Writers for Readers 2022: An Evening With Alexander Chee
Doors open: 5 p.m. | Dinner/program: 6 p.m.
Writers for Readers, annually one of Kansas City’s premier literary events, returns with a special lineup featuring celebrated author Alexander Chee and the announcement of the winner of the second annual Maya Angelou Book Award .
Chee, editor of the newly released The Best American Essays 2022, a collection of the best essays published in the U.S. last year, sits down with the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Whitney Terrell and the University of Minnesota’s V.V. Ganeshananthan to discuss the anthology and other notable works.
Chee is also the bestselling author of two novels, Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, The Sewanee Review, and in the 2016 and 2019 editions of Best American Essays.
An associate professor of English and creative writing at Dartmouth University, Chee also serves as a contributing editor at The New Republic and editor at large at VQR (the Virginia Quarterly Review). He was a recipient in 2021 of a Guggenheim fellowship and a USA Fellowship from United States Artists.
Terrell is an associate professor of English and director of the creative writing program at UMKC. He is the author of three novels including The Good Lieutenant, which was selected as a best book of 2016 by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and the digital media and entertainment website Refinery 29.
Ganeshananthan, a fiction writer, journalist, and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is the author of Love Marriage and the soon-to-be released Brotherless Night. She and Terrell are co-hosts of the Literary Hub podcast Fiction/Non/Fiction.
Also featured during the event is the announcement of this year’s Maya Angelou Book Award winner. The national literary honor was established by the Kansas City Public Library, UMKC, and five other state universities in 2020 and recognizes authors and notable new releases of American fiction and poetry that contribute to social justice and inclusion. It comes with a $10,000 stipend.
The recipient will conduct a reading tour of Missouri colleges, universities, and libraries.
Proceeds from the Writers for Readers fundraising event go in part to support the award. They also benefit an ongoing partnership between the Kansas City Public Library and UMKC's MFA Program in Creative Writing, enabling graduate students to teach writing classes at the Library.
Writers for Readers 2022 is co-presented by UMKC's MFA Program in Creative Writing and co-chaired by Josie and Christopher Leonard and Glenn North.