MUSCATINE, Iowa–Since its creation in 2020, the Inclusive Dialogue Series, put on by the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Global Education at the Stanley Center, and Muscatine Community College, has brought authors with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences to share their writing with area residents. In the series’ next installment April 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Merrill Hotel (119 West Mississippi Drive in Muscatine) author Nneka Arimah will speak about “What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky,” a collection of her short stories that incorporates a cast of characters with differing outlooks to explore universal themes.
Krista Regennitter, program officer for Global Education at the Stanley Center, shared that Arimah proved the ideal author to invite to Muscatine because students in Muscatine High School’s Advanced Placement English will read two of her short stories. Beyond giving students the chance to meet one of the authors they studied, Regennitter found that the nuance of Arimah’s characters and the universality of the messages that they teach will appeal to many readers. “Each of these stories are beautifully unique and grapple with themes such as forgiveness, grief, hope, power, love, and loss,” she said: ” I found myself needing to take a break between each story to leave time for reflection and contemplation of the characters. The author has a talent for creating characters that you are rooting for, and also in conflict with.”
Anyone wanting to read, “What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky” may check out one of several copies available at the Musser Public Library’s reference desk. Those who would prefer to buy a copy of the book may do so at Muscatine Community College’s Bookstore.
The evening of the Inclusive Dialogue, attendees will get to hear Arimah speak about her writing and experiences, participate in a question and answer session, discuss their reading with others at their table, and even have their personal copies of “What it Means When A Man Falls From the Sky” signed. A thought provoking evening, Regennitter believes all who attend, either in person or online, will learn a lot from it. “We hope that participants will, through reading this collection of short stories, engage in the opportunity to explore new perspectives and to critically reflect on the complexity of human emotions,” she stated. “Most of all, we hope that they enjoy the collection of work and the opportunity to connect with the author.”
If you would like to attend the upcoming Inclusive Dialogue in either format, you may register for free online. Regennitter would like to see many in the community take the opportunity to continue learning from and gaining inspiration from contemporary authors. “We love that we get to host diverse authors, from a variety of genres, while providing our community an opportunity to foster inclusive dialogue, celebrate diverse perspectives, and promote equity to build a more peaceful and just world, she explained. “I am looking forward to hearing from Ms. Nneka Arima about how she was able to craft such a unique compilation of stories featuring such diverse story lines and characters.”