Bonnie Jo Campbell and Donna Seaman

March 19, 2012

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Donna Seaman

Chicago Public Library joins the Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department as it presents the 16th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers: Surviving the American Dream. CPL hosts author Bonnie Jo Campbell, nationally acclaimed author of Once Upon a River. Campbell discusses her work with Donna Seaman, senior editor of Booklist.

Campbell's collection Women and Other Animals details the lives of extraordinary females in rural and small-town Michigan, and it won the AWP prize for short fiction. Her story "The Smallest Man in the World" has been awarded a Pushcart Prize. Her novel Q Road investigates the lives of a rural community where development pressures are bringing unwelcome change in the character of the land. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection American Salvage, which consists of fourteen lush and rowdy stories of folks who are struggling to make sense of the twenty-first century, was a finalist for the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction.

Donna Seaman is a senior editor for Booklist, book critic for Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ), and a freelance reviewer. The recipient of Illinois Arts Council grants, Seaman has received the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism, the Writer Magazine Writers Who Make a Difference Award, several Pushcart Prize special mentions, the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award, and Literacy Chicago's Literacy Hero Award, in recognition of all that she does to encourage reading. The National Book Critics Circle named Donna Seaman as a finalist for the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. Seaman is the creator of the anthology In Our Nature: Stories of Wildness, and her author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books and at

This event contains explicit language and adult themes.

Story Week Festival of Writers features some of the best, most diverse voices at work today in fiction, film, theater, art, music, and publishing. Other events from this festival recorded by Chicago Amplified—listed in the order they were presented—are as follows:

2nd Story
Reading/Grad Open Mic Featuring Megan Stielstra
Bonnie Jo Campbell and Don DeGrazia
Bonnie Jo Campbell and Donna Seaman
Portraits of an American Dream: The Female in Contemporary Fiction
Full Time Fiction Writing Faculty Reading featuring Betty Shiflett
Beyond the Dream: What It Takes to Get Published
From Page to Stage: Scenes From Student Playwrights
Conversation with Playwright Young Jean Lee
Surviving the American Dream
Reading, Conversation, and Book Signing with John Sayles
Literary Rock & Roll: American Dreamers with Heidi W. Durrow, John Sayles, Patricia Ann McNair, musical guest Canasta
Chicago Classics

Recorded Monday, March 19, 2012 at the Harold Washington Library Center.