UTSA Creative Writing Reading series features author Teju Cole Feb. 22

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Author Teju Cole

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(Feb. 19, 2013) -- The Creative Writing Program in the UTSA Department of English will host author Teju Cole as the featured speaker in the Creative Writing Reading Series at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22 in the University Center Harris Room (2.212) on the UTSA Main Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

A writer, art historian and street photographer, Cole is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Qarrtsiluni, Granta, Aperture, Transition and A Public Space. He also is a contributing editor at New Inquiry.

An active social media promoter, Cole's most recent Twitter project "small fates" involves compressing a person's life and death to 140 characters. Most recently, he received national attention with his Twitter postings regarding individuals killed in drone attacks. Cole also uses Twitter to rewrite news reports from New York newspapers from 1912 in ironic and epigrammatic styles.

Cole will read from his first novel "Open City" (Random House, 2011), which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, the New York Society Library Award for Fiction and the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The book also was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.

"Open City" was cited in more then 20 publications' best book end-of-year lists including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Economist, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, The New Republic, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

A New York Times review described the book as "an indelible novel that does precisely what literature should do. It brings together thoughts and beliefs and blurs borders… A compassionate and masterly work."

Cole also wrote "Every Day is for the Thief" (Cassava Republic Press, 2007), a novella with photographs, and he is working on a book-length non-fiction work about Lagos.

Cole was born in the United States to Nigerian parents and raised in Nigeria. He attended Columbia University in New York, where he received a master's degree in philosophy in 16th-century northern European visual culture. He has taught art history and literature at Hofstra University, New York University and Columbia University. He is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and is pursuing his doctoral degree in philosophy.

For more information, visit the UTSA Creative Writing Program website.