OCTOBER 21-24, 2021

and year round


Devil's Lake Reading - Danielle Evans, Rebecca Dunham - <span class="date-display-single">10/16/2014 - 6:30pm</span>

Devil's Lake Reading

10/16/2014 - 6:30pm

Central Library - The Bubbler

Devil’s Lake, an online literary journal out of UW-Madison’s MFA program, publishes necessary work—poems, stories, and essays that speak to the human issues of our contemporary moment. This year, we proudly present Wisconsin-based writers Rebecca Dunham and Danielle Evans.  Dunham and Evans are the 2014 Devil’s Lake Driftless Prize judges, and they will read from their poetry and fiction.  


About Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self:

An electric debut story collection about mixed-race and African-American teenagers, women, and men struggling to find a place in their families and communities.  When Danielle Evans's short story "Virgins" was published in The Paris Review in late 2007, it announced the arrival of a major new American short story writer. Written when she was only twenty-three, Evans's story of two black, blue-collar fifteen-year-old girls' flirtation with adulthood for one night was startling in its pitch-perfect examination of race, class, and the shifting terrain of adolescence. Now this debut short story collection delivers on the promise of that early story. In "Harvest," a college student's unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront her own feelings of inadequacy in comparison to her white classmates. In "Jellyfish," a father's misguided attempt to rescue a gift for his grown daughter from an apartment collapse magnifies all he doesn't know about her. And in "Snakes," the mixed-race daughter of intellectuals recounts the disastrous summer she spent with her white grandmother and cousin, a summer that has unforeseen repercussions in the present. Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one's sense of identity and the choices one makes.


About Glass Armonica:

The eighteenth-century glass armonica, a musical instrument whose sound emits from rotating water-filled vessels, has long held the power to mesmerize with its hauntingly sorrowful tones. Just as its song—which was once thought to induce insanity—wraps itself in and around the mind, Rebecca Dunham probes the depths of human psyche, inhabiting the voices of historical female “hysterics” and inciting in readers a tranquil unease. These are poems spoken through and for the melancholic, the hysteric, the body dysmorphic—from Mary Glover to Lavinia Dickinson to Freud’s famed patient Dora. And like expert hands placed gently on the armonica’s rotating disks, Dunham offers unsettling depictions of uninvited human contact—of hands laid upon the female body, of touch at times unwanted, and ultimately unspeakable from behind the hysteric’s “locked jaws.” Winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Dunham’s stunning third collection is “lush yet septic” (G.C. Waldrep), at once beautiful and unnerving.

Danielle Evans

About Presenter Danielle Evans


Danielle Evans is the author of the story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, winner of the PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and the Paterson Prize for Fiction, and an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway award. She is a 2011 National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts fellow. Her work has appeared in magazines including The Paris Review, A Public Space, American Short Fiction, Callaloo, The Sewanee Review, and Phoebe,  and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2010, 2017, and 2018, and in New Stories From The South. She received an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, has taught creative writing at American University in Washington DC and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and now teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.


The Office of Historical Corrections

Rebecca Dunham

About Presenter Rebecca Dunham


Rebecca Dunham is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Glass Armonica, winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize and a 2013 Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Antioch Review, FIELD, The Southern Review, and the Alaska Quarterly Review, among others. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of WI-Milwaukee.


Glass Armonica

Madison Public Library logo

201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703

© 2013-2022


join the conversation #wibookfest

we couldn't do it without you: