Published: Aug. 21, 2013

2013 One Book, One Community program kicks off Aug. 25-26

Contact(s): Jennifer Orlando Media Communications office: (517) 353-4355 cell: (517) 980-0076, Ami Van Antwerp City of East Lansing office: (517) 319-6927, Ginny Haas Governmental Affairs office: (517) 353-9001

Michigan State University and the city of East Lansing will host novelist and Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers as he kicks off the 2013 One Book, One Community program Aug. 25-26.

Powers is the author of this year’s book selection, “The Yellow Birds,” which tells a fictional story of war by capturing the harsh reality and aftermath of combat, as well as raising complex questions about returning home.

“The Yellow Birds” was a finalist for the National Book Award and received the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction and is being compared with “The Things They Carried,” Tim O’Brien’s classic story of war.

Powers served in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, where he was deployed as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar. Born and raised in Virginia, he holds a master’s of fine art from the University of Texas in Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry.

The annual OBOC program, sponsored by the city of East Lansing and MSU, encourages the city-university community to read the same book and discuss it in a variety of settings.

Community members can meet Powers at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center auditorium. He also will welcome the new MSU freshman class at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 at Breslin Center. Finally, he will greet more individuals at 4 p.m. Aug. 26 at the East Lansing Public Library.

The kick-off events are free and open to the public. A series of community and campus events are planned around the themes in “The Yellow Birds” throughout the month of September.

Following is a list of events taking place on MSU's campus.

Boot Camp 101
6 p.m., Sept. 11
Demonstration Hall Field
MSU Army ROTC will host a demonstration for community members and students to understand key components of ROTC training, including hands-on physical training stations, demonstration of the “taking” of a glass house, equipment displays, a mock sleeping area and much more. Parking is available in MSU Parking Lot 62W (IM West).

MSU Library Film Event: "Brothers" (R)
7 p.m., Sept. 12
W499, MSU Main Library
Farha Abbasi, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, will lead a discussion following the film.

"For the 25": A Conversation with the Filmmakers
7 p.m., Sept. 17
Room 112, Brody Hall
MSU student filmmaker and former U.S. Marine Logan Stark will show clips from his documentary film "For the 25" and will reflect on his experiences as a soldier in Afghanistan. Stark will be joined by his fellow filmmakers and MSU professor. Enjoy dinner at Brody Square before the event. Parking is available at Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

MSU Department of Theatre presents "Widows"
7:30 p.m., Sept. 19
Arena Theatre, MSU Auditorium
A post-show discussion will take place following the performance. General admission is $10. The ticket office opens one hour prior to the show with doors opening 30 minutes prior. Parking is available in MSU Parking Lot 9 (behind Giltner Hall). Ticket information can be found here.

For a complete list of One Book, One Community events, visit

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