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Drake Writers and Critics Series kicks off with publishing duo

The duo behind independent publisher Idiots’ Books will kick off the fall 2012 Drake University Writers and Critics series on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr will discuss their various works at 7 p.m., at the Wesley House Gallery, 2718 University Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Idiots’ Books is an independent press run out of Swanson and Behr’s Maryland barn. The two publish commercially non-viable illustrated books and distribute them through a bimonthly subscription service. Described as “satirical illustrated books for adults,” the snide short stories offer a wry, stream-of-consciousness commentary on different topics of adult life.

Featuring Swanson’s writing and Behr’s illustration, the books range across subjects from the Christian God to seventh grade, French imperialism to donkey slaughter, and funnel cakes to traffic theory. Idiots’ Books has been praised by the New York Times, USA Today, New York magazine, and Slate.com.

Swanson and Behr have taught at Williams College and Washington College and have led workshops at the University of Maryland, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Bloomsburg University. Their courses cover collaboration between writers and artists and producing illustration, books, and murals on commission.

Upcoming Writers and Critics events include:

  • Oct. 25: Student Showcase–Critics, 7 p.m., Wesley House Gallery
  • Nov. 8: Drake Writers’ Harvest Festival—A Benefit for the Food Bank of Iowa, Kelcey Parker & Periphery Award Winners, 7 p.m., Wesley House Gallery

The Writers and Critics Series is sponsored by Drake’s English Department and Center for the Humanities. Click here for more information and a full schedule of events.