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Presented By: Zell Visiting Writers Series

Reading and Q&A with Kate Milliken

Zell Visiting Writers Series

Kate Milliken Kate Milliken
Kate Milliken
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Zell Visiting Writers Series readings and Q&As are free and open to the public, and will be offered both virtually (via Zoom) and in person (in UMMA's Stern Auditorium). Seats at the in-person events are capacity-limited and offered on a first come, first served basis; please arrive early to secure a spot. Please contact with any questions or accommodation needs.

Kate Milliken’s collection of stories, If I'd Known You Were Coming, won the Iowa Award for Short Fiction in 2013. Her debut novel, Kept Animals, published by Scribner Books, centers on a real-life wildfire in Topanga Canyon, California, in 1993, which Kate experienced firsthand. Heralded as “an event-packed novel of class, desire, coming-of-age and familial disintegration,” by Janet Fitch in the New York Times Book Review and named one of the best LGBTQ books of 2020 by O, the Oprah Magazine, Kept Animals was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize.

Kate was born into a theatre family, her mother a playwright, her father an aspiring actor and director. After her parent’s divorce, Kate bounced between the glamour of 1980s Hollywood and a subsistent, working class home in Chicago. No matter where she was, the conversation was always about storytelling: from mythology, to character motivations in John Cassavetes’s films. As a junior in high school, Kate wrote an essay about her recovery from an eating disorder, her family’s struggle with substance abuse, and the inherent void created by fame. That essay won her acceptance to an experimental five-year undergraduate program, enabling her to leave high school and a troubled home life early, and cemented her belief in the power of storytelling.

A graduate of the Bennington College Writing Seminars, Kate’s writing has been published in numerous literary magazines, anthologized, and supported by fellowships from Yaddo, Tin House, and the Vermont Studio Center. Informed by her early awareness of economic inequities, addiction, and her experience of growing up queer in an era of overt homophobia, Kate’s work aims to explore character dualities and the power of our appetites: from true hunger to our most unwieldy desires.

For any questions about the event or to share accommodation needs, please email we are eager to help ensure that this event is inclusive to you. The building, event space, and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Diaper changing tables are available in nearby restrooms. Gender-inclusive restrooms are available on the second floor of the Museum, accessible via the stairs, or in nearby Hatcher Graduate Library (Floors 3, 4, 5, and 6). The Hatcher Library also offers a reflection room (4th Floor South Stacks), and a lactation room (Room 13W, an anteroom to the basement women's staff restroom, or Room 108B, an anteroom of the first floor women's restroom). ASL interpreters and CART services at in-person events are available upon request; please email at least two weeks prior to the event, whenever possible, to allow time to arrange services.

U-M employees with a U-M parking permit may use the Church Street Parking Structure (525 Church St., Ann Arbor) or the Thompson Parking Structure (500 Thompson St., Ann Arbor). There is limited metered street parking on State Street and South University Avenue. The Forest Avenue Public Parking Structure (650 South Forest Ave., Ann Arbor) is five blocks away, and the parking rate is $1.20 per hour. All of these options include parking spots for individuals with disabilities.

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