Author Benjamin Busch to visit Waukegan library

  • Benjamin Busch, award-winning author and photographer, will visit the Waukegan Public Library Sept. 17 and 18.

    Benjamin Busch, award-winning author and photographer, will visit the Waukegan Public Library Sept. 17 and 18. Courtesy of Benjamin Busch

Submitted by the Waukegan Public Library
Updated 9/16/2015 8:50 AM

Benjamin Busch, an acclaimed writer, actor and artist who served as a commanding officer in the United States Marine Corps, will visit the Waukegan Public Library on Thursday, Sept. 17, and Friday, Sept. 18, to discuss his award-winning memoir and screen his new film.

Additionally, "The Art In War," an exhibit of photographs by Benjamin Busch, opened at the Library Friday, Sept. 11, and will be on display through Nov. 11.

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Busch will speak about his Debut-litzer Prize-winning memoir "Dust to Dust" at the Waukegan Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17. The poetic memoir travels an elegiac path through Busch's childhood, adolescence, and service in the Marine Corps, including his two deployments to Iraq.

"We're excited to welcome Benjamin Busch to the library for the first book talk in our 'Those Who Serve' writers' series," said Richard Lee, executive director of the Waukegan Public Library. "'Dust to Dust' is a compelling look not just at a young man's time at war, but at the way childhood informs adulthood."

Busch will also screen his critically-acclaimed film "BRIGHT" at the library at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18. The film, written and directed by Busch and starring Eric Nenninger and Robert Wisdom, follows a blind man who must guide a younger man to face his deepest fear.

Busch's "The Art In War" exhibition of photography from his two deployments to Iraq explores themes of war and memory by focusing on ephemera, from torn posters to bloodstained walls. It's a gripping exercise in evoking a particular time and place, made all the more powerful by the photographer's presence as an officer in the war he is documenting, blurring the line between observer and participant.


These are documentary photographs that are not the work of a journalist; they chronicle a specific time and place without the luxury of distance. "The Art In War" will run through Nov. 11. As part of "Those Who Serve," the exhibit participates in a broader discussion of what it means to serve and sacrifice in America's armed forces.

The exhibit and writers series represent the library's contribution to "Those Who Serve," a communitywide initiative called Waukegan ArtWise, which in its inaugural year spotlights the experiences of American servicemen and women.

Waukegan Public Library will welcome authors Michael Pitre and Kirsten Holmstedt for book talks and signings Oct. 8 and Nov. 5, respectively. Pitre will discuss his novel "Fives and Twenty-Fives," while Holmstedt will focus on her book, "Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq."

"Those Who Serve" brings together numerous community partners for two months of programming centered on these themes, including complementary exhibits at Waukegan's Urban Edge gallery, Dandelion Gallery, Karcher 405 Gallery and the Lake County Courthouse, theatrical performances at Clockwise Theatre, Bowen Park Theatre and Three Brothers Theatre, and an ongoing writers series at Waukegan Public Library.


The centerpiece of the series is an exhibition of Ryan Spencer Reed's photographic installation, "Despite Similarities to Reality, This Is A Work of Fiction."

For more information about the exhibit, as well as Waukegan Public Library's writers' series, visit or contact Amanda Civitello, marketing and communications manager, at (847) 775-2560.

For more information on Waukegan ArtWise -- "Those Who Serve," a project of the Waukegan Arts Council in partnership with the City of Waukegan, visit

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