January 17, 2019


book cover of Station Eleven


MSUB Library and the Writer's Voice present The NEA/Big Read Program

Billings to read and celebrate “Station Eleven” during event featuring lectures, films, and discussions



Darlene Hert, MSU Billings Library, 657-1655
University Communications and Marketing, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — In partnership with the Montana State University Billings Library, The Writer’s Voice will introduce Montanans to the writing of Emily St. John Mandel through a dynamic collaboration among the university faculty and students, Billings Public Library, area high schools, and Billings community.


The program is also supported by Yellowstone Public Radio. The Writer’s Voice is once again hosting the NEA Big Read in Billings this spring. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.


The NEA Big Read in Billings will focus on Mandel’s book, Station Eleven. The critically acclaimed novel won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than a dozen publications.


“The MSU Billings Library is excited to partner with the Writer’s Voice on this Big Read grant. We have partnered on many successful Big Read grants together; however, this one is particularly exciting because the choice of Emily St. John Mandel’s dystopian novel, Station Eleven, appeals to a broad range of audiences, including younger readers,” shared Darlene Hert, MSU Billings library director. “We have planned a wide array of programming and activities that will engage and encourage thoughtful discussions and excite people about the power of story.”


Events begin January 17, with the opening of an art exhibition, This Vibrant, Tarnished World, by Jennifer Eli French in the Northcutt Steele Gallery at MSU Billings. The exhibit is inspired by the futuristic novel, Station Eleven.


The public is invited to pick up a free copy of the book at the MSUB Library and sign up for a discussion group. Sixteen book discussions are scheduled at various times, dates and venues; information is available here. Discussion groups begin January 29. Books will also be available at the Billings Public Library, This House of Books, and the art exhibition.


 A national initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The Writer's Voice was founded in 1991 to provide access to the arts in non-traditional communities and opportunities for active engagement between writers and audiences. For more information about The Writer’s Voice contact Corby Skinner at 294-2390 or Corby@skinnerbenoit.com.


Schedule of Events


All events will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30pm in L.A. 205, Montana State University Billings, except where noted.


 Jan. 17
Art Exhibition: This Vibrant, Tarnished World, Northcutt Steele Gallery


Jan. 22
Artist's Talk: Jennifer Eli French, Sherri Cornett


Jan 24
Film: Fahrenheit 451


Jan. 29
Panel Discussion: The Things We Keep


Jan. 31
Film: Soylent Green


Feb. 5
Panel Discussion: The Traveling Symphony


Feb. 7
Film: Brazil


Feb. 12
Lecture: Holding Out for Hope: The Functions of Dystopic Storytelling, Gavin J. Woltjer


Feb. 19
Panel Discussion: Women in Dystopian Literature


Feb. 21
Film: Children of Men


Feb 28
Film: The Road