The Backwaters Press Presents JONIS AGEE and BRENT SPENCER

Wednesday, April 29 at 7pm
Reading is free and open to the public.This program is funded in part by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

Reading will take place in the OPPD Community Dialogue Room on the 2nd floor of the UNO Community Engagement Center.

Information about Jonis Agee:

Jonis Agee was born in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in Nebraska and Missouri, places where many of her stories and novels are set. She was educated at The University of Iowa (BA) and The State University of New York at Binghamton (MA, PhD). She is Adele Hall Professor of English at The University of Nebraska — Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing and twentieth-century fiction. She is the author of twelve books, including five novels—Sweet Eyes, Strange Angels, South of Resurrection, The Weight of Dreams, and The River Wife—and five collections of short fiction—Pretend We’ve Never Met, Bend This Heart, A .38 Special and a Broken Heart, Taking the Wall, and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. She has also published two books of poetry: Houses and Mercury. Her forthcoming novel is The Night Horse (William Morrow, 2016)

Jonis Agee’s awards include ForeWord Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for Taking the Wall and the Gold Medal in Fiction for Acts of Love on Indigo Road; a National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction; a Loft-McKnight Award; a Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction; and two Nebraska Book Awards (for The Weight of Dreams and Acts of Love on Indigo Road. Three of her books—Strange Angels, Bend This Heart, and Sweet Eyes—were named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. The River Wife was selected by the Book of the Month Club, the Literary Guild, and the Quality Paperback Book Club and was also awarded The John Gardner Prize in Fiction. Agee is a recipient of the George Garrett Award and the Mark Twain Award for Contributions to Literature.

She owns twenty pairs of cowboy boots, some of them works of art, loves the open road, and believes that ecstasy and hard work are the basic ingredients of life and writing.

Information about Brent Spencer:

I’m a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (fiction), was a Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer in the Stanford Creative Writing Program, and earned a certificate from the UCLA Online Professional Program in Screenwriting. I direct the creative writing program (BA, MA, and MFA) at Creighton University, where I am a tenured full professor teaching fiction writing and screenwriting. I’m the author of the novel The Lost Son and the short story collection Are We Not Men?, both from Arcade Publishing. My most recent book is a memoir called Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father. It won the 2009 Distinguished Artist Award from the Nebraska Arts Council and the Little Bluestem Award from The Backwaters Press, which published the book. My short stories have been published in Best American Mystery Stories, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Missouri Review, Antioch Review, Prairie Schooner, and other places. I am also the co-writer, with my wife, Jonis Agee, of the screenplay for Full Throttle, a film produced for Roger Corman’s New Horizons Pictures Corporation. Our screenplay Baghdad Rules was a Gold Level Award Winner in the 2010 California Film Awards, a quarter-finalist in the Champion Screenwriting Competition and in the 2010 Creative World Awards. And it won Best Action Screenplay in the 2010 Chicago Screenwriters Network Contest. Our screenplay Everlasting was the third-place winner in the 2009 Silver Screenwriting Awards. And our short screenplay Coultergeist was a finalist in the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival Competition.

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