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Author Events

Women's History Month Event: Pénélope Bagieu – Brazen

Sunday, March 11, 4pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books presents an event in honor of Women's History Month with bestselling author and illustrator Pénélope Bagieu, who will sign and discuss her new graphic novel, Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, with St. Louis illustrator Rori!

In Brazen, celebrated cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu tells the true stories of daring women throughout history. With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of formidable female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison, or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, their stories are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

"Wonderful. . . . Her cartooning style is a sheer delight." —Mental Floss

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Brazen from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. 

Rori! is a designer, cartoonist and illustrator from St. Louis. She is the author of several comics, including the autobiographical Tiny Pink Robots, and the creator and illustrator of the series 100Days100Women. She received her BFA from Columbia College Chicago, where she studied comics under the tutelage of Ivan Brunetti. She's proud to have founded the comics-centered group Madames des Comiques. Along with her continuing illustration series Femme Obscura, she's developing a series of projects focusing on adventurous and influential women in both fiction and history. She is the co-founder of Giant Kitten Head.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 4:00pm

Read It Forward with Nnedi Okorafor – Akata Witch

Wednesday, March 14, 7pm
St. Louis Public Library

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits. And then she discovers something amazing-she is a “free agent,” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too? World Fantasy Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor weaves together a story of magic, mystery, and finding one’s place in the world—for fans of Ursula Le Guin and Diana Wynne Jones.

This event is presented by the St. Louis Public Library. For more information, please call 314-214-2288.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 7:00pm

James Rollins: Demon Crown

Wednesday, December 13, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ

Bestselling author James Rollins combines historical mystery and scientific exploration in his latest thrilling Sigma Force adventure. A construction project unearths a cache of bones preserved in amber and buried more than a century ago by a cabal of scientists safeguarding a wonder like no other: the very secret of life after death. But this prize is linked to a horror that has remained dormant in the marrow of those bones—and has now been freed again to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world. From a crystalline lab atop Mount Fuji to a verdant island teeming with the “dark matter of life,” Sigma Force must unlock a deadly mystery that winds back eons.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 7:00pm

Women's History Month Event: Dana Levin & Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Wednesday, March 21, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books presents a event in honor of Women's History Month with poets Dana Levin, author of Banana Palace, and Natalie Scenters-Zapico, author of The Verging Cities

In Banana Palace, Dana Levin offers us poems responding to the deep anxieties of our age. With humor and a laser-sharp eye, Levin looks at the crisis of human appetite via the psychological and the sci-fi. The personal meets the collective: from mutation to social media, eco-collapse to a dream of an “End Time,” the future of the body is what is at stake: bodies corporeal and political, ecological and spiritual.

From undocumented men named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s gripping debut collection, The Verging Cities, is filled with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels in the domestic sphere. Deeply rooted along the US-México border in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, these poems give a brave new voice to the ways in which international politics affect the individual. 

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Banana Palace or The Verging Cities will be required to enter the signing line. 

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:00pm

Gabriel Fried – The Children Are Reading

Tuesday, February 20, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes award-winning poet and University of Missouri professor Gabriel Fried, who will sign and read from his new collection, The Children are Reading!

The Children Are Reading inhabits childhood spaces, physical and imaginative, on either side of the emergence of adult awareness, desires, and anxieties—which isn’t to say desires and anxieties don’t exist on the childhood end of the spectrum. In many ways, those are more emphatic, less mitigated in the poems, unconstrained by the delusions and rationalizations of adulthood. It would be inaccurate to think of adulthood as the place where wisdom pools in these poems, though it’s in adulthood that some of the fears are reconceived and articulated. Fried shows us that there are powers and wisdoms held in childhood that are lost in adulthood, even with its increased autonomy of one sort or another.

“Fried’s sophomore offering marks him as a poet on the rise, an important and individual voice. For all readers of contemporary poetry.“ —Library Journal (starred review)

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of The Children are Reading from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. 

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

Observable Readings: Heather Tone & Jenny Johnson

Monday, March 5, 7:30pm
Dressel's Public House

Heather Tone received her MFA in poetry from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the chapbook Gestures (The Catenary Press), and was chosen by Nick Flynn as the 2016 APR/Honickman First Book Prize for her manuscript, Likenesses. Her poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Fence, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Florida.

Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet (Sarabande Books, 2017). Her honors include a 2015 Whiting Award and a 2016-17 Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. Her poems have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, New England Review, Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and elsewhere. She earned a BA/MT in English Education from the University of Virginia, and an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College. She taught public school for several years in San Francisco, and she spent ten summers on the staff of the UVA Young Writer’s Workshop. She is a Contributing Editor at Waxwing Literary Journal. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and at the Rainier Writing Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University’s low-residency MFA program.

Suggested $5.00 donation at the door.

