Reading List: Creative Writing

Whether you’re using your summer months to make a dent in that writing project or looking for some inspiration or guidance, this list is sure to get your creative juices flowing.



Black Jesus and Other Superheroes (September 2017)

Venita Blackburn

Winner of this year’s Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, this short story collection follows ordinary people with extraordinary abilities—both amazing and unpleasant.



Glory Days (September 2017)

Melissa Fraterrigo

With alternating POVs and magical realism woven into the stark reality for many in Midwestern America, this novel is haunting and unforgettable.



The Poetry Home Repair Manual

Ted Kooser

Practical insights from a former U. S. Poet Laureate, this book reads like a late-night chat with an old friend about the desire to create.


One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist

Dustin Hoffman

Focusing on the laborers and workers we so often pass by, these ten collected stories will help you notice more of the world around you—and the people that inhabit it.



The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony

Landan Osman

Part of the African Poetry Book Series, Osman’s work reminds us to ask (and ask) whose story valid.




Why I’m an Only Child & Other Slightly Naughty Plains Folktales

Roger Welsch

That one story your uncle tells at every single family reunion? Yeah, that’s a folktale.



American English, Italian Chocolate

Rick Bailey

From the Midwest to Italy, Bailey blends memoir and essay to remind us of all the little details that make life significant.



The Zoo at Night (September 2017)

Susan Gubernat

Winner of this year’s Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, The Zoo at Night is both experimental and classic, combining formal and free verse elements.



Prisoner of the Vampires of Mars

Gustave Le Rouge

Translated by David Beus and Brian Evenson

Robert Darvel, a young and penniless French engineer at the turn of the twentieth century, is an amateur astronomer obsessed with the planet Mars. Transported by a combination of science and psychic powers to Mars, Robert must navigate the dangers of the Red Planet while trying to return to his fiancée on Earth. This is translated science fiction novel is sure to cure your summer reading slump.



My Wife Wants You to Know I’m Happily Married

Joey Franklin

Musing on more than marriage, Franklin explores the relationship between writer and reader in this fun collection of short stories.



Telling Stories (October 2017)

Lee Martin

Although reading may be a solitary activity, writing is not. Through encouraging lessons learned over a lifetime of writing, Martin reminds us that no writer is alone.



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