Concordia College is a founding partner with the National Book Foundation of the National Book Awards on Campus Program (2006-2021). The college is pleased to announce Nikky Finney and David Grann as our authors for the Concordia Celebrates the National Book Awards event March 10-11. We have looked back to feature a past winner and finalist. Nikky Finney is the 2011 poetry winner for her work, Head Off & Split. David Grann is a 2017 nonfiction finalist for his book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The Readings and Conversation event with authors Finney and Grann will be hosted by former NPR correspondent John Ydstie '74 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Knutson Campus Center Centrum. Admission is free.

The mission of the National Book Foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture.

Concordia College Celebrates the National Book Awards 

Readings and Conversation

7:30 p.m. CST | Thursday, March 10
Centrum, Knutson Campus Center

Admission is free. A reception and book signing will take place in the atrium, Knutson Campus Center, following the event.

Meet the Authors

Nikky Finney

Finney’s poetry collection, Head Off & Split, sustains a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life: from civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Artful and intense, Finney's poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime. Finney teaches at the University of South Carolina where she is the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters, with appointments in both the Department of English Language and Literature and the African American Studies Program.

David Grann

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating. Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. His stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, Washington Post, and other publications.

Event Host

John Ydstie

John Ydstie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in 1974 with a major in English literature and a minor in speech communications. He covered the economy, Wall Street, and the federal budget for NPR for two decades and was a regular guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Talk of the Nation. Ydstie retired in November 2019.

The National Book Awards at Concordia is underwritten by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in honor of Earl Lewis 78.

Earl Lewis

Dr. Earl Lewis, a 1978 graduate of Concordia College, is director of the new University of Michigan Center for Social Solutions, which was established to address three core areas of social concern: diversity and race, water, and the future of work.