Shop With Purpose (and help Unbound)

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Please come and join our friends at McAdams' Ltd. TODAY for special event that goes on until 6 p.m. this evening! This is their now-annual Unbound fundraiser, which is also a book drive, and a chance to meet and greet some local authors. We’re very grateful for their continued generosity and support - and hope that you’ll go along and support them.

Book Drive and Sale: Earn up to 25% off your entire purchase by donating new or gently used books. For each book you bring, you'll receive 5% off your purchase. Bring one book, get 5% off; three books gets you 15% off; and five books gets you 25% off! If you forget to bring books then McAdams’ will accept a $10 donation to receive 25% off your purchase. Additional donations (books or cash) are greatly appreciated! All books donated will be distributed by Unbound after the festival to local community organizations who serve those in need. (Please note, the sale excludes estate, antique & artist made items, & special orders.)

Fundraiser: In addition to their storewide sale and book drive, McAdams’ will also donate 25% percent of the day's sales to the Unbound Book Festival!

Meet and Greet: Throughout the day on Tuesday a number of local authors will be present at the shop to discuss the festival and talk books.

So please head over to McAdams’ Ltd at 1501 Old Hwy 63 South, and join in the fun!

One More Poet...!

Happy Monday to you! We’re pleased to announce that we have squeezed one more poet into the schedule, and we couldn’t be happier about it. His name is Aaron Coleman, and we can’t wait to welcome him to Columbia next month.

Credit: Katherine Simone Reynolds

Credit: Katherine Simone Reynolds

Aaron Coleman is the author of Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, 2018) and his chapbook, St. Trigger, was selected by Adrian Matejka for the 2015 Button Poetry Prize. A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow, Aaron’s poems have appeared in journals including Boston Review, Callaloo, and New York Times Magazine. Winner of the American Literary Translators Association’s Jansen Fellowship, the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Contest, and The Cincinnati Review Schiff Award, Aaron is currently studying 20th-century poetry of the African Diaspora in the Americas in Washington University Saint Louis Comparative Literature PhD program.

Poetry Abound! Friday Afternoon at the Unbound Book Festival @ Cafe Berlin!

We’re excited to bring you news of this year’s Friday afternoon poetry event, which takes place this year at Cafe Berlin, from 4;00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19 - just ahead of the festival keynote with George Saunders at the Missouri Theatre. We have an amazing line-up of poets to read for you.

Like all Unbound events, this reading is completely free to attend. There are no tickets to reserve - just show up and enjoy the poetry. (It might not be a bad idea to get there early, though…)

The event will be MC’d by T'Keyah Thomas, who is on the Unbound programming committee. TK is a poet and community organizer living in Columbia, MO. She's an on-air announcer and producer for KBIA and is the host and co-founder of the spoken word collective, OneMic. Her poetry has been featured in several written & visual arts exhibits, including Interpretations (Columbia Art League) and Ekphrasis (Kansas City, 2018). She is the creative director of Mid-Missouri's chapter of Louder than a Bomb. She aspires to be a filmmaker one day.

Here is who will be reading:

Alex Bergman is set to receive their BA in Studio Art from Columbia College in April 2019, with a minor in Art Education. Bergman works primarily in three-dimensional media including fibers, alternative photography, and functional ceramics. Bergman is a frequent poet at Columbia’s OneMic poetry events, as well as a guest poet at Columbia College’s Night of Unity. Bergman’s fine art has been exhibited in solo and group shows across Boone County since 2015.

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Grant H. Blackwell A.K.A BWELL or Eddy English, is a visual artist, poet, novelist and scholar born in the Saint Louis 80s. He is the author of Ant Life and Marie. Blackwell is a founding member of IndyGround Entertainment and the Big Black Lies (BBL) art crew. As a graduate of the University of Missouri--Columbia, BWELL is a father on necessity's path for a daughter and life to emulate.

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Miranda S. Craig is a poet and comedienne, born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised practically everywhere else. Having attended twelve different schools by the time she was a senior in high school, she then chose to study at the University of Missouri and make Columbia her home. Her influences are rooted in mysticism, religiosity, spacetime and in attempts at understanding how humans are a part of all this in the first place.

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Poet and community builder Kevin Coval is the author of 10 books, including A People’s History of Chicago, co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, and co-writer of the play This is Modern Art. Additionally, he is the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival. He teaches hip-hop poetics in high schools, colleges, and community centers around the globe.

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Farah El-Jayyousi is a Palestinian american poet and artist from Columbia, MO. By day, she is the Social Media Director for LaunchGood, the world's largest crowdfunding platform for Muslims. In her free time, she can be found volunteering for the high school youth group at the Islamic Center and abandoning art projects halfway through.

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Marcel Jaentschke is a Graduate Student at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Mizzou. He has published two poetry collections in Spanish: Sobre el desasosiego, and Dilatada República de las luces.  In 2015 he published his first novel: Anotaciones a la Banana Republic.  A selection of his poetry work has been translated into Finnish: Onko tämä suomalaista kirjallisuutta? and French: Boustro IV.

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Jennifer Maritza McCauley is the author of SCAR ON/SCAR OFF. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kimbilio, CantoMundo and the Knight Foundation, and awards from Independent Publisher Book Awards and the Academy of American Poets. She is poetry editor at The Missouri Review and fiction editor at Pleiades. She received her MFA from Florida International, and is pursuing her PhD in creative writing at the University of Missouri.

