Bard Campus Calendar

[A Reading by James Han Mattson] James Han Mattson
James Han Mattson

Written Arts Program Presents

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Reading by James Han Mattson

Campus Center, Weis Cinema
7:15 pm

The author reads from his first novel, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves

On Monday, April 9 at 7:15 p.m. in Weis Cinema, James Han Mattson will read from his first novel, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. 

In raw, poignant alternating first-person narratives, interspersed with e-mails, gay chat-room exchanges, and other fragments of a youth laid bare in the age of social media, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves unravels the mystery of a life in all its glory: despair and regret, humor and wonder, courage and connection.

“Mattson fully inhabits the characters who come together to render Ricky’s last year of life, and he punches hard in every scene, evoking feelings of anger and regret that any teen should ever be bullied or ostracized because of his sexuality. He also manages to create a palpable aura of suspense, backtracking into the events that led to the shooting.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“A deeply moving debut.” —The New York Post


James Han Mattson was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in North Dakota. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient and graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has taught at the University of Iowa, the University of Cape Town, the University of Maryland, the George Washington University, and the University of California – Berkeley. He has worked as a staff writer and editor for Pagoda Foreign Language Institute, the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, and Logogog – South Africa. In 2009, he traveled to Korea and reunited with his birth family after 30 years of separation. His first novel, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves, was an Amazon Literature and Fiction Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Publishers Lunch Bookseller Pick, a Kindle First Pick, a New York Post Required Reading, and was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. He currently lives in Maryland.

For more information, call 845-752-4454, or e-mail

Time: 7:15 pm

Location: Campus Center, Weis Cinema