We are very pleased that U. S. Senator Claire McCaskill will be joining us on the afternoon of Friday, February 26th. The first woman elected to the Senate from Missouri, she serves on several important committees, including the Armed Services Committee and Homeland Security. She will be speaking with us about her memoir, Plenty Ladylike. After her lecture, students and staff will have the chance to speak with Senator McCaskill and have their books signed.
U. S. Senator Claire McCaskill
Matthew Cody, born outside St. Louis, published his first novel in 2009 with Knopf, which was about (you guessed it) superheroes. The novel, Powerless, turned the popular trope of the "chosen one" on its head and instead focused on the bystander who becomes the hero. Powerless went on to spawn the popular The Supers of Noble's Green series, and Cody went on to write historical adventure for kids, science fiction for teens and retro-pulp for adults. Today, he lives Manhattan with his wife and son, and writes (mostly) full time and serves as faculty at the Gotham Writer’s Workshop.
Native St. Louisan Brian Katcher lived an adventurer’s life after college, rambling for years across Mexico, working odd jobs in Israel, smuggling food into Cuba, and other campaigns of the itinerant rambler. Eventually, Katcher settled down in Central Missouri and started cranking out hilarious, mystery-filled, romantic young adult novels, including 2008’s Playing With Matches (which made the American Library Association’s 2009 list of Best Books for Young Adults) and 2009’s Almost Perfect (winner of the Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award). In 2014, Katcher released—spoiler alert!--Everyone Dies in the End, followed by last year’s The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak, which Publisher’s Weekly calls “A delightful romp for anyone still figuring out where they belong.” We are thrilled to have Brian Katcher kick off Day One of the 2016 All Write Festival!
Look out, Webster. It’s Sara Schaefer, live in Knight Auditorium, performing a full set of her boundary-stretching, laugh-‘til-it-hurts stand-up comedy. An Emmy Award-winning comedian, Sara is the co-star of MTV’s hit show Nikki & Sara Live (with cohost Nikki Glaser) and has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show. In 2009 and 2010, Sara won Emmys as Head Blogger for Jimmy Fallon’s show, and her uproarious spots on the comedy circuit landed her on USA Today’s list of “100 People of the Year in Pop Culture.” Her latest ventures include the popular podcast Lies and her new stand-up album, Chrysalis, which showcases Sara’s observational humor and gift for candid storytelling. Trust us: You won’t want to miss Sara Schaefer’s exclusive, unforgettable, history-making visit to Webster High.
Our freshmen meet Ms. Shabazz at the end of the Autobiography of Malcolm X, when she is a baby in the arms of her mother. Now, Ilyasah Al-Shabazz is a community organizer, social activist, motivational speaker, and author of the critically acclaimed Growing Up X (Random House, 2002).
She is co-editor with Herb Boyd, The Diary of Malcolm X (Third Word Press, 2013), worked with illustrator AG Ford, The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and with Kekla Magoon, X (Candlewick, 2014). Ilyasah promotes higher education, interfaith dialogue, and building bridges between cultures for young leaders of the world.
Nato Caliph is an underground emcee whose socially conscious albums, complex verbalism, and frequent collaborations have made him one of the most acclaimed hip-hop artists to come out of St. Louis in the last decade. He first gained national attention with his Cipher Inside album in 2007 and broke even bigger with 2013’s Understanding Understood, a soul-deep album of minimalist beats and lyrics that are equally personal and political. His latest EP, last year’s A Prequel to God, is a continuation of Caliph’s thought-provoking lyricism and innovative musical ideas. In Knight Auditorium on Monday, Caliph will bring Webster into the Nato Nation, delivering a full hip-hop set and talking to students about his art, career, and passions. Don’t miss one of rap’s sharpest young emcees, a man whose “presence precipitates planetary revolutions per minute.”
In an era where many emcees are carbon copies of one another (spittin’ lyrics of self-proclaimed fame, fortune and redundant fiction), Nato Caliph lives comfortably in the space that others who share the mic run from — reality.