, Crab Orchard Review and Poet Lore. (photo credit: Mariano Avila)


sarah blake Sarah Blake, The Postmistress (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam). Sarah Blake has a BA from Yale University and a PhD in English and American Literature from New York University. She is the author of a chapbook of poems, Full Turn, an artist book, Runaway Girls in collaboration with the artist, Robin Kahn, and two novels. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Good Housekeeping, US News and World Reports, The Chicago Tribune and elsewhere. (photo credit: Ralph Alswang)


roy blount jr. Roy Blount, Jr., Hail, Hail, Euphoria! (HarperCollins). Roy Blount, Jr., is a humorist, sportswriter, poet, performer, lecturer, and dramatist. He was a writer and editor for Sports Illustrated, and later a contributing editor to The Atlantic. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Playboy, Vanity Fair, GQ, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic. He appears regularly on NPR's "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me" and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. (photo credit: Joan Griswold)


jim breuer Jim Breuer, I’m Not High: From Goat Boy to Family Man (Penguin). Jim Breuer is a stand-up comedian best known for his portrayal of “Goat Boy” on Saturday Night Live between 1995 and 1998. He has appeared in several movies, including 1998’s Half Baked. His documentary More Than Me screened at the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference in Montreal. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, father, and three daughters. (photo credit: Dan Dion)



nickole brown Nickole Brown, Sister (Red Hen Press). Nickole Brown graduated from The Vermont College of Fine Arts and was the editorial assistant for the late Hunter S. Thompson. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Kentucky Arts Council. Currently, she is the Editor for the Marie Alexander Series in Prose Poetry at White Pine Press and a National Publicity Consultant for Arktoi Books. She lives in Louisville where she is Lecturer at the University of Louisville and Bellarmine University and teaches at MFA program in creative writing at Murray State.(no photo credit available)


henri cole Henri Cole, Pierce the Skin (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as multiple awards, including the Rome Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. From 1982 to 1988 he was executive director of the Academy of American Poets, and from 1993 to 1999 he was Briggs-Copeland lecturer in poetry at Harvard. At present, he teaches at Ohio State University and lives in Boston. (no photo credit available)


matt dembicki Matt Dembicki, Trickster (Fulcrum Publishing) is a comics creator in the Washington, DC area. He enjoys self-publishing but on occasion he contributes to other projects. His nature parable Mr. Big received the 2007 Howard E. Day Prize for small press comics. He is also a founding member of the DC Conspiracy, a local comics creators’ collaborative.  (photo credit: Fulcrum Publishing)


heidi w. durrow Heidi W. Durrow, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin). A graduate of Stanford University, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School, Durrow has won several awards for her writing and has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the American Scandinavian Foundation, and the Lois Roth Endowment and a Fellowship for Emerging Writers from the Jerome Foundation. Her writing has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, the Literary Review, and others. (photo credit: Timothi Jane Graham)


heid e. erdirch Heid E. Erdrich is author of three poetry collections including National Monuments, winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and co-editor of Sister Nations, a Native American women writers anthology. Heid lives in Minnesota and works with American Indian visual artists through All My Relations Arts. She grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and earned degrees from Dartmouth College and The Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. She and her sister Louise Erdrich recently co-founded a non-profit clearinghouse for indigenous language-centered literature called Birchbark House. (photo credit: Peter Johnson)

ellen hopkins Ellen Hopkins, Fallout (Simon&Schuster). Ellen Hopkins has been writing poetry for years and her first novel, Crank, released in 2004 and quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation, garnering praise from teens and critics alike. Ellen’s other bestselling novels include Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, and the upcoming Fallout, a companion to Crank and Glass. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada. Find Ellen Hopkins online at and (photo credit: Ellen Hopkins)


marilyn johnson Marilyn Johnson, This Book is Overdue!:How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (HarperCollins). Marilyn Johnson was a staff writer for Life and an editor at Esquire, Redbook, and Outside, and has written for many other publications. Her first book, The Dead Beat, was a finalist for the B&N Discover Award and a Border’s Original Voice. Publisher’s Weekly praised This Book is Overdue! as “[i]lluminating the state of the modern librarian with humor and authority... a must-read for anyone who's used a library in the past quarter century.” She lives in New York City. (photo credit: Rob Fleder)

