Mara Cohen Ioannides

Mara Cohen Ioannides

The Ozark Poets & Writers Collective this month features a novelist this time from Missouri’s Ozarks. Mara Cohen Ioannides will read in the group’s program, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, at Nightbird Books, on Fayetteville’s Dickson Street.

Mara Cohen Ioannides (pronounced ee-oh-AH-nee-dees) teaches Jewish literature and writing at Missouri State University in Springfield. She holds a doctorate in Jewish studies from the Spertus Institute of Chicago and other degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Columbia University in New York.

She will read from her novel We Are in Exile Estamos En Galut. Copies of it and her recent books A Shout in the Sunshine and Jews of Springfield in the Ozarks will be available for sale and signing.

The monthly program of the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective is free to the public, and donations are accepted. It includes open-mike sessions before and after the feature. Audience members may read their own or others’ work, with a 4-minute cap. All ages are welcome, but parents should note that language and themes can be adult.

We Are in Exile book jacketWe Are in Exile is set on the island of Rhodes as World War II approaches. Until then, Christian and Jewish Greeks lived together in relative harmony under Italian rule. Hardship grows under the worldwide Great Depression. This story follows one family of the Rhodelisi, the island’s Jewish community with unique traditions.

A Shout in the Sunshine was a finalist in the Children-Young Adult category in the 2007 National Jewish Book Awards. The story is about the internal Jewish conflict in Solonika, Greece, around 1500.

The nonfiction Jews of Springfield in the Ozarks is a pictorial history.

A video of her can be seen at “Spring 2012 Soul of a Poet Reading Featuring Authors Mara Cohen Ioannides and Michael Pulley.”