John Medeiros Reads on April 16 From Self, Divided

Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 MINNEAPOLIS, March 29, 2021“No one should have to face a pandemic more than once in a lifetime.”

John Medeiros has. Now, everyone can hear his compelling story, and applaud the accounts of his numerous triumphs in the face of devastating adversity. Medeiros reads from his memoir, Self, Divided, in an online event for Quatrefoil Library on April 16 at 7:00 p.m. The reading is free and open to the public; advance registration is required via the library’s Facebook page: https://fb.me/e/2vm5ig0iN. Additional information is available on Quatrefoil’s website:https://qlibrary.org.

It was on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic that Howling Bird Press awarded the 2020 nonfiction prize to Self, Divided, by John Medeiros of Minneapolis. Medeiros’ book debuted in early 2021. Readers can now embrace Self, Divided, participating fully in this incredible journey.

Self, Divided is the amazing story of identical twins, one of whom is gay and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-positive. Author Barrie Jean Borich writes, “[the twins are] each part of a whole that will not divide, even in times of desperate separation.” In his beautifully lyrical style, Medeiros starts at the very beginning, when he and his twin brother Bobby were created from an embryo cleaving into two in their mother’s womb. His frank, honest, brilliantly-written accounts of the twins as young children, throughout the school years and into adulthood, contain both gentle humor and pathos.

Medeiros says, “Writing creative nonfiction—more specifically, memoir . . . is an act of understanding, healing, survival. . . . The story represents the narrator’s struggle to find an identity completely separate from his twin brother—an identity that includes his own homosexuality and subsequent AIDS diagnosis.

An avid writer of poetry as well as creative nonfiction, Medeiros has an impressive list of awards and publications. Most recently, Self, Divided appeared in Lambda Literary’s “Most Anticipated LGBTQ Books” list. Medeiros is the recipient of AWP’s Intro Journals Award, two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, and Gulf Coasts Nonfiction Award. He co-hosted the long-running Twin Cities reading series Queer Voices as well as co-edited an anthology of the same name published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 2019. His poetry book, couplets for a shrinking world (2012) was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award.

Augsburg University’s student-run Howling Bird Press issues a nationwide call for submissions on an annual basis. The press launched in 2014 and is part of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Howling Bird Press publisher Jim Cihlar says, “Self, Divided is a tonic for our times. Lyrical, harrowing, and inventive, it details an experimental gene-therapy study at the National Institute of Health led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, which involved sets of twins, one gay and HIV-positive, the other straight and HIV-negative; it also traces the coming-of- age and self-actualization of the narrator.”

Howling Bird Press publishes one book per year as the winner of an annual contest. The contest alternates genres per year. This spring the press is open for submissions of fiction manuscripts. Our previous titles include Irreversible Things by Lisa Van Orman Hadley, Simples by KateLynn Hibbard, Still Life with Horses by Jean Harper, The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street by Jacob M. Appel, and At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody by Marci Vogel.






Lisa Van Orman Hadley on #AugsburgStrong

When I first arrived at the Augsburg MFA residency as the winner of the 2019 Howling Bird Book Prize in Fiction, I was nervous. I had never been to Minneapolis and had never met a single person at Augsburg face-to-face. I met Kathleen Matthews first. She was warm and interesting to talk to as she walked me to my dorm room. That night I found my way to dinner. I felt like the new kid on her first day of school walking into the lunchroom for the first time, amidst a sea of unfamiliar faces. I approached a table with one empty seat and asked if I could sit down. From that moment on, I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about. I was welcomed into the circle and into the conversation. The students at the table were bright, kind, and thoughtful. Some of the people at the table had worked, together with Jim Cihlar, on my book as part of Howling Bird Press.

Let me pause here to talk for a minute about the press. It’s scary to hand off the book you have worked on for years and years to people you don’t know. But it was apparent from the very beginning that my book was in good hands. As they ushered Irreversible Things toward publication and beyond, the people that comprise Howling Bird Press were attentive, savvy, and hardworking. The finished product exceeded my expectations and I have very high expectations. 

During my three days on campus, I had experiences like the one at the dinner table again and again as I met more students and faculty. By the time I read my stories at Sateren Hall, I was reading to a crowd of friends. When I returned home to Salt Lake City, I had a whole community a thousand miles away at Augsburg. We have continued our conversations and friendships online. I feel lucky to be a part of the Augsburg MFA community.