Writers & Critics


Schedule for The 2013-2014 Susan Glaspell Writers & Critics Series

Note: This series is sponsored by the Drake English Department and made possible by a grant from the Drake University Center for the Humanities.



October 2013

Being a Writer in the World: Writing as World Citizenship
Co-Sponsored by The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship
October 9th at 3:30pm in the Cowles Library Reading Room on campus at Drake University
Featuring four guests from the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa:
Karim ALRAWI (playwright, fiction writer; Canada/UK/Egypt) writes stage plays in both Arabic and English. He is also the author of several radio and TV plays, and children’s books. He was resident writer at the Royal Court Theatre and the Theatre Royal Stratford East (England), has held writing residencies in the US and Canada, and teaching positions at universities in all three countries. His national and international honors include the John Whiting Award and the Samuel Becket Award.  Karim participates courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Arts Council of British Columbia.
Shandana MINHAS (fiction writer; Pakistan) has been a columnist, a teacher, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, and more. Her novel Tunnel Vision (2007) was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book; a second title Survival Tips For Lunatics, for young readers, will be published in 2014. Minhas is currently working on a collection of short stories and another novel. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
Mahsa MOHEBALI (fiction writer; Iran) is the author of the short story collections  [The Voices] (1998) and [Love-making in Footnotes] (2004), the latter a winner of the Golshiri Foundation's award for best short story collection, and of two novels, [The Grey Spell] (2002) and [Don’t Worry] (2008), which won both the Golshiri Foundation’s and the Press Critics’ Best Novel award. Her work has been translated into Swedish, published widely in print and on-line, and performed on stages across Iran.
TONG Wei Ger (童偉格, fiction writer, playwright; Taiwan) is the author of the short story collection 王考 [Wang Kao] (2002), and the novels, 無傷時代 [The Age of No Hurt] (2005) and 西北雨 [Northwest Rain] (2010), for which he won the Taiwan Literature Prize. He lectures in the Department of Theatre Arts of the Taipei National University of the Arts. His participation was made possible by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture.


November 2013

The Writers’ Harvest - Friday, November 15th at 3:30 at the Des Moines Public Library Downtown

Featuring poet Susanna Childress and essayist Thomas Page McBee, the judges for the 2013 Periphery prizes, the winner in prose, Lasara Boles, the winner in poetry, Carly Noyes, and noted Des Moines writers, John Domini and Kali VanBaale. This event will be held at the Des Moines Public Library Downtown to benefit the Food Bank of Iowa. Please bring boxed or canned food items to the event, and help members of our community have a better holiday season. 


February 2014

Special Guest: Evie Shockley

February 20, 2014 at 7pm in Cowles Library, Room 201 at Drake University

Critic and poet Evie Shockley is a professor of African American literature and Creative Writing at Rutgers University. She is the former co-editor of Jubilat, and the author of several books of poetry, most recently The New Black. Shockley’s visit will explore both her poetry and her literary criticism. Multiple events will be scheduled. 


April 2014

The Fifth Annual Drake Emerging Writer Award Reading - For a First Novel

April 17, 2014 at 5pm in Cowles Library Reading Room at Drake University

The English Department at Drake University and the Susan Glaspell Writers and Critics Reading Series are pleased to announce the winner of this year's Emerging Writer Award for a first novel:



by Marjorie Celona


After four months of attentive reading, discussion, and consideration, our panel of student judges selected Celona's novel by a notably unanimous decision. In addition to the $1000 prize, Celona will come to Drake University the week of April 14th to read from and talk about her novel. This reading will be held in the Cowles Library Reading Room on Drake campus and will be free and open to the public.

Congratulations to Marjorie Celona and tremendous thanks to all who submitted their novels!


May 2014

Writers and Critics Showcase

This year-end celebration features Drake students and faculty, including our yearly award winners, as well as some local Des Moines writers, by invitation.


Information will be added as additional events are confirmed.


Select the Lectures & Speakers link under Life@Drake. The Writers and Critics' tab will provide you access to prior speaking events.



For more information, please contact Amy Letter 515.271.3819