Events @ Dragonfly Books

Welcome to the event offerings at Dragonfly Books.  If you are interested in scheduling an event, contact our Events Coordinator using our Event Request Form.

Keith Lesmeister Book Launch at Pulpit Rock Brewing Co.

Date: Tuesday, May 16
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Pulpit Rock Brewing Co.
Cost: Free!

Dragonfly Books is thrilled to launch local Decorah author Keith Lesmeister with the release of his much acclaimed collection of short stories We Could’ve Been Happy Here. At turns hopeful and humorous, tender and tragic, We Could’ve Been Happy Here (Midwestern Gothic 2017) illuminates how we are shaped and buoyed by our intimate connections with others - both those close to us, and those we hardly know.

Keith, a crowd favorite at the ArtHaus Poetry Slams, will read and share his stories at the Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. on Tuesday, May 16 at 6:00 pm. Including special guests June Melby and David Faldet, we’ll commemorate Keith’s book launch with refreshments, readings, and a celebration of Decorah writers.

Keith Lesmeister teaches Composition and Literature at Northeast Iowa Community College and Viterbo University. Keith has taught classes at ArtHaus and performs in the ArtHaus Poetry slams. Though Keith does not consider himself a poet, he enjoys the “spoken word” in all its iterations.

Keith’s fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Slice, Meridian, Redivider, Gettysburg Review, and many other print and online publications. His nonfiction has appeared in Tin House Open Bar, River Teeth, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere.

In We Could’ve Been Happy Here, Keith Lesmeister plows out a distinctive vision of the contemporary Midwest. A recovering addict chases down a herd of runaway cows with a girl the same age as his estranged daughter. A middle-aged couple rediscovers their love for one another through the unlikely circumstance of robbing a bank. A drunken grandmother goads her grandson into bartering his leftover booze for a kayak. The daughter of a deployed soldier wages a bloody war on the rabbits ravaging her family’s farm. These stories peer into the lives of those at the margins -- the broken, the resigned, the misunderstood.

Earning praise from the likes of Nickolas Butler (author of Shotgun Lovesongs and The Hearts of Men), Benjamin Percy (author of The Dead Lands and Red Moon), and Bret Anthony Johnston (author of Remember Me Like This), We Could’ve Been Happy Here pulls at the reader with unique, strange, and all-too-familiar characters.

A Luther College graduate, Keith and his wife, Molly Gallagher, have lived in Decorah for 20 years. Born in North Carolina and raised in Iowa, Keith received his M.F.A. from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Whether you know Keith from teaching and the 6:00 a.m. morning hoops crew, or you simply want to hear more about a fantastic collection of short stories, everyone is invited to Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. to celebrate with Keith on Tuesday, May 16. If you find that you can't make it to the event but would still like to purchase one of Keith’s books, just give Dragonfly Books a call at 563-382-4275. One of the Dragonfly Books staff will be glad to reserve a book and have it autographed for you.

This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books at 112 W. Water St., Decorah, and and will take place at Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. at 207 College Drive, Decorah. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more about this and other events at Dragonfly Books, please visit, or contact us at or 563-382-4275.

Event date: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
207 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101
We Could've Been Happy Here Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944850050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MG Press - May 16th, 2017