October Reading Series

On Friday, October 12 at 7:30 pm you are invited to join Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts to hear local authors A. Rafael Johnson and Bernard James read selections from their writings. The event is free and open to the public.

A. Rafael Johnson earned his MFA at The University of Alabama. He interrupted his studies to teach in post-conflict Liberia as part of USAID-funded reconstruction efforts. In 2014, he was named a Kimbilio Fellow in African American Fiction. His story “The Boy Who Climbed His Mother Into Heaven” and his essay “Wince: George and Trayvon” were both nominated for Pushcart Prizes. His work has also appeared in Kweli Journal, African American Review, Callaloo, and spacecraft journal. His novel The Through (Jaded Ibis Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, grew out of his work in Liberia.

Writing under the pseudonym Bernard James, James Bernard Short is an emerging short fiction writer, and poet. His singular ambition as an artist is to produce smart, expressive, and culturally authentic content that captures the wide spectrum of aspirations and challenges encountered by persons of color. James’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, The New Guard, Blood Orange Review, The McNeese Review, SmokeLong Quarterly and other literary publications.  He is a 2017/2016 Kimbilio Fellow, and a 2015 Givens Writing Fellow. James holds degrees from Northwestern and The University of St. Thomas. He currently resides in Eden Prairie.


The 2018 Reading Series was curated by Janna Knittel.

The Reading Series is funded in partnership with the Anoka County Library.

This project was funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota’s Art and Cultural Heritage fund.
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