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 7:30pm

Observable Readings: francine j. harris & Simone White

Monday, February 5, 7:30pm
Dressel's Public House

francine j. harris is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She earned a BA in English from Arizona State University and an MFA in Poetry from University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Zell Fellowship. harris spent several years working with grassroots organizing projects for community radio, social justice, and queer performing arts, while facilitating poetry workshops for young people and practicing visual art. She is the author of allegiance (2012), a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the PEN Open Book Award; and play dead (2016). Her poetry has appeared in many journals, including McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, Poetry, Meridian, Indiana Review, Callaloo, and Boston Review. A 2008 Cave Canem fellow, she has also won the 2014 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest and was awarded a 2015 NEA fellowship. harris has taught creative writing at University of Michigan and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and she is currently writer in residence at Washington University in St. Louis.

Simone White was born Middletown, Connecticut, and raised in Philadelphia. She earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. White is the author of the full-length collection House Envy of All the World (2010) and the chapbooks Dolly (2008) and Unrest (2013). Her work has been praised for its innovative complexity, allusive song, and “lyric deconstruction of desire, entitlement, blackness, the domestic, language and diction,” in the words of Anna Moschovakis. White has received fellowships from Cave Canem and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She is completing a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Suggested $5.00 donation at the door.

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 7:30pm

100 Boots: Don Mee Choi and Daniel Borzutzky

Friday, Feburary 23, 7pm
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

This series presents readings by a range of emerging, mid-career, and established poets from St. Louis and across the United States. 100 Boots is co-organized by Jessica Baran, poet and Associate Director of Curatorial and Program Development at Barrett Barrera & Projects Plus Gallery; and Ted Mathys, poet and educator at St. Louis University. At each reading, limited-edition broadsides are available for free to audience members, and a selection of the poets’ books are for sale courtesy of Left Bank Books. The third event of the season features readings by poets Don Mee Choi and Daniel Borzutzky.

Don Mee Choi was born in Seoul and came to the U.S. via Hong Kong. She is the author of Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016), The Morning News is Exciting (Action Books, 2010), a chapbook, Petite Manifesto (Vagabond, 2014), and a Wave pamphlet, Freely Frayed. She has received a Whiting Award, Lannan Literary Fellowship, and Lucien Stryk Translation Prize. Her most recent translation of Kim Hyesoon, a contemporary South Korean poet, is Poor Love Machine (Action Books, 2016) and Autobiography of Death (New Directions, forthcoming). She is currently co-editing with Joshua Beckman a book of Yi Sang’s poems and prose for Wave Books.

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry for his collection The Performance of Becoming Human, Daniel Borzutzky is a Chilean-American writer and translator living in Chicago. His other poetry books are In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, The Book of Interfering Bodies, The Ecstasy of Capitulations, and the chapbook Failure in the Imagination. Lake Michigan is forthcoming from University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018. He has published one collection of fiction, Arbitrary Tales. His books of translation include Song for his Disappeared Love by Raul Zurita and Port Trakl by Jaime Luis Huenun.

To learn more, visit

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 7:00pm

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 25, All Day
Left Bank Books

Shop Small with Left Bank this Small Business Saturday! Support your local indie bookstore and reinvest in your community while shopping for the perfect holiday gifts and getting recommendations from local experts:





Local author Mariah Richardson will read from and sign copies of her new Madeline Delilah AdventureNot a Happy Camper! Left Bank Books will also have Madeline Delilah dolls for sale!




Columbia, MO author Jill Orr will sign copies of the first book in her Riley Ellison mystery series, The Good Byline, and recommend her favorite fiction! You'll also have a chance to win an advanced copy of the second book in the series, The Bad Break!

Jill's Recommendations



Local printmaker & bookmaker Sonja Petermann will lead and Art Project Hour and recommend holiday gifts for the art lover in your life from Taschen, Phaidon, and other art catalogs!

Sonja's Recommendations



The Central West End's own Antony John, author of Imposter, the Elemental series, and Five Flavors of Dumb, will recommend some of his favorite Young Adult books of the year!




Visit our Poetry on Demand Station, where poet Jessica Baran will compose a short poem on the spot for a small donation to a charity of her choice! Jessica will also recommend her favorite collections and sign copies of Common Sense!

Jessica's Recommendations



Author Rebecca Schuman will recommend a selection of her favorite non-fiction books, ranging from memoirs to essays, history, and social issues. She'll also sign copies of her book, Schadenfreude, a Love Story!

Rebecca's Recommendations



Grab a drink while DJ Crim Dolla Cray spins records at a special Happy Hour to benefit the Left Bank Books Foundation's River City Readers program!



Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 10:00am

Luis Alberto Urrea – The House of Broken Angels

Monday, April 9, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes Pulitzer Prize finalist Luis Alberto Urrea, who will sign and discuss his new novel, The House of Broken Angels!

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader. Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers celebrate the lives of Big Angel and his mother, recounting the acts that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and it cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

“It’s difficult to find comparisons to an author as original as Urrea, a kind of literary badass who still believes in love . . . He is a master storyteller with a rock-and-roll heart.” —NPR

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of The House of Broken Angels from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, April 9, 2018 - 7:00pm


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