Scroll Top
19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA



Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Meet the Writers

June 14, 2024
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Luke Rolfes | Sleep Lake

John Gallaher | My Life in Brutalist Architecture

@ Beaverdale Books

Join us for a literary evening featuring novelist Luke Rolfes and poet John Gallaher.

Sleep Lake   A catastrophe is forming beneath the earth, yet the US Army Corps of Engineers is unaware that
the soil within the guts of the Sleep Lake dam is becoming permeable. In days, the residential dam will fail, and over seven billion gallons of water will gash through the metro of a Midwestern city. Like the dam, Janie and Thomas Dietrich’s marriage is rotting beneath the surface. Janie, a third-grade teacher, and Thomas, a physical therapist, are happy on the outside, but underneath: Lent money and dissatisfaction. Thomas’ brother locked in jail for five impossible months. A client dying of ovarian cancer. A music teacher with a body like blown glass. Lying, guilt, privilege. Children from Janie’s classroom finding a victim tangled and bloody in the woods. Craving newness, a second child, love, sex, attention, purpose, anything unfamiliar.



My Life in Brutalist Architecture  As John Gallaher prefaces this book, “It should have been an easy story to sort out, but it took fifty years.” My Life in Brutalist Architecture confronts the truth of the author’s adoption after a lifetime of concealment and deceptions with lucid candor, startling humor, and implacable grief. Approaching identity and family history as a deliberate architecture, Gallaher’s poems illuminate how a simple exterior can obscure the structural bricolage and emotional complexity of its inner rooms. This collection explores – and mourns – the kaleidoscopic iterations of potential selves as prismed through our understanding of the past, a shifting light parsed by facts, memories, and a family’s own mythology.



Luke Rolfes grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and currently teaches creative writing at Northwest Missouri State University. He is the author of the novel Sleep Lake (Braddock Avenue Books) and the short story collections Impossible Naked Life (Kallisto Gaia Press) and Flyover Country (Georgetown Review Press). He is the winner of the Acacia Fiction Prize and the Iron Horse Discovered Voices Award. He teaches creative writing at Northwest Missouri State University and co-edits Laurel Review.  


John Gallaher is a previous winner of the Levis Award and The Boston Review Prize. His poems have appeared in The Best American Poetry, Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and others. The author of five previous collections of poetry, Gallaher has also co-written books with G.C. Waldrep and Kristina Marie Darling, and co-edited collections with Mary Biddinger and Laura Boss.

Leave a comment