Authors and Artists

Fall 2020


Poetics of Still Life: A Collage, by Robert Vas Dias ’53, to be published in November by Permanent Press in the U.K., is a cross-disciplinary exploration of still life from the earliest times to the present. The book combines 65 still-life color images; commentaries by art historians, critics, curators, and writers; and poems and prose poems by Vas Dias.

Grinnell College Life Trustee Ronald Sandler ’62 recently published Practicing Medicine in the Third World, 1967–2010. In this book, Sandler recounts his experiences practicing medicine with his wife in 14 different countries as well as his time as a Peace Corps physician in Bolivia.

Princely Power in Late Medieval France by Erika Graham-Goering ’10 was published earlier this year by Cambridge University Press. While studies of medieval political authority often privilege royal, male, and exclusive models of power, Graham-Goering reveals how there were multiple coexisting standards of princely action, and it was the navigation of these expectations that was more important to the successful exercise of power than adhering to any single approach.

Ralph Savarese, Grinnell professor of English, released two collections of poems this fall. Republican Fathers, published by Nine Mile Books, is a poetic memoir of growing up among big-time Republican players of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. When This Is Over: Pandemic Poems was published by Ice Cube Press in October, and the poems in this collection evoke images from today’s news headlines — with a touch of whimsy.

In May, Kathleen Snow ’65 released the nonfiction book Taken by Bear in Glacier National Park: Harrowing Encounters between Grizzlies and Humans, published by Lyons Press. This is a companion to one of her previous books, Taken by Bear in Yellowstone.

Monique McLay Shore ’90 wrote a story regarding feelings during COVID-19 to share during the children’s message at Grinnell United Methodist Church. After a strong positive response, she worked with a local Grinnell printer to create a paperback version of the tale, titled The No Good Stay at Home Days. She offered the book for sale, with all proceeds benefiting local mission funds, including Mid-Iowa Community Action, Tiger Packs, and the Good Samaritan Fund.

In May, Stanford University Press published the latest text by Grinnell’s Gertrude B. Austin Professor of Economics, Bill Ferguson, entitled The Political Economy of Collective Action, Inequality, and Development. This book examines how a society that is trapped in stagnation might initiate and sustain economic and political development.

Max Brzezinski ’01 of Carolina Soul Records, one of the world’s largest high-end record dealers, has written Vinyl Age, published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. Brzezinski demystifies the record game and imparts the skills essential to modern record-digging — how to research, find, buy, evaluate, and understand vinyl in the 21st century.

Summer 2020


A Student Commentary on Plato’s Euthyphro, a new book by Charles Platter ’81, was published by the University of Michigan Press. The Euthyphro is important for understanding Plato’s presentation of the last days of Socrates, dramatized in four brief dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. In addition to narrating this evocative series of events in the life of Plato’s philosophical hero, the texts can be read as reflecting on how a wise man faces death.

In Change Agent: A Life Dedicated to Creating Wealth for Minorities, a memoir Archway published in February, James Lowry ’61, life member of the Board of Trustees, delivers a personal, candid, and often humorous portrayal of his journey from Chicago’s South Side to Wall Street and life as a trailblazing entrepreneur.

This memoir illustrates the power of iconic mentors and pivotal opportunities, demonstrates how to achieve breakthroughs, and offers solutions to the widening wealth gap that plagues minority communities today. Lowry’s book delivers a plan to accelerate economic development in the black community and is designed to be a road map for the next generation of leaders.