Short-story writer Laura van den Berg continues Language Arts Live

Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg, whose short-story collection was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, reads from her work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

This  Language Arts Live reading is open to the public at no cost. The series is sponsored by the English department, the Humanities Fund, the Learning Associates Program and the John Tagliabue Poetry Fund. For more information, please contact 207-786-6256 or 207-784-0416, or

The series continues with a Nov. 17 reading by veteran poet Sydney Lea, whom author Michael Pollan called “as fine a companion on the page as American writing about nature has to offer.” Lea’s appearance is also at 7:30 p.m. in the Muskie Archives.

Van den Berg is the author of the short-story collection What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us — a book that a reviewer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation called “an impressive, memorable debut that really couldn’t be more perfect.”

Illuminating the intersection of the mythic and the mundane, the stories in van den Berg’s debut depict women consumed with searching for absolution, for solace, for the flash of extraordinary in the ordinary that will forever alter their lives. Barnes & Noble selected What the World Will Look Like for its “Discover Great New Writers” program, and the collection was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award and awarded the 2007 Dzanc Prize.

Raised in Florida, van den Berg earned her master’s of fine arts at Emerson College. Her fiction has appeared or will soon appear in the periodicals Ploughshares, One Story, Boston Review, American Short Fiction and Conjunctions, and the anthology Best New American Voices 2010, among other publications.

She has taught writing at Emerson College and Gettysburg College. She lives in Baltimore and is at work on new stories and a novel.

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