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Marc McKee is the author of one chapbook and four full-length collections of poetry: What Apocalypse?, FuseBewildernessConsolationeer, and the forthcoming Meta Meta Make-Belief, all from Black Lawrence Press. His poetry appears widely in online and print journals. He is the managing editor of the Missouri Review in Columbia, Missouri, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold. 

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A Mississippi native, Treasure Shields Redmond is a published poet, master educator, community arts organizer, and successful entrepreneur. Treasure was raised in the federal housing projects, and went on to be signed to M.C. Hammer’s label as a hiphop artist and writer. She is the author of chop: a collection of kwansabas for fannie lou hamer. Treasure has co-founded a funding collective for Black artists called The Black Skillet, and a podcast that centers voices of color called Who Raised You?

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Stuart Smith is a third generation Hickman High School graduate. He graduated from Mizzou with a degree in English and an emphasis in creative writing for poetry, and then spent time in New York City and Portland, Oregon. Now back again in Columbia, he is working on a memoir, helps coach high school sports teams, and also works as a substitute teacher and bartender. 

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Chris Ware is an award-winning spoken word artist, actor and musician. When not onstage, he works as a teaching artist, aiding children in discovering their own artistic talents. Chris also teaches computer aided design and machining classes at the MADE in STL Maker Space, giving others the tools to create what they may. Recent credits for Chris include "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" (Mustard Seed Theatre, STL) "Romeo and Juliet" (Shakespeare Festival, STL).

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The Unbound Independent Author Fair is Back!

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In addition to the many extraordinary writers and poets who have come from all points across the country to be at Unbound, we are also proud to celebrate some of our wonderful local writers at the festival.

This will be the third year of Unbound’s Independent Author Fair, which takes place in the Stephens College ballroom on Saturday, April 20. During the course of the day, sixteen local self-published authors will present, discuss, and sell their books to the festival-going public.

If you're a self-published author who would like to be part of the Independent Author Fair between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. during the festival, please email us at to reserve your spot. Assuming we reach capacity, each author will share an eight-foot long table with one other author. The cost for the entire day is $75. Please note that we have limited space available and places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your application in early!

Joan Morgan!

We’re thrilled to announce that Joan Morgan, award-winning cultural critic, feminist author and a pioneering hip-hop journalist, will be coming to Columbia next month to speak at Unbound on writing about music.

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Morgan coined the term “hip-hop feminism” in 1999, when she published the groundbreaking book, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down which is taught at universities globally. Regarded internationally as an expert on the topics of hip-hop, race and gender, Morgan has made numerous television and radio appearances. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The New School, Vanderbilt and Duke and Stanford University and is currently a doctoral candidate at New York University. Her most recent book is She Begat This: 20 Years of the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Jamaican-born and South Bronx bred, Morgan is a proud Native New Yorker.

Natalie Moore is coming to Unbound!

We’re very pleased to announce that writer and journalist Natalie Moore is coming to Unbound this year. Natalie is the author of The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, a lyrical, intelligent, authentic, and necessary look at the intersection of race and class in Chicago. The book was the winner of the 2016 Chicago Review of Books award for nonfiction and a Buzzfeed best nonfiction book of 2016. In this highly important narrative, Moore shines a light on contemporary segregation in the city's South Side. With a memoirist's eye, she showcases the lives of these communities through the stories of people who reside there. The South Side shows the impact of Chicago's historic segregation - and the ongoing policies that keep the system intact.

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Natalie is a reporter at WBEZ-Chicago. Her enterprise reporting has tackled race, housing, economic development, food injustice and violence. Natalie’s work has been broadcast on the BBC, Marketplace and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. In addition to writing The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, she is also co-author of The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang and Deconstructing Tyrone: A New Look at Black Masculinity in the Hip-Hop Generation.  

Did You See Our First Ad in the Columbia Tribune?

We’re getting close, people - you can tell, because (a) another glorious True/False Film Festival is over and (b) ads for Unbound have begun to appear in the Columbia Daily Tribune. That, and the Nutella consumption around here has rocketed.

These ads, typically, are where we start to announce some of the panels that we’ll be featuring - up until now we’ve been announcing guests but not specifying the subjects of their conversations. Now you’ll be able to find out more about the panels by checking out the weekly ads every Sunday. Here’s our first one:

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Telling Stories

Books, of course, are all about stories, but not all stories are about books. Unbound may be a book festival, but we love storytelling of all kinds. This year we are very excited to welcome back to Columbia Milbre Burch. Some of you will already know Milbre as an award-winning and internationally recognized storyteller, and she is returning to Unbound to present her new project, Tales from Beyond the Ban.

Tales from Beyond the Ban is a spoken word concert of oral tradition tales from the seven predominantly-Muslim countries named in President Trump’s initial travel ban. The folktales are bookended by excerpts of oral histories of international graduate students from some of those countries. Tales from Beyond the Ban has been featured at a World Refuge Day event in Columbia, MO; the National Storytelling Network’s 2018 Summit in Kansas City; the RaceBridges online project in Chicago; at the series at the Hans Christian Statue in NYC’s Central Park; and the Grapevine series at Busboys and Poets in DC.

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Now based in Chapel Hill, NC, Milbre Burch is a GRAMMY-nominated spoken word recording artist and an internationally known storyteller. Her work as a theatre artist was honed at the Celebration Barn in South Paris, ME in the eighties. A produced and published playwright, she has performed and taught across the US, Europe and Asia. She received her PhD in theatre and performance studies at the University of Missouri in 2014 and publishes scholarship on the use of storytelling strategies to highlight social justice issues. She will be a teller in residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, TN this spring.