Visiting Writers Series: Teju Cole
This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.
A prodigious novelist, critic, and photographer, Teju Cole was born in the United States and raised in Nigeria—a biographical fact that informs much of his work. His first novel, Open City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction and was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. Additionally, Open City was named to “best of the year” lists in many publications including The Guardian, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The New York Times.
His novella Every Day Is for the Thief has been “widely praised as one of the best fictional depictions of Africa in recent memory” (The New Yorker) and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Globe and Mail, and NPR.
Named one of Time’s Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2017, Cole’s most recent book, Blind Spot, is a synthesis of his own full-color photos, each accompanied by selections of lyrical prose. His previous title, Known and Strange Things, was named to that same Time list in 2016 and also was chosen for Kirkus Reviews’ Best Nonfiction of 2016 list and Harper’s Bazaar’s 13 Best Books of 2016.
Cole teaches literature and art history at Bard College, where he is Distinguished Writer in Residence and Achebe Fellow.
The Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series regularly hosts public readings and Q & A sessions with some of the most influential people in contemporary literature. During their time at Butler University, visiting authors such as Toni Morrison, Billy Collins, Kurt Vonnegut, Gwendolyn Brooks, Margaret Atwood, Allen Ginsberg, Amy Tan, and Colson Whitehead not only share their work with the Indianapolis community, but also interact directly with undergraduate and graduate students in Butler's English classes and MFA program. Towards this end, Butler offers a 300-level English course which features the work of authors in the Visiting Writers Series. Students taking this class are invited to join English faculty in a private dinner given for each writer when they visit the campus, and have the opportunity to formally introduce the writers at their public readings.
The Visiting Writers Program is coordinated by the Department of English and offers 10-12 events each year, all of which are free and open to Butler students, faculty, and staff as well as the Indianapolis community, making the Butler University Visiting Writers Series one of the largest and most comprehensive in the country.
For more information, please visit https://www.butler.edu/vws