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Loft Mentor Series Reading with Chris Abani

The Loft Literary Center
Event organized by The Loft Literary Center

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The Loft presents a 2017-18 Mentor Series Reading with creative prose mentor Chris Abani and program fellows Joan Maeda Trygg and Claire Comstock-Gay.


Chris Abani is an acclaimed novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, received a BA in English from Imo State University, Nigeria, an MA in English, Gender, and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. He has resided in the United States since 2001. Abani’s fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas, nominated for the Hurston/Wright 2015 Legacy Award, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, GraceLand, and Masters of the Board (1985). His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun—Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, the New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Graceland, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian, and Serbian.

Joan Maeda Trygg has published essays in Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, and the 2017 St. Paul Almanac. She participated in Ghost Stories: Five Women Writers Read Works on Historical Trauma, and in the 2013 Beyond the Pure Grant from Intermedia Arts. She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Hamline University in 2005.

Claire Comstock-Gay is a fiction writer living in Saint Paul. Her fiction has appeared in Necessary Fiction, Two Serious Ladies, and Midnight Breakfast. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine’s The Cut, and Brooklyn Magazine.


Advance tickets:
$5 Loft members
$10 general admission

At the door:
Pay-what-you-can, as available

Purchasing advanced tickets guarantees a general admission seat and helps to cover the Loft's costs to host the event. As always, pay-what-you-wish tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to the event on a first-come, first-served basis. No one turned away for lack of funds. Doors open 30 minutes before the event. Seating is general admission (not assigned).


The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is funded by the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the generous support of Loft members.