Department of Languages and Literatures

Final Thursday Reading Series: Spring 2021

Final Thursday Reading Series: Spring 2021

The 20th Anniversary season of FTRS concludes with a live, outdoor event (following social distancing guidelines) that will be simultaneously Zoomcast. If that sounds like juggling while riding a unicycle, then wish us luck!  Join us a 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 29 at the Hearst Center outdoor sculpture garden or click HERE to register to Zoom in. More details below.

  Chelsea Wagenaar Mark Wagenaar
Thursday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Chelsea Wagenaar & Mark Wagenaar

Chelsea Wagenaar is the author of the poetry collections The Spinning Place, winner of the 2018 Michael Waters Prize, and Mercy Spurs the Bone, winner of the 2013 Philip Levine Prize. Mark Wagenaar is author of three award-winning poetry collections, including the Saltman Prize-winning Southern Tongues Leave Us Shining. A UNI alum, he is presently an assistant professor of English at Valparaiso University.

Ishmael Reed.        Tennessee Reed
Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Ishmael Reed & Tennessee Reed

Ishmael Reed is the MacArthur award-winning author of multiple books including Mumbo Jumbo, Conjure, and Japanese by Spring. Tennessee Reed is the author of the memoir Spell Albuquerque and five volumes of poetry including Califia Burning.  This event happens live on Zoom at:
** This Black History Month event is co-sponsored by the Office of the President.


Ukamaka Olisakwe
Thursday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom
Ukamaka Olisakwe

Ukamaka Olisakwe is the author of the new novel Ogadinma, or Everything Will Be All Right. In 2014, she was named one of Africa’s most promising writers under the age of 40 by the UNESCO World Book Capital for the Africa39 project. Click here to register on Zoom.
**This Women’s History Month event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Thomas Hockey          Doug Shaw
Thursday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m Hearst Center Sculpture Garden
(or click HERE register to Zoom in)
Thomas Hockey & Doug Shaw

This event brings out the literary sides of, respectively, a UNI scientist and a UNI mathematician.  Thomas Hockey is a professor of Astronomy and the co-author of Jupiter, a nonfiction book on planetary studies with a distinctively creative twist. He has written seven previous books including Galileo’s Planet and How We See the Sky. Doug Shaw is a professor of Mathematics who has won many awards for his teaching. He’s written about mathematics, applied improvisation, mathematics teaching, and his secret rabbis. He is the author of Social Nonsense—Creative Diversions for Two or More Players – Anytime, Anywhere.


The Final Thursday Reading Series is a collaboration of Final Thursday Press, the Hearst Center for the Arts, and the University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences. Funding provided by the UNI Office of the Provost and Executive Vice-President.

FTRS Spring 21 poster