daphne kalotay Daphne Kalotay, Russian Winter (HarperCollins). Daphne Kalotay attended Vassar College, where she graduated with a BA in psychology and Boston University’s Creative Writing Program where she completed a PhD in modern and contemporary literature. Author of the acclaimed fiction collection Calamity and Other Stories, she has received fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the La Napoule Foundation, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and Middlebury College and is currently visiting writer-in-residence at Skidmore College. (photo credit: Carol Lundeen)

jean kwok Jean Kwok, Girl in Translation (Penguin). Jean Kwok was born in Hong Kong. She immigrated with her family to Brooklyn when she was 5 and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood. She won early admission to Harvard, where she graduated with honors before going on to earn an MFA in fiction at Columbia. She has worked as an English teacher, a Dutch-English translator, a professional ballroom dancer, a reader for the blind, a housekeeper, a dishwasher, and a computer graphics specialist. Her work has been published in Story magazine, Prairie Schooner, and the NuyorAsian Anthology. (photo credit: Sigrid Estrada)

vicki myron Vicki Myron, Dewey (Penguin). Vicki Myron grew up on a farm south of Moneta, Iowa. She has a bachelor’s degree from Mankato State and a master’s from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. In 1982, she returned to Spencer, Iowa and began working at the public library, eventually serving as director of the Spencer Public Library for more than 25 years. She retired in 2007 and wrote Dewey, a memoir praised by Booklist as an “an unforgettable study in the mysterious and wondrous ways animals, and libraries, enrich humanity.” (no photo credit available)

beatriz rivera Beatriz Rivera, When a Tree Falls (Arte Público Press). Beatriz Rivera specializes in creating “tantalizing works” with “witty and dizzying” ( Publishers Weekly) Latina characters who attempt to reconcile their heritage and existence within the greater construct of American society. She is the author of four novels and a short-story collection including Do Not Pass Go , Playing with Light, Midnight Sandwiches at the Mariposa Express, and African Passions and Other Stories. She received her PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center in Spanish Literature.  (no photo credit available)


ann b. ross Ann B. Ross, Miss Julia Renews Her Vows (The Penguin Group). Ann B. Ross holds a doctorate in English from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and has taught literature at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is the author of ten previous novels featuring the popular southern heroine Miss Julia. (photo credit: Sarah Sneeden)


benjanmin alire saenz Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Book of What Remains (Copper Canyon Press). Bejamin Alire Sáenz is an artist, poet, and novelist. He has been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowhip in poetry, a Lannan Poetry Fellowship, an American Book Award, The Paterson Book Prize, the Americas Award, the Tomas Rivera Award, the Southwest Book Award and has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. (photo credit: Karen Arneson)


adriana trigiani Adriana Trigiani, Brava Valentine (HarperCollins). Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. The author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series and the bestselling novels Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, and Rococo, she has also written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. Viola in Reel Life, a young adult series for Harper Teens, debuted in September 2009. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. (photo credit: © 2009 Timothy Stephenson)

dolen perkins-valdez Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Wench (HarperCollins). Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s fiction has appeared in the Robert Olen Butler Prize Stories, the Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Memphis, a graduate of Harvard, and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, she teaches creative writing at the University of Puget Sound. (photo credit: Louie Escobar)

jay varner Jay Varner, Nothing Left to Burn, (Algonquin). Jay Varner grew up in central Pennsylvania. He earned a BA in creative writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife. (photo credit: Eric Kelley)



gwendolyn zepeda Gwendolyn Zepeda, Lone Star Legend (Grand Central Publishing). Gwendolyn Zepeda attended the University of Texas at Austin. Her first book was a critically-acclaimed short prose collection called To the Last Man I Slept With and All the Jerks Just Like Him. Her first novel, Houston, We Have a Problema, won praise from Publishers Weekly and Booklist for its wit and upbeat story. A two-time Houston Arts Alliance literary fellowship winner and award-winning poet, Zepeda regularly speaks at universities and festivals throughout Texas. (no photo credit available)