Joseph G. Peterson - "Memorandum from the Iowa Cloud Appreciation Society" - Giano Cromley

Friday, December 2, 2022 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Joseph G. Peterson

Joseph G. Peterson will discuss his new novel Memorandum from the Iowa Cloud Appreciation Society. He will be joined in conversation by Giano Cromley.

This is an in-person event at the Seminary Co-op. At this time, masks are required for in-store events. 


About the book: When his girlfriend, Rosemary, asks about his life, Jim Moore, a successful salesman whose territory covers the entire continental United States and parts of Canada, doesn’t think there is anything to say and so he tells her “nothing happened,” or maybe he doesn’t know how to put it all into words or maybe he doesn’t want to.

Stuck in an airport because of blizzard conditions, and packed into a crowded terminal with other travelers, Moore has come to believe that his life is not worth reporting about because it has largely been a life lived without incident. However, chance encounters with a yoga instructor, a man traveling to bury his mother, and an enigmatic woodsman reawaken long dormant emotions about his father’s suicide and cause Jim to newly reflect on his own life and on a memorandum that he later discovered in his deceased father’s papers, which lists all the names of the clouds, and which Jim now, from time to time, recants as if it were his own private kaddish to memorialize his lost father.

Like the pilgrims in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales who pass the time telling stories while stranded in the Tabard Inn, Memorandum from the Iowa Cloud Appreciation Society tells the tale of a traveling salesman and what really happened over the course of his forty- six years.

About the author: Joseph G. Peterson is the author of several books of fiction and poetry, including, most recently Memorandum from the Iowa Appreciation Society, The Rumphulus, and Ninety-Nine Bottles. He grew up in Wheeling, Illinois, received his B.A. from the University of Chicago. He works at The University of Chicago Press and is a longtime resident of Hyde Park.

About the interlocutor: Giano Cromley is the author of the novel, The Last Good Halloween, and the story collection, What We Build Upon the Ruins, both of which were finalists for the High Plains Book Award. He is the recipient of an Artists Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council, and is currently a BookEnds Fellow with Stony Brook University. He is an English professor at Kennedy-King College in Chicago, where he is chair of the Communications Department, and sits on the committee for the Center of Equity for Creative Arts.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL 60637