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Punks in Peoria Virtual Event: Jonathan Wright and Dawson Barrett in conversation with Marc Alghini

Event Type
University of Illinois Press, Lit on Fire Books
Jun 15, 2021   4:00 pm  

Join Jonathan Wright and Dawson Barrett for a virtual event celebrating the release of Punks in Peoria: Making a Scene in the American Heartland. Marc Alghini will moderate. 

Register here:

There will be an in person book signing at Lit on Fire Books on June 18 from 6-9 PM CT. 

You can purchase the book from their Bookshop page here:

About the book: 

Synonymous with American mediocrity, Peoria was fertile ground for the boredom- and anger-fueled fury of punk rock. Jonathan Wright and Dawson Barrett explore the do-it-yourself scene built by Peoria punks, performers, and scenesters in the 1980s and 1990s. From fanzines to indie record shops to renting the VFW hall for an all-ages show, Peoria's punk culture reflected the movement elsewhere, but the region's conservatism and industrial decline offered a richer-than-usual target environment for rebellion. Eyewitness accounts take readers into hangouts and long-lost venues, while interviews with the people who were there trace the ever-changing scene and varied fortunes of local legends like Caustic Defiance, Dollface, and Planes Mistaken for Stars. What emerges is a sympathetic portrait of a youth culture in search of entertainment but just as hungry for community—the shared sense of otherness that, even for one night only, could unite outsiders and discontents under the banner of music. A raucous look at a small-city underground, Punks in Peoria takes readers off the beaten track to reveal the punk rock life as lived in Anytown, U.S.A.

Learn more:

About Jonathan Wright:

Jonathan Wright is a writer, editor, musician and longtime veteran of the Peoria music scene. He has served as editor in chief at Peoria Magazines since 2006 and is highly involved in the local arts community. In the mid-nineties, Wright ran a small record label and promoted shows, bringing national acts like the Jesus Lizard, Tortoise and Fugazi to Peoria. As a member of the psychedelic-rock band Lark’s Tongue, he cofounded the Bird Dialect label. He also DJs (vinyl only) under the name juanGoblin, leveraging his collection of more than 8,000 vinyl records.
About Dawson Barrett: 
Dawson Barrett is associate professor of US History at Del Mar College in Texas. He is the author of Teenage Rebels: Successful High School Activists from the Little Rock Nine to the Class of Tomorrow (Microcosm Publishing, 2015) and The Defiant: Protest Movements in Post-Liberal America (New York University Press, 2018). His writings on protest, teaching, youth, and punk rock have appeared in academic and popular publications, including American Studies, Teen Vogue, and Waging Nonviolence.
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