Kaveh Akbar

KA 900

Thursday, March 21| 7 PM | Central Library


The author of one of 2024's most acclaimed debut novels comes to Des Moines to raise the curtains on the 2024 Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series.

Kaveh Akbar is one of America’s most recognized poets, with his work appearing in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Paris Review, and more. He released his debut novel, Martyr!, in January, to universal acclaim. In the novel, a newly sober, orphaned poet and son of Iranian immigrants, embarks on a profound, remarkable search for meaning and for a family secret – guided by the voices of artists, poets, and kings.

The New York Times Book Review called the book “both a riveting character study and piercing family saga,” and said “Akbar is a dazzling writer, with bars like you wouldn’t believe … What (he) pulls off is nothing short of miraculous.” The Los Angeles Times called Martyr! “brilliant, steeped in humor and absurdity but deathly serious as well.”

Akbar lives in Iowa City.

The program will be moderated by Marc Dickinson. Marc is the author of the short story collection, Replacement Parts (2024), and teaches creative writing at DMACC. He also coordinates the long-running reading series, Celebration of the Literary Arts.


Event Info

  • Admission is free.
  • Doors open at 6:00 PM.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served.
  • Free parking is available:
    • In the Des Moines Public Library parking garage, located on Grand Ave.
    • On the surface lot on the corner of 10th St. and Grand Ave., across from the library.
  • At the end of the program, there will be a question and answer period. A book signing will follow.
  • Books will be available to purchase before and after the program courtesy of Beaverdale Books.