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Noah Milligan - Five Hundred Poor

  • Nightbird Books 205 West Dickson Street Fayetteville, AR, 72701 United States (map)

Noah Milligan will be at Nightbird Books reading from his newly released short story collection, Five Hundred Poor.


The title comes from Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, “Wherever there is great property there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many. The affluence of the rich excites the indignation of the poor, who are often both driven by want, and prompted by envy, to invade his possessions.” These are ten stories of those five hundred poor, the jaded, the disillusioned, and the disenfranchised.

Advance Praise for Five Hundred Poor:

"Five Hundred Poor is the type of book we need more of. Full of unflinchingly honest stories that are, at times, shockingly brutal and surprisingly tender, this is a living, breathing portrait of the world we live in. No gimmicks. No grandstanding. Just a glimpse at how the other half lives and how the other half dies that should inspire us to try harder."
- Jared Yates Sexton, The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage

"The stories in Five Hundred Poor conspire to create a sad and familiar world, with characters whose lives offer hope among tragedy. Noah Milligan writes about Oklahoma in such an uncanny, dark, compelling way. He is a very gifted writer, and I look forward to reading more of his work."
--Brandon Hobson, author of Where the Dead Sit Talking

"The collection’s Oklahoma backdrop is finely and sometimes bleakly depicted, set amid soul-sucking casinos, Waffle Houses, and roadside stores selling souvenir Woody Guthrie mugs and ceramic buffalo skulls. Summers are blistering, winters “brown and spindly,” the public schools mostly underfunded and unmotivated. There are also moments of hope and persistence, celebrating Oklahoma Thunder basketball victories or the glory of a chicken fried steak. Quirky and compelling, Five Hundred Poor offers a memorable tour through a region often too dismissively regarded as flyover country.”
-- Foreword Reviews

Noah Milligan's debut novel, An Elegant Theory, was shortlisted for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and a finalist for Foreword Review's 2016 Book of the Year. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Central Oklahoma, and his short fiction has appeared in Windmill: The Hofstra University Journal of Literature and Art, Rathalla Review, MAKE Literary Magazine, Storyscape Literary Journal, and elsewhere. A collection of short stories, Five Hundred Poor, was released by Central Avenue Publishing in June 2018. Connect with him at

Earlier Event: July 20
Writing Workshop and Book Study
Later Event: July 27
Writing Workshop and Book Study