This spring, the English Department at the University of Minnesota will host author Colum McCann for a free lecture. McCann, author of “Let the Great World Spin,” which won the 2009 National Book Award, will speak at 7:30 p.m. April 10 in Coffman Theater. McCann’s newest novel, “Transatlantic,” will be published in June.
In March, the First Books reading series will feature Amanda Coplin, Elizabeth Larsen and Shana Youngdahl. Coplin’s novel, “The Orchardist,” was published last year and hit the New York Times bestseller list. Larsen’s nonfiction book, “Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun,” hit the Indiebound bestseller list. And Youngdahl’s collection of poetry, “History, Advice and Other Half-Truths,” was described as “delicate and stern.”
The First Books series will be at 7 p.m. March 14 at the Weisman Art Museum.
The annual Hunger Relief Benefit started by fiction writer Charles Baxter moves from autumn to spring. The benefit, which raises money for Second Harvest Heartland, will take place at 7 p.m. April 2 at the McNamara Alumni Center University Hall. Baxter will read, along with Maria Damon, Maria Fitzgerald, Julie Schumacher and Patricia Weaver Francisco. A $5 donation is requested.
• “The Rockwell Heist: The Extraordinary Theft of Seven Norman Rockwell Paintings and a Phony Renoir,” by Bruce Rubenstein, will be published this month by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Rubenstein is a Twin Cities journalist and the author of “Greed, Rage, and Love Gone Wrong.” The book will launch at 7 p.m. March 28 at Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul, and there will be a signing at 7 p.m. April 4 at Once Upon a Crime, 604 W. 26th St., Mpls.
• “Somalis in Minnesota,” the latest in the “People of Minnesota” series, has been published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The author, Ahmed Ismail Yusuf, lives in Minnesota.
• “St. Paul Union Depot,” by John W. Diers, will be published in May by the University of Minnesota Press. The large-format book gives the station’s history and traces the rise and fall of passenger trains.