Award-winning author Valerie Laken will read at Ripon College Sept. 27

Valerie Laken, author of the novel Dream House and the story collection Separate Kingdoms will read from her work at Ripon College Wednesday, Sept. 27, as part of the Ripon College Visiting Writers Series and the Schang Family Visiting Writer Fund. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. It is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and author signing.

Laken is an associate professor and teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and at Pacific University’s low-residency MFA program.

Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, she majored in English and Russian at the University of Iowa, then worked and studied in Moscow, Prague, Krakow and Madison before moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan. She received a master’s degree in Slavic literature and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she also taught for several years.

Dream House received the Anne Powers Prize for fiction and was listed among Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2009. Separate Kingdoms was longlisted for the Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.

Other honors Laken has earned include a Pushcart Prize, two Hopwood Awards, a Missouri Review Editors’ Prize, and an honorable mention in the Best American Short Stories.

Her work also has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, Antioch Review, The Chicago Tribune, The Missouri Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Meridian and Alaska Quarterly Review.

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