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The University of Alabama

Award-Winning Author to Speak at UA about Nuclear Weapons Plant

Dr. Kristen Iversen

Dr. Kristen Iversen

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Dr. Kristen Iversen, author of the highly-acclaimed book, “Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats,” an autobiography about growing up near a nuclear weapons plant in Colorado, will give a lecture, “Rocky Flats and the Secrets of the Cold War,” Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. in Shelby Hall, room 1093, on The University of Alabama campus.

Her visit, which is sponsored by UA’s College of Arts and Sciences and the chemistry department, is free and open to the public.

“Full Body Burden” is Iversen’s story of growing up in in Arvada, Colo. near the Rocky Flats nuclear weaponry facility, which produced more than 70,000 plutonium pits for nuclear bombs between 1952 and 1992.

In the book, Iversen explains that local residents and plant workers were largely kept in the dark about radioactive contamination of the air, water and soil. Eventually the Department of Energy conceded that Rocky Flats was the most contaminated site in America.

In her talk, Iversen will discuss what Americans didn’t know about bomb development and production during and after the Cold War years, while sharing her personal story of growing up near Rocky Flats, and the 10-year process of researching and writing “Full Body Burden.”

Iversen is an associate professor at the University of Memphis, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing. She is the author of “Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth,” which won the Colorado Book Award for Biography and the Barbara Sudler Award for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Reader’s Digest, and Fourth Genre, she has appeared on C-Span, and NPR’s Fresh Air, and she has worked extensively with A&E Biography, The History Channel, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information on Iverson and her works, visit

The College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kelli Wright, communications specialist, College of Arts and Sciences, 205/348-8539,