Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Author Series Information

DLPP has some very exciting news about the 2023 DLPP Author Series. We are bringing Brad Kessler, a 2022 DLPP Fiction Finalist for North and the 2007 Fiction Winner for Birds in Fall, to Dayton to discuss North for a student audience on Friday, October 20 at 10:00 am in the Kettering Fairmont Auditorium.

Brad Kessler is a critically acclaimed novelist whose work has been translated into several languages. He won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in Fiction for his novel, Birds in Fall, and was a 2022 DLPP Fiction Finalist for North. He is an educator, farmer, and author of the literary nonfiction Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding,and the Art of Making Cheese. His other books include the novel, Lick Creek, and The Woodcutter’s Christmas. His work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, BombKenyon Review, and The New Yorker. He’s received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Lange-Taylor Prize from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. He teaches creative writing at the MFA program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and has lectured at – among other places – Northwestern University, Smith College, The New School University, and the Kenyon Writers Workshop. He lives on the smallest licensed goat dairy farm in the state of Vermont where he makes cheese alongside the photographer and activist, Dona Ann McAdams.

About North

North traces the epic journey of Sahro from her home in Somalia to South America, along the migrant route through Central America and Mexico, to New York City, and finally, her dangerous attempt to continue north to safety in Canada.

Author Series Membership

With an Author Series membership, the teacher(s) will have access to our curriculum for Brad Kessler’s North which offers thoughtful analytical and interpretive work for high school and college classrooms. Teachers will also find opportunities to connect these works to familiar texts already in their classrooms to explore similar ideas and themes.

Use of the curriculum is not mandatory, but teachers will find it an effective tool to not only teach about the novel and its relationship with peace, but also to:

Assist students in connecting with the theme of peace as it relates to the featured category

  • Examine the literary techniques that the author chooses to convey the theme of the book
  • Connect historical elements of the book to the characters and themes and the students
  • Draw meaning from the author’s writing choices
  • Give students a path by which to empathize with the main characters in the chosen book
  • Provide students with a reflective device on which to focus on their own belief and value systems
  • Build a knowledge base through which to track the characters’ and their own journey to understanding of the “other”
  • Offer an opportunity for students to openly express their ideas and opinions as they relate to the theme the book explores
  • Discuss how an individual determines behaviors and actions toward others

Students will attend the live event with Brad Kessler and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Students will have the opportunity to have their books signed by the author.

A video of the event will be available to member schools for future use.

The school will receive a class set of 25 copies of North (totaling 25 books) and additional copies can be ordered at a greatly reduced price.

The cost of a membership is $500 made payable to Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. Books can be ordered before the end of the school year for summer reading.

Please let Emily Kretzer know if you are interested in joining at [email protected]. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Rab [email protected].

We welcome any and all schools to become a part of the DLPP Author Series. If you know of other teachers throughout the area, please have them contact us.

Curriculum Synopsis

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize curriculum for Brad Kessler’s North offers thoughtful analytical and interpretive work for high school and college classrooms. Access to the curriculum for North produced for our Teaching Peace through Literature series that adheres to state and national standards and includes:

  • A suggested reading schedule with daily reading, writing, and discussion activities as well as additional resources available to teachers.

Within the curriculum, each of a series of lessons based on North also includes the following procedures:

  • Self Induction
  • Development
  • Questions
  • Closure and Assessment
  • Follow Up
  • Reflective Self Evaluation

Each lesson also includes the following:

  • Goals with Relevant Standards and Benchmark Indicators
  • Behavioral Objectives
  • Materials
  • Prerequisite Knowledge
  • Worksheets and Handouts

This curriculum can be used as written or adapted into an existing curriculum. The teacher is provided all of the instructional materials and will use them as fits the school’s needs.

This curriculum will be made available by the end of the academic year 2022-2023 so that teachers can make plans for fall and assign summer reading where needed. Participating teachers and students will be able to engage with Brad Kessler during the Author Series Conversation, scheduled for October 20, 2023.