Colum McCann

Colum McCann

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 Foy Larsen and Shana Youngdahl. Coplin’s novel, “The Orchardist,” was published last year and hit the New York Times best-seller list. Larsen’s nonfiction book (written with Joshua Glenn), “Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun,” hit the Indiebound best-seller 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.

And the annual Hunger Relief Benefit started by fiction writer Charles Baxter has moved 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.