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First Friday Reading - May 2023
First Friday Reading - May 2023


For online events, add this product to your cart & checkout to receive your Zoom link.
For on-site events, no registration required (please ignore Quantity option).

First Friday Reading with Mary Helen Stefaniak 
Date: Friday, May 5, 2023
Time: 12 Noon CENTRAL TIME
Format: Zoom


Mary Helen Stefaniak’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in many publications. Of her new novel, The World of Pondside, a mystery that takes place in a nursing home, Booklist said, “Stefaniak infuses an often forbidding environment with joy and dignity.” Her previous novel, The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia, was selected by Rita Dove and Henry Louis Gates Jr. to receive the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation for a diversity of cultures. Independent booksellers selected The Cailiffs as an Indie-Next “Great Read.” Her first novel, The Turk and My Mother, received the 2005 John Gardner Fiction Award and has been translated into seven languages. It was named a Favorite Book of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune. Both novels, along with her first book, Self Storage and Other Stories, were honored by the Wisconsin Library Association.

Her first book of nonfiction, The Six-Minute Memoir: Fifty-Five Short Essays on Life, was published by The University of Iowa Press in Fall 2022. The essays are selected from over two decades' worth of her Alive and Well column in The Iowa Source. She read many of them as six-minute commentaries on Iowa Public Radio. Author Valerie Laken called The Six-Minute Memoir "a treasure trove of marvels, the sort of book you want to wave around and buy for everyone you love. These brief, beguiling essays turn ordinary moments into extraordinary delights."

Mary Helen earned her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is professor emerita of creative writing at Creighton University in Omaha and teaches in Pacific University’s low-residency MFA in Writing program.


Larksong is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.