Kathleen Renk in conversation with Mary Helen Stefaniak

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Kathleen Renk in conversation with Mary Helen Stefaniak

January 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kathleen Renk will read from her new historical novel, The Rossetti Diaries.  She will be joined in conversation by Mary Helen Stefaniak. “Poet Christina Rossetti and artist/enigma Elizabeth Siddal step right out of the mid-19th century and into the 21st as Maggie, a historian with artistic longings of her own, finds and reads their diaries, which have been locked away in a dusty chest in the crypts beneath St. Clement’s Church. The heartfelt pages of the diaries-imagined into being by Kathleen Renk in her latest novel-bring Rossetti and Siddal to vivid life, recreating their voices to give readers a “behind-the-scenes” experience of the art created by two extraordinary women and the struggles they faced as artists and as women in the Victorian age. Though based on the works of both women and tracing the paths of their lives, Renk’s novel takes us beyond the history she knows so well to tantalize the reader with what might have been.” – Mary Helen Stefaniak

Kathleen Renk earned a doctorate in British and Postcolonial literature from the University of Iowa, and has taught at the university and college level for 30 years. Most recently she was a professor of English at Northern Illinois University, where she taught British, postcolonial, Irish, and Women’s literature.  She lives in Colorado.

Mary Helen Stefaniak is the author of Self-Storage and Other Stories and three novels: The Turk and My MotherThe Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia; and The World of Pondside. Her most recent book is The Six-Minute Memoir: Fifty-Five Short Essays on Life. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and professor emerita of creative writing at Creighton University. Stefaniak currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University. She lives in Iowa City and Omaha.


January 26
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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