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More Information: Bird Artist Series

The Bird Artist Series features two upcoming community events in early April. The annual series of events features in-class opportunities for students as well as four community events throughout the year in The Cressey Center for the Arts.

The first community event of 2024 will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3 with author Julie Otsuka. She is the author of the novels When the Emperor Was Divine, winner of the Asian American Literary Award and the American Library Association Alex Award, and The Buddha in the Attic, an international bestseller and winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Prix Femina étranger, the Albatros Literaturpreis and a finalist for the National Book Award. All sophomores at LFA read When the Emperor Was Divine and AP English Literature and Composition students read The Buddha in the Attic. A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, her newest novel is The Swimmers.

On Monday, April 8, Jonathan Eig visits the LFA campus for a community discussion. Eig is the author of six adult books and four children's books and those books have been translated into nearly 20 languages. His most recent book, King: A Life, is the first major biography of Martin Luther King Jr. in 40 years, based on hundreds of interviews and thousands of newly discovered documents. The book is an instant New York Times bestseller and described as “the definitive” account of MLK’s life.

The Bird Artist Series is named after former Lake Forest Academy English teacher Ray Bird. Bird taught English 9, 10, and AP English Literature for 12 years starting in 1995. He taught his students to love literature, to test the boundaries of their imaginative abilities, and to open their minds to ideas both novel and arcane. With a quick wit, abundant gestures, and a limitless supply of energy, Bird captivated his students and instilled a lifelong passion for reading, writing, and creative expression.  

Both events are open to the public and free to attend. For more information, please visit the Bird Artist Series information page.