First Books Reading

Hear from debut authors, and MFA alums, Antonia Angress, Victoria Blanco, and Kathryn Savage
Three colorful book covers in a row, with three head and shoulder photos of people arranged in a row below covers
Event Date & Time
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Event Location
412 Pillsbury Hall

310 Pillsbury Dr SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

The annual Creative Writing event honoring debut publications this year features three MFA alums: Antonia Angress with novel Sirens & Muses (Ballantine, 2022); Victoria Blanco with nonfiction book Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance (Coffee House Press, 2024), and Kathryn Savage with essay collection Groundglass (Coffee House Press, 2022).

Presented by the Walter Nathan Literary Initiatives, Creative Writing, and the Department of English. For questions about accessibility services and the venue, please email or call 612-626-1528.

Antonia Angress is the author of the novel Sirens & Muses, which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award and was named a Best Book of 2022 by Glamour Magazine. She is a graduate of Brown University and received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, where she was a Winifred Fiction Fellow and a College of Liberal Arts Fellow. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Costa Rica, she currently lives in Minneapolis with her family.

Victoria Blanco’s first book, Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance will be published June 11, 2024. Research and writing for Out of the Sierra has been supported by a Fulbright Award, research fellowships from the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, a Bakeless Scholarship from Breadloaf Orion, a writing residency at St. Paul's East Side Freedom Library from Coffee House Press In-the-Stacks, and the 2018 Roxane Gay Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction for the Jack Jones Literary Arts writers' retreat. Blanco's field research on Rarámuri resistance is ongoing with the support of the Community Development Action Fund (CDAF) from the U.S. Department of State. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. She is also the recipient of the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, the Digital Borderlands grant from the University of Arizona, the Jerome Fellowship, and the Minnesota Regional Arts Council grant.

Kathryn Savage’s Groundglass: An Essay was named a best read of the year by the Sydney Morning Herald, a Yale Review Favorite Cultural Artifact of 2022, and an EcoLit Books Best Environmental Book of 2022. Recipient of the Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, Savage has received support from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Jerome Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Ucross Foundation, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Savage has studied creative writing at the New School and holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington College and an MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. Currently she is an assistant professor of creative writing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

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