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Mark Guarino Author Talk | COUNTRY & MIDWESTERN

March 8, 2024


Join Mark Guarino in a conversation about his book, COUNTRY AND MIDWESTERNCHICAGO IN THE HISTORY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AND THE FOLK REVIVAL (University of Chicago Press, 2023) featuring Decorah artist and musician Bonnie Koloc, Friday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the T-Bocks Upstairs event space at 206 W Water Street, Decorah. A book signing and social hour will be held after the event from 8:00-9:00. This free event is sponsored by the Oneota Valley Literary Foundation. Book sales by Dragonfly Books.

Chicago is revered as a musical breeding ground, having launched major figures like blues legend Muddy Waters, gospel soul icon Mavis Staples, and the jazz-rock band that shares its name with the city. Far less known, however, is the vital role Chicago played in the rise of pre-war country music, the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, and the contemporary offspring of those scenes.

In Country and Midwestern, veteran journalist Mark Guarino tells the epic century-long story of Chicago’s influence on sounds typically associated with regions further south. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and deep archival research, Guarino tells a forgotten story of music, migration, and the ways that rural culture infiltrated urban communities.

Mark Guarino covers national news and culture from Chicago for the Washington Post, ABC News, the New York Times, among many other outlets. He was the Midwest Bureau Chief for the Christian Science Monitor, and served as a pop music critic for the Chicago Daily Herald. Mark also taught journalism at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Guarino’s discussion of COUNTRY AND MIDWESTERN will also feature performances from Decorah’s Bonnie Koloc, a musician, artist, and actress who was hugely influential in the Chicago folk music scene since 1968. She received a Governor’s Award in 1973 for Best Singer and recorded ten albums over the course of her career, two of them with Epic. Beyond her music, Koloc has earned a variety of accolades for her work as an artist and actress. Her leading role in Public Theater’s production of THE HUMAN COMEDY earned her the Theatre World Bronze Award for Outstanding New Talent on Broadway and a Drama Critics Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. As an active print maker, paiter, and ceramist, she has exhibited her artworks all around the South and Midwest. She now resides in Decorah.

This event is part of Dragonfly Books and the Oneota Valley Literary Foundation’s robust author event series, which brings top-notch writers of all genres to Northeast Iowa to lead in conversations about literature and writing. To learn more about this event and other events with Dragonfly Books, visit www.dragonflybooks.com, or contact us at orders@dragonflybooks.com or 563-382-4275. If you find that you can’t make it to the event but would still like to purchase COUNTRY & MIDWESTERN, give Dragonfly Books a call at 563-382-4275. Our staff will be glad to reserve a book, have it autographed for you, and shipped out as needed.


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