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Grace College Welcomes Renowned Author Dionne Irving to Campus

Grace College's Lila Carson Lecture Series guest Dionne Irving

The Grace College Department of Humanities welcomes renowned author Dionne Irving to campus for a book reading on Wednesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at Morgan Library, 921 Connection Circle, Winona Lake. Irving will read from her latest book, “The Islands.” The free event is open to the public and will include a coffee-and-cookie reception as well as discounted copies of “The Islands” available for purchase and signing.

Before the public reading, Irving will meet with Grace faculty and students in the Department of Humanities.

“I am most excited to have Dionne here because I am such a fan of her short stories and because some of our students actually read her short story ‘Shopgirl’ in Global Perspectives, one of the core classes at Grace,” said Dr. Lauren Rich, chair of the Department of Humanities. “Reading and discussing a great short story in class is one thing, but getting to meet the author takes it to a whole new level.”

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Irving teaches in the Creative Writing Program and the Initiative on Race and Resilience at the University of Notre Dame. Irving’s work has appeared in “Story,” “Boulevard,” “LitHub,” “Missouri Review” and “New Delta Review,” among other journals and magazines.

Her latest short story collection, “The Islands,” follows the lives of Jamaican women—immigrants or the descendants of immigrants—who have relocated all over the world to escape the ghosts of colonialism. The novel was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Scotiabank/Giller Prize, The New American Voices Award and The Clara Johnson Award.

Dr. John Poch, professor of English at Grace, met Irving at the Convivio Conference in Italy, where they both served as faculty. He is thrilled to welcome her to the Grace College campus.

“There is something about a writer conveying his/her own work in person that cannot be matched on the page or over the internet,” said Poch. “Having Dionne on campus allows her to engage with students and the community and have fruitful dialogue about writing, reading, best practices and many other of life’s beauties and challenges. We learn language by brushing up against it in person; students benefit immensely by meeting writers in person to hear them read from their work.”

Irving’s book reading is the first installment of Grace College’s Lila Carson Lecture Series, a new donor-funded initiative of the Department of Humanities. The series promotes the understanding and beauty of literature by bringing writers of national/international repute each spring semester to Grace College.

The Department of Humanities will host two more author readings this spring. David Marsh, a Grace alumnus and award-winning novelist, will be on campus March 27 to read from his latest book, “Waterborne: Chronicle of the Clan of Noah.” On April 25, poet George David Clark, the author of “Reveille” and “Newly Not Eternal,” will be on Grace’s campus.

For more information about the Lila Carson Lecture Series at Grace College, visit

To learn more about Dionne Irving, go to

Tagged With: Department of Humanities, Events